My cable bill is WAY too expensive - need help. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-26-2011, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey - so me and my roommates are 3 broke college kids. We go through charter for cable/internet.

We get a 12Mb/s connection for $41 a month (we could get cheaper but I can't go back to what I had - 512k.)

We have some basic cable package deal with crap selection, crap on-demand, crap everything for about $60 month.

Anyway - after all of their charges and fees are added in - our bill is anywhere from $120-$150 a month which is f'ing ridiculous. I know we could get cheap and watch everything on-line - but as we don't have internet TV's and don't want to hook a device up to do that + not everything we want to watch is online. I'm just looking for something that is reasonable - like $70-$90/month for internet and cable with a DECENT selection. Because tbh - Charter is garbage and I'm really not satisfied with them.

Really - how can they add all these extra fees? Like we have 2 HD boxes and 1 digital box with they "rent" to us for $5 a month and then the hd upgrade bull***** which is an extra $6 - and then theres the extra $7 and $4 fees which really add up. Not to mention that the other night they just cut out our cable completely for maintenance and didn't even mention it to us. FFS... A bit frustrated right now and I'm not paying my bill until I figure something out.

I called the billing department up today and ranted - they offered me a free premium channel for a year LOL - unbelievable - the cable industry really is a bunch of..... Anyway - should I just keep complaining until they give me a good deal because I KNOW they can afford it?

If not - I need some recommendations on cable providers. I think we have Comcast, DirectTV and Dish in our area.
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-26-2011, 06:33 PM
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I dropped cable because of all those extra charges. I switched to DirecTV and saved about $25-$30 a month. And these days, they're offering free DVRs. Might want to check them out. I don't know what the prices are of their current packages.
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post #3 of 19 Old 10-26-2011, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the response - I will definitely check them out! It's just frustrating to see an advertised price and then get charged almost double what what was advertised - the cable industry is really full of BS.
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-26-2011, 07:16 PM
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Really, guys, you can't get all the HD in the world for free.

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post #5 of 19 Old 10-26-2011, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDonoughDawg View Post

Really, guys, you can't get all the HD in the world for free.

I'm not looking for free - I'm looking for reasonable - $100 a month for a crap selection (about 100 channels) is complete CRAP and a rip-off.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-26-2011, 07:39 PM
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Directv is quite expensive for the full package and a few receivers/dvrs, too. Just cut mine down as the selection just isn't that great even with the full package. It's like cell phones, internet access, etc...once you're hooked the ISP/cable/sat/phone companies all just keep jacking it up...they know you're hooked and they act like drug dealers...poor college kids who can't afford HD...boohoo. We couldn't afford anything but OTA on a crappy hand me down set between four of us.

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post #7 of 19 Old 10-26-2011, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Directv is quite expensive for the full package and a few receivers/dvrs, too. Just cut mine down as the selection just isn't that great even with the full package. It's like cell phones, internet access, etc...once you're hooked the ISP/cable/sat/phone companies all just keep jacking it up...they know you're hooked and they act like drug dealers...poor college kids who can't afford HD...boohoo. We couldn't afford anything but OTA on a crappy hand me down set between four of us.

It's not even about HD - it's about affordability and strait up pricing but ok - your input was.... helpful?
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-26-2011, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakel2 View Post

It's not even about HD - it's about affordability and strait up pricing but ok - your input was.... helpful?

Who cares about the basis of your affordability, though? Lots of people have affordability problems. The student thing...meh. Hope you're not using your loans to afford more than a necessary lifestyle....but thats IMHO in any case (as of course are my comments).

Where are you? Packages vary with location with cable particularly from what I know. Dang for that much I assumed you got HD. Maybe Directv won't be so bad....but I did cut down to a minimal movie channel package from the full thing (about 150 a month with four lease charges (even though two are "owned", they still charge).

I also have reception issues due to the house location, so that's a different perception in my case of Directv value as well. I had Comcast in another place in San Francisco and they were just starting to jack up the package prices several years ago when I moved into a different place about 35 miles south and in a forest of redwoods which help block the signal. The quality of reception, when it's all tuned in, beats hell out of the dropouts I had with cable, though; on the other hand there are a few channels I was paying for and just couldn't get most of the year (there are times some improve).

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post #9 of 19 Old 10-27-2011, 02:43 AM
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I canceled my cable subscription 3 years ago because of the prices and the crap programming is ridiculous. I hooked up an indoor antenna and I get 16 channels (6 in HD) for free OTA. I get the major networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and PBS in HD. I get subchannels that have classic TV stations like MeTV and This TV on them. Go to www.tvfool.com and type in your info to see what channels are in your area.

I pay $20 a month for AT&T's 1.5 Mbps DSL and it streams SD perfectly. If something that you want to see isn't on the broadcast networks or online take the $100 a month that you save from not having pay TV and rent or buy the DVD. That way you don't have to get took to the cleaners by the cable company and you get to keep what you buy. DVDs are my alacarte programming.

I have saved $3,000 in the last 3 years by not having pay TV. That buys a lot of DVDs or pays for some nice vacations.

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post #10 of 19 Old 10-27-2011, 03:08 AM
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Cable, satellite companies lose record number of subscribers

Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett estimates that the subscription-TV industry, including the untallied cable companies, lost 380,000 subscribers in the quarter. That's about one out of every 300 U.S. households, and more than twice the losses in the second quarter of last year. Ian Olgeirson at SNL Kagan puts the number even higher, at 425,000 to 450,000 lost subscribers.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/20...D=qmxz8x5qx89i

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Broadcast TV - a vital national public resource
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post #11 of 19 Old 10-27-2011, 04:04 AM
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Zakel2 -
ok, as college students these days - you probably need internet access.

