View Full Version : Cable or Not to Cable

1-24-11, 1:44pm
I have basic cable from Charter for watching TV. There have been strong workplace rumors of cut backs, RIF, etc.... I received a flyer from Charter for cable, phone and internet access, a bundle for $80 per month. Frankly, that's a lot of money for me.

However, I feel I need to start job hunting and the most convenient is a home based access. The library has limited access, does not allow the use of flash drives and the free wifi is intermittently avaialble.

I can cancel at any time without penalty. I rarely have time for internet at home. I am considering canceling the installation planned for Saturday afternoon.

What to do?

1-24-11, 2:08pm
not sure what the $80 buys you? If you just want internet access is there a cheaper way to go? Is it tv etc. that you get too. We don't have tv cable. We have internet hookup for $40 and that is it. I would go cheaper if I could, but that is the bottom line on cable here.

1-24-11, 2:46pm
I can't get cable, or satellite, here. I have an OK-ish and somewhat expensive Internet connection, which I use for Netflix streaming, music streaming, cell phone service, and voice-over-IP telephone calls, so it is serving multiple purposes for the price.

1-24-11, 2:54pm
I was not clear in my message. The $80 includes Basic cable with an on-demand device, phone service and internet. I currently use a Tracfone. A very no frills pay as you go mobile costing about $25 every 3 months. To be honest, I am not satisfied with the mobile. This may be a generational response, but I miss my old land line. My current bill for basic cable only is $22 per month. I routinely watch PBS and local news. The $80 is a heap of dough every month. I would prefer to put it into my oil fund. But, the threat of employment is creating the need for being proactive. I see this as a proactive step. Modern times and modern tools.

1-24-11, 3:05pm
can you cancel the cable tv and just get internet?

Anne Lee
1-24-11, 3:23pm
Without knowing what percentage $80 is of your household budget, how much you have in an emergency fund or what kinds of expenses you have (i.e. how fast you expect to draw down your emergency fund) it's hard to say.

1-24-11, 3:29pm
I've seen netbooks (mini laptops) on sale for really cheap - less than $400. You could always buy one of those and go somewhere besides the library for the WiFi if that's your main need. That's equivalent to the cost for 3-4 months of cable, internet, phone.

I still have a landline - like you, I just LIKE it better - but I'm incresingly finding it hard to justify not because of the monthly cost, but because of the crazy taxes that come with it - charge after charge. I don't have a bill handy, but it feels like about 25% higher than the "phone" price because of the add-on charges, and I have the cheapest plan available.

1-24-11, 8:24pm
just a warning about Charter on these packages. You are tied down to a 2 year contract, just like a cell phone. If you drop or try to downgrade, they will hit you with a service charge. The only thing you are allowed to do is upgrade and then the two years start over again. They call it a price guarantee, I won't say what we call it..........

1-25-11, 11:14am
We have never had cable in our married life - and we seem like fairly adjusted normal people! >8) When Comcast sends us promotional flyers it has been tempting over the years. Then I look at the 1/2 page of fine print - I mean FINE print. I can't read it and frankly I am too lazy to go get a magnifying glass to read it. So I chuck the flyer.

Every once in a while I will see something advertised that is on cable and think that would be fun to watch...but I rarely have time to do the important things of the day...so more TV just isn't an option for me at this time.

1-25-11, 2:13pm
Thanks for the feedback. I thought it over and called Charter back for a change to services. I cancelled the phone as I heard twice that the tax on phone is high and my tracfone is efficient handling all calls. The Charter phone was only good for instate calls. So that's out. I asked for basic internet, just quality speed not the best and fastest, just quality connection. This dramatically altered my monthly rate to $40 in total. This includes basic tv with on-demand and basic internet. I am satisfied with this price. As said, the fine print may be finer than realized. Unless you specifically ask prepared questions, the rep will not help. Unless you specifically ask for the details, they won't be relayed. It's unfair to expect the consumer to understand the cable business and know what to ask in advance. The agreement is month to month with no penalty to cancel. The technology is advancing to the day when internet and tv merge and cable will start to fade out. I do enjoy PBS programming. On demand gives me the expanded PBS programming with lots of cooking shows and ability to watch any show at any time.

1-29-11, 3:28pm
The cable guy came out today to install the internet service and something called on-demand. Basically, on-demand is a box and remote through which you can watch a wide assortment of free-previously recorded programming. The guy gave about 2 minutes to explaining how to use this remote. After he left, I experimented and have no idea how this thing operates. There wasn't a booklet or even a viewer guide to how to incorporate this with your TV. I called customer service, reconnected to the cable guy who stated he would return and show me how to use this device. He never came back. I really do not care to fumble around and figure it out, I simply have nothing to work with or from. Needless to say, I will call the main office on Monday and figure out what to do next.

I have a 30 day window that if not satisfied, a full refund is available. Well, after 1 hour I am not satisfied. I do not think it is all me. A strange new remote and device. What a pill.

1-30-11, 10:12am
on our Charter system, channel 1 has the "on-demand" programs.

2-2-11, 6:49pm
I would not fold yet. Sure, the guy took the remote, punched buttons and said words, then left without checking if you really understood. And you should complain about that. But since you have internet, go to google.com or bing.com and type in something like "charter cable remote instructions" or "charter cable remote control guide" -- or go to http://www.charter.com/ and poke around there. It looks like if you put your cursor on TV in the upper left, you will get a menu that includes HD on Demand, How it works, etc. Expect to find a lot you already know and take your time.

I hope this will help because really, that is what those installation contractors do: they point the remote, hit some buttons, can't wait to be GONE!

Good luck!