How to cut your cable bill in half

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August 5, 2011   Updated February 21, 2012

By Steven Greer, MD

If you are reading this, then you are probably a Downtown New Yorker who has high-speed Internet likely provided by Verizon Fios or Time Warner Cable Road Runner. You probably signed up for a $99 per month TV/Internet package that since ballooned up to $150 or $200 per month with HBO or a pay-per-view added in. Those nice offers on TV for free-for-life DVR don’t apply to you. You are just a lowly trapped customer to be disrespected and taken for granted.

There is a way out of that marriage. If you call your cable company, and wait through the phone tree process, and deal with the morons on the other line, you might be able to get them to “do you a favor” and give you free DVR for a month, maybe, but how can you cut your cable bill in half?

Step 1 is to realize that you must call their bluff and actually cancel your service and have them take out the boxes. This will take a few hours of your time and possibly time off work to wait for the cable guy. Given Verizon’s nonexistent service, they might be a no-show, but do not give up.

Step 2 is to sign up with the competition. Be sure to have Verizon email you the terms in writing, which they can do despite them saying otherwise. If you do not get it in writing, or make sure that they document the terms in their caller log, both Time Warner and Verizon will almost certainly renege on the deal months later and claim ignorance “We see no notes in the call record to that effect…”

If you preferred the fast Verizon Fios (which uploads at 25 megabytes per second, as compared to less than 1 Mb/s with Road Runner), and had to switch to Time Warner in Step 1, then call back Verizon as soon as your service is officially cut off. Verizon will then, finally, give you the new customer $99-TriplePlay-free-DVR deal. For $125, you can get the faster upload and a landline phone.

We tested Time Warner Road Runner with the special “wide band”, but it only offered 5 Mb/s upload speed and costs an extra $100. If you do not need to upload large files, you might be able to live with Road Runner.

If you have trouble reaching properly trained staff, we have access to the special “Bat Phone” lines at Verizon and Time Warner cable. Email us and we can send those to you.

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2 Responses to How to cut your cable bill in half

  1. Gateway Plaza Resident says:

    Or… you can opt not to contract with either Time Warner or Verizon.

    1. Phone service
    Most of us have let go our land lines and use cell phones exclusively, so this third service component cable companies are offering becomes extraneous (except if you want to have a land line in case of major emergency, but you’ll pay extra for that every month).

    2. Internet Connection
    Companies make USB ports that cost $40 +/- for service per month for almost unlimited access to the Internet. You can get one at stores like Best Buy, etc. for a one-time investment of about $100. The average person doesn’t need more than this type of connectivity. (Business owners who work from home and those who load huge files regularly most likely require more.) PLUS, you can take your computer on the road, in airplanes, almost anywhere and be connected to the Internet by simply plugging in something the size of a flash drive.

    3. TV
    Here’s the crux of the issue – are you willing to to forgo TV watching?(You can still watch shows on HULU and stream movies from NetFlix at a minimal monthly charge, so it’s not cold turkey!)

    Media bombards daily life and IT is part of work for so many of us. Maybe you would like to chill when you get home. Reading is a good option, developing a hobby, taking walks, etc.

    Think about it…For less than $60 bucks a month you can have movies and Internet access at home, and still have time to do other things you want to do and figure out new things to get interested in.

  2. admin says:

    Dear Sir,

    Can you please provide the “bat phone” for Verizon & Time Warner Cable as would like to talk to someone competent about their service plans.


    Steve (last name withheld)

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