Why I turned down Comcast cable, phone AND internet for $50 a month, but how you can get this deal!

We have been subscribers to Comcast for cable since we moved in, internet shortly thereafter.  We added phone service this past year.  At that  time we got what I thought was a great deal – $99 a month for six months.  That was less than I was paying for just cable and internet!  There was much rejoicing!

A few months ago that promotional rate ended, and I was in that icky place where we weren’t eligible for a promotional rate.  I had marked my calendar for the date when we could get a better rate again, and unhappily paid a bill that was $70  more per month.

When we decided to move I hoped we’d be able to move up our eligibility, given it was a new address.  I didn’t  really want to start a new account because our main email address is @Comcast, and it  would be a huge pain to change that.

I was in for a shock when I called Comcast.  They don’t serve the  city we’re moving to – the one about 10 miles west of where we are now.  Our new city is one of only two cities in our county that is not served by Comcast.  So, no new Comcast promo rate, no getting to keep our email addresses, no getting to keep our telephone number…

Ugh.

So it was with some trepidation that I contacted the cable company that serves the two lone wolf cities.  I was happily surprised to find out that we’ll have a few more channels, and we get the same $99 rate we used to have with Comcast.  And, we get that rate indefinitely.  So, I’ll be spending less again, for the foreseeable future.   Yay!!!

But what about that $50 rate in the title of this post?

Well.

I called Comcast the other day to cancel service, and though they attempted to talk me out of it they backed down when I explained that I would no longer be in a Comcast service area.  We scheduled the cancellation, made arrangements for the equipment  to be returned and that was that.  Or so I thought.

Yesterday there was a message on my machine from someone wanting to make me a special offer if I decided to keep Comcast.  Though keeping Comcast wasn’t  a possibility I didn’t ignore the call because I wanted to see what they would offer to entice me.  So I could share it with you.

You smart readers already know what the offer is.  $50 a month for cable, internet AND phone!!  For a year!!  I’m sure you also know how irked I am that I couldn’t get that rate to begin with.

But perhaps you can.  Perhaps you’d like to call and schedule a cancellation a few weeks away.  Perhaps you’ll get a call offering this super-dee-duper-doo-please-don’t-leave-us-or-the-stockholders-will-crap-a-brick rate, too.

Let me know if you get this great deal.  You can e-mail me at one of my all-new web based email addresses (I’m not going through changing main email addresses again.  Egad!).

And I shall save vicariously through you.

How Bad Are Things When the Crisis Hotline Calls You?

There is a crossed wire (or something like that for digital phone) in our phone system somewhere.

Last night Husband and I were watching the Florida State-Miami game and the phone rang. The Caller ID did not display a number, but we’ve been getting lots of political calls lately. I answered the phone and heard, “…press one for emergency response, press 2 for …”. How odd. I hung up the phone.

Twenty minutes later it happened again.

It was happening every 20 minutes or so last night, as if I had called them (which I did not) and clicked over to take another call and they never hung up. Why was the county calling me? What was Husband doing when I wasn’t at home???

So I pressed a number and was connected to the Crisis Hotline. How apropos. “Have I got a crisis for you, ” I deadpanned. I briefly explained the situation, telling the counselor that mine was not the type of crisis they specialized in, but if they’d please hang up on me – something they are trained NOT to do, my own little crisis might just be solved. The woman was slightly confused, but did as I asked. And the problem was solved…

…until 5:45 this morning, when it happened again. I was having a lovely dream involving things I cannot recall when the phone rang. Eyeing the clock as I reached for the phone, my sleep-muddled brain first registered alarm, and a fear that Something Terrible must have happened if I was getting a call so early. I was relieved but irritated to hear, “…press eight for non-emergency response…”

Again I pressed a # and asked them to hang up, and they did.

10 minutes later, another call. This time they said they were not having this problem with anyone else. So I called Comcast, who provides our digital voice service.

“Just let me reset your system, ” said the technician. I know they reset it only because there was no answer when a moment later I said, “Hello? Hello?”  I’d lost service in the middle of the call. Apparently he could not be bothered to say, “In a moment I’m going to reset the system. That will mean we will lose contact. That’s how you’ll know it is reset. This should take care of the problem, but if you have any questions please call back.”

Great! That was an easy fix. I snuggle back into the covers and…

Ten minutes later another call.

By this time some of the shine has rubbed off of my sunny disposition. And Husband? Not pleased. I once again called Comcast and they told me they’d “…open a ticket…”. Someone will contact me in one to two days. Greaaaaaaaaaaat.

We’ve only had one call since. And thank goodness. If they call me tomorrow at 5:45am I might need to call that Crisis Hotline back…

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All I Had to Do Was Ask!

