Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cutting the Comcast Cable Ties - or at least trying

One of my frustrations during the heady post-World Series victory days of 2004 - well, really my ONLY frustration! - was my lack of access to every bit of information on the Red Sox victory. My local cable only offered ESPN and ESPN 2, so I couldn't watch the post-game interviews, couldn't see the craziness in Boston. The only way I got to see the victory parade was on my sketchy Internet connection at work. So, as the 2005 season began, I knew that I had to have more.

The solution seemed obvious: the MLB Extra Innings package. I knew that I'd have to upgrade to digital cable (meaning a cable box) to get it, but I decided I'd deal with that. So I dragged myself down to Comcast HQ, and got the process started. I literally had the digital box in my hands when I asked - almost as an afterthought - about adding the EI package. The clerk looked dumbfounded and made a call. Let's see. Our cable company offers all the football and NASCAR you would want, but no baseball package. What?? The clerk admitted that, in our area, EI is only offered through DirecTV. I handed the box back to her, cancelled the order, went home and called DirecTV. Within days, I was all set up - NESN, movies, and even local channels. Yeah!

But I kept the cable. So I had DirecTV on my baseball tv (near the computer) and cable on the main tv. And, of course, two bills to pay each month. That's the way it's stayed since. Until earlier this month.

Our lovely little city has many wonderful things to recommend it. Our cable is not one of them. Specifically, the cost. I believe studies have shown that it is the most expensive in the country. Our "full basic" cable is $54.95 per month. Slowly, steadily, they have moved many of the "basic" channels (the History Channel and the Cartoon Network, for ex) over to digital. As a result, our service has been greatly reduced - without a matching reduction in price. Now, they're offering a special deal - you can get digital for the same price as the basic! Oh, well, not really, since you have to pay a monthly leasing fee of $6.99 for each box. And an installation fee...Oh, you want a DVR, too? Ca-ching.

That was the last straw for me. For only $4.99 per month, I could add a second DTV box - with DVR and High Def. Oh, and because I'm such a good customer, the box is free. Oh, and free installation. Where do I sign??

But Comcast gets you any way they can. If I drop the cable totally, my Internet service goes up $15. However, if I keep "limited local" for $10, there's no change in the Internet. Fine. Oh, and don't forget to add $25 as a "change of service" charge. They are unbelievable.

Even as I write, our local Electric Power Board is laying fiber optic cable, and hope to compete soon with Comcast. I can't wait!

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3 Comments:

Blogger ComcastCares1 said...

I understand. I also like saving money and get more for what I am paying for.

I can reach out to my contacts and see if we have a low-rate package that is available for you. Please let me know the phone number on the account if you are interested in my assistance.

Regards,

Mark Casem
Comcast Corp.
National Customer Operations
We_can_help@cable.comcast.com

11:41 PM  
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