Cable Caper Update

Update on the cable caper:

After writing about it yesterday, I got my Comcast bill in the mail. Those bleeping-buggers increased our monthly bill by more than $10! Some new year’s gift!

So I looked it over and tried to see where I could carve off something from it. I had something called “Digital Preferred” package for $17.95/month… I don’t know what channels were in that particular package, and I was afraid to look it up… so I went online to their site and tried to find a link to click that would allow me to delete some stuff from my services. As I thought, there was none.

But there was a “contact” thing, and I could “chat” with a live person, supposedly. I actually do this a lot when I have a question and I’ve always had good luck with this technique, so I clicked “chat” and got “Esther” quite quickly on the screen. I’ll just bet “Esther” is not her real name.

Since the bill is in Paul’s name and they just hate it when I call and they guess that I’m not Paul, and they keep saying they need to talk ONLY to him, as his name is on the bill, I usually convince them that I’m the brains of this operation and Paul can’t even turn the TV “on” without my help… etc. etc., they relent and talk to me. So when “Esther” addressed me as “Paul” I just went along with it, lowered my on-line voice so they wouldn’t suspect anything, and pretended I was Paul. To really convince them of this, I typed everything in lower case… like maybe a computer-illiterate guy might do..

Anyway, Esther and I had a nice convo. I was very polite and didn’t try to bite her head off for increasing our bill by more than $10 per month. I just asked if I could get rid of a package (Digital Preferred) as well as one of our “additional outlets” – of which we have 3 and which cost us $3.99 per month per outlet each month!!! She said we’d have to disconnect the said outlet and take it, physically, up to our local Comcast place and show them our paperwork and they would take it off our account.

I tried getting out of that by saying I wasn’t able to get out much – couldn’t they send someone here to pick it up? But she said there would be a fee charged for that, so I said “oh OK… I’ll TRY to get out and up there some time this week.” (Paul has been there before and knows basically where it is.) So I agreed to do it so no fee would be charged.

He’s going to go up there this morning.

It’s the box that is plugged into his TV in the bedroom that we are giving up. We have 3 of these additional outlets, one in the basement where Paul has a 12 inch really old fashioned TV but he works down there and he does watch it during the winter months when he spends his whole day there working on gear. And then we have one in the “eating room” off the kitchen where we watch tv every night while having supper, and there’s the one upstairs in his bedroom which he NEVER watches at all anymore. So that’s the one that is going.

It won’t be a big deduction in our bill but it will cover the $10 they just increased it and also an additional $12 more.

I am still interested in finding an alternative to all this high cost stuff. I am interested in hearing how my sister-in-law and brother make out this week when they speak with a rep from Direct TV who is coming to their house to smooth-talk them into signing their lives away for Direct TV. I’ve warned her about the pitfalls of that after researching it online. After the first year apparently the cost goes WAY up and it’s almost no better than Comcast! So I told her to beware…

Chuck, Sarah, Bex, and Toni at Chuck & Toni's house//

Above: Bex, Toni, Sarah, and Chuck many moons ago!

So that’s the poop on the cable caper.

It’s cold here now. We had about 17 snowflakes fall down from the sky yesterday, right while Paul took the dogs out for a short walk! But that was it. Only 17. They didn’t really amount to anything! No drifts… and certainly no snowmen could be constructed.




I think I could turn and live awhile with the animals…

They are so placid and self-contained,

I stand and look at them sometimes half the day long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,

They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,

They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,

Not one is dissatisfied… not one is demented with the mania of owning things,

Not one kneels to another nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,

Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.

~ [Walt Whitman, from “Leaves of Grass, No. 32”] ~

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9 Responses to Cable Caper Update

  1. Bex says:

    A long week and I’m finally back. New laptop. Lots of tweaking to do. But I’m back!


  2. Sandy says:

    Thanks Topsy!


  3. TopsyTurvy says:

    Bex has posted on Facebook that her laptop has died. Might be a while before she’s able to check back in here on Journalscape.


  4. Eric Mayer says:

    Can’t offer any cable advice since Mary and I haven’t had television, cable or not, for nearly fifteen years. Not saying there’s nothing worthwhile on but there’s plenty of other stuff in the world too and given the reputation of cable tv companies I’m happy not to deal with them.

    We still haven’t had an inch of snow here! We did get down to 3 above two nights ago but it has been a mild winter so far.


  5. Bex says:

    I have no idea about a la carte. I haven’t heard anything except from you and my cousin, saying it may be coming. I wish! I think it means a lot less profit if they do it, so that’s why it may take a while. Paul took the little box back to Comcast today. I’ve lost about 26 channels by canceling that Digital Preferred package. However, 5 of those are duplicates, one is regular and one is the same channel only in HD. So really about 20 channels – some I don’t care about, some I really loved… but I’m dealing.

    Yes you can get broadcast channels with antennas. But I don’t know enough about which ones (just the ones they mentioned in that web site) so I can’t commit to it yet. We may even just TRY it (at $79 it’s not going to break the bank if it doesn’t work out) while we still have Comcast… we now have one tv that is offline now… it’s the one in the basement. Paul said he didn’t care about that one, so if we got the roof antenna and hook it up to just that one tv, we could see how it goes. He could watch that one while the rest would be safe.


  6. TopsyTurvy says:

    Bex, what channels do you have that are still accessible by antenna? I thought the US basically did away with open air channels a year or so ago?

    Doesn’t your cable company have a la carte pricing? The US was supposed to be ahead of us in that, and even Canada is starting to get the a la carte pricing now.


  7. Bex says:

    I found this site with an outside antenna we are looking into.

    Lava HD 8008 OmniPro Multi-Directional TV Antenna

    I would need to know more than we’ve read on their site but it looks like a possibility. It’s on sale, for half price, $79… and there are NO FEES after that! Now that’s a bargain! But what price to pay for less channels, that’s the question.

    You’d think I’d be happy with all my books and DVDs here and the internet, etc… and not want ANY TV, but I do have interests like tennis and golf and baseball and now even football sometimes! I like cooking shows too (and one of the ones I lost was one of those, The Cooking Channel – 😦 as well as some movie channels (not premium movie channels but ones that were in Digital Starter Package (for $69.95/mo plus all the extras fees they charge).


  8. The communication industry nickels and dimes you to distraction! Good for you for trimming the unused extras!

    We gave up television a long time ago, a decade I think, has it been so long! Because I grew up with television, I have a nostalgic attachment to it, but we don’t watch it enough to justify the expense. Now we rely on Netflix, a newly acquired Acorn account, and youtube, for entertainment. We are still trying to create a comfortable entertainment system, and so far haven’t found a way to use our old Sony CRT TV with the services we have through the internet. We do have quite a few VHS movies, which we watch on the the old CRT TV. All these changes in technology!!


  9. TopsyTurvy says:

    Sounds like you’ve got things well in hand, Bex.

    We have 3-4 inches of snow on the ground, which should have turned quite solid with the -20 temps we had last night. But the roads and sidewalks are mostly clear, so not so bad.


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