Two months ago I switched my landline phone over to Comcast, where we already had our Internet and cable service. I just can’t let go of my landline, at least not yet. I got a great deal on the phone service ($19.99 a month for the entire year!) and was happy at the time.

Since then I’d seen Comcast ads offering $99 per month for all three services. We’re paying almost $150. Being the inherent procrastinator that I am I kept putting off the call. I’ve just not been in the mood to argue.

Well, today I called. I asked and they reduced the cable portion of my bill from $71 to $39, and added 5 HBO channels, FREE. That promotion is good for seven months, but the rep advised me to call back in 6 months to see what new promotion they’re running and switch it over. She also reduced my Internet charge by about $12 per month for a year.

My cable/internet/phone bill is going from $149 per month to $98 per month, and I all had to do was ask.

Seriously. No arguing. No trying to upsell. No nothing.

Now I’m kicking myself. I should have asked long ago…

Now who am I going to call next?

I Am About to Become a Crackberry!

I took a job, and we all know I don’t wanna.

But tonight I went to get my new Blackberry. A Blackberry Pearl. In a very pretty red.

My new boss paid for it. And to increase my minutes. And for the internet/e-mail service.

So, working won’t suck completely.

Now if only I could figure out how to work the darn thing…

Turning Phone Service Lemons Into Satisfying Lemonade

The other day we started getting this awful buzz on our land line. It makes it difficult to hear the person I’m talking to, and it’s just plain annoying.

I’m sure it’s a problem somewhere in the phone line, and that means it’s an expensive problem. Why?

Several years ago we switched from AT&T to Supratelecom, as their local service package was 2/3 of what we’d been paying with AT&T (though their ads said half – it always irks me that “taxes and fees” add so much to the bill!). We chose not to purchase the Inside Wire Maintenance plan because in my nearly 43 years we’ve never had to call a phone company for a service issue.

Until now.

Things are complicated by the fact that AT&T still maintains the outside lines. Given that we don’t know if it’s an inside issue or an outside issue, this could get veeeeeeeeeeeery expensive.

We considered just canceling the land line altogether, but we’re not ready to do that. Call us old-fashioned, but having the land line is still important to us. Cell phone reception is good, but what if we run out of battery, and the electricity goes out and we can’t recharge?

But the thought of paying all that money… What’s a frugal girl to do?

Go digital, my friends.

We already have Comcast Digital Cable TV and Internet. If we bundle in phone service we’re sure to get a deal, right?

So I went to Comcast’s website, and they had a pretty good offer. Regular price for local and long distance (something we don’t have on our land line now, as we’ve just used our cell phones for long distance), including call waiting, call forwarding, caller ID (and lots of other features we could care less about) is $44.99 per month. Current customers can get it for $39.99, with a six month introductory rate of $29.99 per month. There’s also a $19.95 setup fee. I could sign up right then, right there.

Okay. I’m not thrilled. The introductory rate is a little bit less than I’m paying now, but with taxes and fees I’ll be paying a little more when the introductory period is over. And I don’t like the setup fee. This may not be a great option for us after all. I’ll pay the same, but I don’t want to pay more. There’s no information on the website about how the switch happens (for example, do I have to contact my old provider?), so I decide to call. Maybe I can get them to waive the fee. Maybe we’ll keep it for six months, and if we haven’t moved by then we can always try another service.

So I call. And being the savvy shopper I am, I don’t tell them I’m calling to take advantage of the $29.99 per month introductory rate. I just ask the very nice girl who answered to tell me about the digital phone service. And she does.

She tells me all about the local and long distance and other features. She tells me about the $44.99 regular price. She tells me about the $29.99 rate for those who already have cable or internet, but tells me it’s a 12 month rate, not a six month.

I’m smiling.

Then she tells me that if we have cable and internet, the 12 month introductory rate is $19.99.

Now I’m doing a little happy dance.

Then she tells me there’s no set-up fee.

A big happy dance.

I ask about how the switch works, whether I can keep my number, etc. She explains, then tells me it’s a seventeen day wait because I have a provider other than AT&T and want to keep my number. No problem – my other company is going to charge me for the full month anyway, ending April 15. Comcast will come to set up our new service on April 11th.

I’ll live with the buzzing until then. I’ll just pretend I’m humming a nice ditty about the money I’ll be saving.

And beware web pricing. It’s not always better.

Deal of the Day March 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jenn!

Here’s one for you technophobes.

AT&T is selling refurbished 8GB Apple iPhones for $249. (The 8GB iPhone retails for $399; Apple sells their refurbished version for $299.) While it’s the lowest price I’ve ever seen for the iPhone, this deal requires a 2-year service plan from AT&T. Limit one per customer.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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