However, is TV REALLY a necessity ? Or, do you REALLY need more than local broadcast channels ? It certainly wasn't a necessity to have cable channels access when I was going to college several years ago - (more than I want to state here ).

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #12 of 19 Old 10-27-2011, 06:00 AM
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Why not use antenna over the air TV (free) and DSL internet (cheaper than cable internet).

Pay TV is not a necessity.
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post #13 of 19 Old 10-27-2011, 06:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakel2 View Post

If not - I need some recommendations on cable providers. I think we have Comcast, DirectTV and Dish in our area.

If you have Charter you don't most likely don't have access to Comcast. Very few areas have more than one cable company.

Not sure what you are not getting that you want. You're not being very specific. You don't tell where you live. Then at least we can get an idea of your channel line-up. DishNetwork and DirecTv will most likely have more HD channels. You can get special deal for being a new customer on both which will lower your TV bill HOWEVER

A) You'll have to sign a 2 year contract.

B) You'll need to sign-up for auto-billing to get the HD for free otherwise it's $10 a month. Plus you still have to pay for each box.

C) When your deal is over don't expect to pay any less than what Charter charges. Pretty much everyone's non-discounted prices are about the same.

D) You'll still have to go through Charter for internet. Charter used to charge $10 a month extra for internet if you didn't have TV so that needs to be taken into account if they still do that. Also are you renting a modem? Charter charges $7 a month for that. You should buy your modem.

You say you pay between $120-$150 a month for cable and internet. Well which is it? You don't know how much you're bill is? That might be part of the problem. I have Charter and the normal price without discounts for Digital Home Basic, 2 HD boxes 1 SD box and 12 meg internet with taxes and fees is around $135. Try going to the nearest local office and see if they can get you a better deal if you can't get any results from the CS on the phone. We have 18 meg internet, Digital Home Basic, Sports tier, HBO/Cinemax and 2 HD boxes and pay a total of $107 incuding taxes and fees. If we want the digital Plus tier that would be an extra $10 a month. Also try the Charter forum on this site and see if the Charter reps here can help you.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=903396

No offense but even at $150 divided by 4 people is $37.50 each. If that's an issue, maybe you should cut back on expenses.

You're not getting cable AND internet for $75 a month at normal price. As I said you never state what "decent selection" is nor do you list what channels you'd like.
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post #14 of 19 Old 10-27-2011, 06:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

Why not use antenna over the air TV (free) and DSL internet (cheaper than cable internet).

Pay TV is not a necessity.

If what he's getting on digital cable is not "decent" enough he's not going to be satisfied with OTA.
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-29-2011, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MRM4 View Post

I dropped cable because of all those extra charges. I switched to DirecTV and saved about $25-$30 a month. And these days, they're offering free DVRs. Might want to check them out. I don't know what the prices are of their current packages.

These guys are college students. If their credit rating is low and their credit cards are maxed out, can't get on satellite with that.

I switched to direct tv because my cable bill was sky high. I'll save money the first year, but the 2nd year will be the same as cable. The big pro is I have whole home DVR. This gives me two years to decide if I want to drop pay tv and go over the air. In fact, I'm already researching it. I also just switched from DSL $40.00 6mbpss (actual 5mbps) to Uverse 12mbps (actual 11.5 mbps), $29.00 the first year and $45.00 after that. The draw back is that I had to buy the gateway from them. I stream Netflix with my blueray player and with a WII to another tv, which makes premium movie channels not necessary. Right now I'm on three months free HBO, STARZ, and all of that, and I rarely watch anything because, there is not much there that I care to see. That's why I don't pay for premium channels.
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post #16 of 19 Old 10-29-2011, 07:25 AM
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OTA would be a lot cheaper than Cable.
But, some Cable companies actually REQUIRE you to purchase (whether you use it or not) a Basic Cable TV package before you can get internet service from them.

Talk about a rip-off.

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post #17 of 19 Old 10-29-2011, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

OTA would be a lot cheaper than Cable.
But, some Cable companies actually REQUIRE you to purchase (whether you use it or not) a Basic Cable TV package before you can get internet service from them.

Talk about a rip-off.

Yup... When I went OTA I canceled the basic cable (despite still having comcast internet) just to spite them. It cost me $1 more a month to have internet only!!!!! That was an amusing phone call when I had them cut off the basic service. Thankfully my area was a test neighborhood for Verizon FIOS. I was soon able to ditch Comcast and get FIOS only internet. 15Mbs/5Mbs for ~$29, 20Mbs/15Mbs for ~$43 or 35Mbs/35Mbs for $53.

The 35/35 was less than my comcast internet which was often barely 5/5. I have not looked back... OTA plus a Roku on a 35/35 connection gives us more TV and movies then we have time to watch.

For these guys OTA is really the way to go unless they do get the free basic with their internet.
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post #18 of 19 Old 10-29-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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you guys suggesting OTA obviously didn't read the guy's post. He said he was sick of Charter because of "crappy" selection. OTA has LESS selection. That's obvious. So my guess neither he or his buddies would be satisfied with that. Almsot all his OTA station shold also be available with cable. Which he considers "crappy" So it's obvious he's looking for more cable channels which obviously aren't on OTA. Of course until he posts back with WHAT exactly he's missing that he wants we can't be sure.
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post #19 of 19 Old 10-30-2011, 02:07 AM
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OTA has the most watched shows on the big 4 networks. The most DVRed shows are from them. Plus OTA is free and in HD.

I was in Walmart tonight and they had two packs of movies for $5 on DVD. They also had a lot of movies for $5 on DVD. I bought several of them and there will be no commercials or screen clutter in them. Plus I get to add them to my DVD library.

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