My Battle With Cable

My Battle With Cable

Here is my response to a post I found on http://www.cordcutterforum.com/threads/newbie-and-ready-to-cut-the-cord.1321/

Hi Peter…my name is Lloyd. I remember when the cost of cable was only $20. Shoot I remember going to the movies for a dollar and television was free. Someone close to me made me aware of all the money they were spending on pay TV, and I say pay TV because cable is not alone in this arena. There is satellite and subscription internet too. These combined take a nice chunk out your income.

My close friend stated she was paying more on the cost of TV than she was putting away for retirement every month and that got me to thinking. She was right…even I fell into that group. Add the cost of movie going and movie rentals…I was hot! I wanted to rip the cable out the wall, but that was not the answer.

I pulled out my cable bill and studied it for errors and where I could cut some costs. I first was searching for mistakes and overcharges. I found some surprises…did you know not only do you rent each box in your home, but you also pay a monthly fee for it being installed in a separate location in your home? So if you have a TV set up in three rooms of your home and a cable box on each one, you’re paying about $7 per box, $10 per box if you have a DVR box, and then another $1-$2 for each connection.

My first quest was to find out if I could buy my own box and get away from the rental…that failed. Then I called and see where we could cut costs. My cable provider was offering package deals all the time, why not see if I could get one. Fat chance. The sweet “…two year $79 no contract package deals are for the new customers, not our existing customers…” I was told by the cable company rep. I knew she was reading from the script, so I didn’t lay into her. There is a way to win this…I just have to find it.

My brother suggested playing pay TV roulette. That’s where you play one company off the other when your promotion is up. Takes too much dedication and monitoring and every year or so you have to switch out equipment. Some providers won’t use other provider cables and will want to drill new holes…ask me how I know! That idea is off the table.

All the time this is going on, I have joined Netflix and Hulu and purchased an Apple TV box and Roku box (which are a waste of money, but more on that later) and to offset the fact I cut back on cable channels. There are still shows I want to see. I just don’t need the whole channel. So am I really saving money? NO! But I like the flexibility of calling up a TV show or movie when I want and On Demand comes with the channel…I cut from my subscription. So Peter, I know your pain. Oh but it gets better…

Peter, do have a friend who has a friend who knows a guy?  Yep! Me Too! So this friend of a friend who knows a guy tells me, he know a guy who can “hook me up” for a modest onetime fee of $600. He will come to my home and set me up with internet TV, but first I have to buy some supplies…. (I still have the email)! After doing the math, for $600, I could cut my cost to my cable provider to about $50 bucks, because I would still need internet service and save $150 a month. I would break even in 4 months and have spendable cash in five months. Over the next year I would see $1200 put back on the table in my house….Booyah! Let’s do it!

Can you say talk is cheap boys and girls? I purchased the 50′ CAT 7 cable and the digital antenna, only to lose contact with the friend of a friend, oh he’s around….where? Here and there. Anyway, I still have this challenge. While gearing up for the transition, I had called my cable provider and downsized to basic package; it was still costly…Wait a minute I have this digital antenna and the Roku box and the Apple TV box, #$$@# cable! “Get rid of it!” I told the rep. I just want the internet and phone. “We’ll be happy to remove the cable service from your subscription, however your new telephone cost will be $29.99 and the cost of the internet will be $59.99 not including taxes and fees.” he said.  WHAT?!

“You see when you purchase a bundled package, the costs are discounted in the package and if you should terminate any one of the services, the other services reverted back to their original price.” I was kindly informed. I was hot….What a racket! My cable provider has well over a million customers in my county alone…at an average of $150 per month, not to mention the eight neighboring counties and the neighboring state, they are making a killing…Oh what was I thinking, oh yeah, we’re funding the failing sports team they own…I digress.

I was not to be discouraged. I told the cable rep to remove the TV portion of my subscription. I have come this far and I would figure it out along the way. The rep removed the TV portion of the subscription and now we’re regulated to the airways once again, like when TV was free, but it changed. Every channel has a sub channel and the interference, when it comes, is special, but I suffered it while I continued my search for my answer.

My next step was to give the cable company another blow to the pocket, and VOIP device would be it. That stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. It is telephone over the internet. There are many providers, but the most convenient and practical service for me is Magic Jack. I pay $60 for the year and I was able to port my number for a onetime fee of $10 and if I want 911 service that is another $11 for the year. So for $71 a year or $5.92 a month, I save $24.07 a month or about $289 for the year…I was feeling empowered. I was taking it to the big guy and he doesn’t even know it…but I was not done, my choices came with a cost. I still wasn’t able to see all the shows I wanted…I was into Game of Thrones and Suits. They play on networks you can’t pick up on digital TV.

I continued to search online and came across a device on Clickbank that was crap…I remember purchasing it some years earlier when Windows XP and 2003 was the standard for PC OS’s. I was not going down that road again. Then I came across a guy on YouTube that was bashing a company because they were charging a onetime fee of $379.00 for a device that would do everything I wanted and more. He is still on the internet waving the same flag. He said he would do the very same thing for $50. He would show me where to go and walk me through the set up.

This is getting better than I possibly dreamed. So I shoot him an email. We meet online and set an appointment.

As you can see, I know my way around a PC. I know what goes where and why and when I don’t know, I know where to find the answer. Well we met on Skype and his wife walked me through what would have been one of the most grueling two and a half hours if it had not been for her pleasant disposition…I see why he didn’t get online… (He was in the background).

I could now watch TV on my tablet and phone, but in order to do it, I had to buy a casting device, which I did. The problem I ran into was the software was unstable. My screen on my tablet was no longer centered and I had to restart it to reset it. I also had to keep my tablet powered…it has a finite battery life and it doesn’t perform well while charging…I don’t know why that is. I have to give Samsung a call.

Then I got to thinking after my new friend from Florida sent me an update. I like his customer service now, but he is a one man operation and now way could he handle volume of customers.

At 2 hours per customer on the set up side, that’s four customers a day in n eight hour day.

Why is that important? You see what his wife showed me was the answer to every parents prayer. When was the last time you took your kids to the movie? You probably, don’t remember because you just drop them off at the mall and pick them up later…. Why? Because it’s too expensive! What she showed me was entertainment central, every late run movie and TV show, even movies currently in theaters and some yet to be in theaters… Cartoons from way back, all stored in databases and accessible if you know how to find it and I’m thinking I could make a few extra dollars sharing my knowledge…save money and make money.

I value my Florida friend’s time but could not possibly duplicate his effort. It just takes too long to teach someone and I really don’t have the time to spare…but that company he was bashing…what was it? I went back and found it. They had put everything in a neat little box and it works on Wi-Fi so I wouldn’t need that 50’ CAT 7 cable or that casting device I dropped $40 on. Although they are retailing their product for $379, if I decided to become a free distributor, I could purchase the system for $349. I was getting excited. (Save money and make money.)

It got better. After joining the company I picked up a system and in the words of Mike Tyson, I’m ecstatic! The system works great. I get to watch any show I want, when I want. I don’t ever need to see the inside of a movie theater again…I can save that money for plays. I get all the music I want streamed right through my system. I get TV shows from around the planet…not that I can understand the language, but for anyone who wants to view something only shown in their homeland….WOW!

A little side note for you late night viewers, yes, it’s in there.

Now you may say I am partial to this product because I am a distributor and you would be correct, but what you don’t know is if I wasn’t a distributor I would still promote it in my quest against the gouging pay TV companies. And one more thing, I have told you the name of the product, but if you want to learn how you can save some money and make some money click here.

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