08:23 – We’ve had only basic cable TV service for the last decade or so. We watch almost nothing on live TV, other than the local weather forecast when storms are threatening, and Barbara sometimes watches golf on the weekend. As of October 27th, TWC discontinued providing analog cable TV service and switched to 100% digital. They’ve been heavily promoting their digital TV adapter boxes, which are free for the next year or so and then start being charged for at several dollars per month.
Barbara walked into my office yesterday and handed me the TWC bill, which covered Internet service and basic cable TV for 11/7 though 12/6. It was for $83.99. She suggested I call TWC and drop basic cable TV service, since we’re not really using it. So I called TWC and got into their automated attendant service. The option that seemed to be closest to what I wanted to do was “moving”, so I picked that one. I told the guy who answered that we wanted to drop basic cable TV and keep Internet. He said that would drop our bill to about $66/month, but that he had a better deal. Rather than paying $66/month for Internet only, we could get that same Internet service plus telephone service for $9 less per month, a total of $57/month. I figured we’d have to sign up for two years or something, but he said that was the month-to-month price and we could drop it any time without penalty. I asked him what the catch was, and he admitted that we’d have to drive to a TWC store, drop off our current cable modem, and pick up a new modem. I told him I wasn’t interested in doing that and asked what I had to do to get the Internet-only service for $66/month.
He said that he actually dealt only with moves, and to get a service dropped I’d have to talk to another department. He warned me that when I talked to that department not to even mention that we were actually moving, because as soon as they heard that they’d stop listening and transfer the call back to him. So he transferred me. I told the woman in the drop department that we wanted to keep Internet service and drop the basic cable TV service. She had a big list of questions she wanted me to answer, all designed to help her keep me from making any change. I didn’t answer any of them. I simply told her each time she asked a question that we wanted to drop cable TV service because we don’t watch TV. Finally, she admitted that we could have Internet-only service for $65.99/month. I told her that was what we wanted and asked what we had to do to get it done. She said that she did have one more option that would cost us less. The Internet-only was $65.99/month, but we could have Internet plus basic cable TV for $5 less per month, or $60.99. I asked her about the details. It was the same Internet service and the same cable TV service we’re getting now. No new modem needed. No service commitment for 12 or 24 months. Just month to month, but for $60.99/month instead of $83.99/month. So I commented that they apparently rewarded their good long-time customers by charging them $23/month more for the same service. She hemmed and hawed and said that her department had some pretty aggressive offers for customer retention. Bastards.
The lesson here is that you should call your service provider at least every few months and bludgeon them into giving you the best price available without any service-length commitment. And I suppose all of us should file complaints with our state authorities about our service providers using discriminatory pricing.
12:47 – I just got email from our real estate broker up in Sparta. Everything is now signed off on. She’s taking the paperwork to the real estate attorney this afternoon, and calling to get inspections set up. It looks like we’re going to get the house. Of course, with winter approaching and all the stuff we need to do here to get this house ready to go on the market, it may be quite a while before we’re actually living up there.