One of the things I am doing is changing the way that we handle Internet and Television. That system is a ripoff thanks to what they call “bundling.” My last bill was $230 for CATV and Internet. We don’t get any premium channels. I am trying to figure out what I am getting for all of this, but I have seen Greek instruction manuals that are less confusing than our cable bill:
- They charge me $102 for Internet service that is nominally at 800MBps. When I check it, the best I get is around 50-70 MBps. My in-laws live 2 miles away and are getting 250 MBps, according to speedtest. So I decide that I am not paying for speed that I’m not getting and look to see what a lower speed would save me. Lowering my speed to 400 would actually RAISE my bill by $22 a month. Going to 200 would raise my bill by $34 a month. Yeah, I know that they have a disclaimer that says speed can vary, but only getting 10% of what they are advertising seems to be a stretch.
- Now on to television. My wife watches far more of it than I do, but I do occasionally watch. Mostly movies, hockey, and old television shows. My wife loves watching shows like medical dramas. I can’t stand those, but we gotta keep the wife happy. They charge us $91 for 185 channels. Cutting it to the 125 channel option would save us a whopping 94 cents per month. If I go to only 10 channels, it would save me $40, but I can get those same 10 channels with an antenna for free.
They bundle them together, and the bill claims that with discounts, I am being charged $130 a month. Seems reasonable, so how do they arrive at my $230 biil?
- Add-ons. They charge us $30 for three cable boxes, another $10 for DVR service, $6 for the remote controls so we can use their cable boxes, and $38 a month in service, sports, and local channel fees, Then add in the taxes, and the total bill is a quarter grand. $3k a year for cable and Internet. Believe it or not, this is the best of the providers in our area. We tried DSL. That service has even slower Internet. T-mobile has a home Internet that works over 5g cell towers, but there is a 200gb per month data limit. That isn’t going to work if we stream. They are raping us because there are really no other options.
So I called them. We are getting rid of cable TV and cutting the Internet speed to 400mB/s. Why pay for 800 when we never get speeds that high, anyway? If it continues, I may even cut it further. We already have Amazon Prime and Netflix, because they were free with other things that we already have and pay for. So here is the plan:
- Internet: $87
- Netflix: Free
- Amazon Prime: paid for through other means
- Paramount+ $12/mo
- Hulu (with ads): $8/month
- Peacock (with ads): $5/month
So it will cost us $25 for TV and $87 for Internet. Once we see if there will be any hidden charges, especially from the not-so-transparent Internet provider, we can consider upgrading to the “no ads” version of the above services, which will cost us an additional $19 per month. However, we just cut our cable/internet bill from $230 to $112 per month.