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I saved $3/mth on Comcast internet, but they’re tempting me to spend more!

Right now our internet and phone services look like this:

Cable TV: ~$20/mth – We only have basic cable (network TV, no ESPN, etc.) as well as a digital cable box that gives us hundreds of hours of free On-Demand programming from channels like HGTV, BBC, Discovery, etc.

Cable Internet: ~$33/mth – This service normally costs about $43/mth, but we got a 1 year discount. However, the discount out this month (see below).

Vonage VOIP: ~$24/mth – We’re on their lowest plan (500 minutes/mth), but thanks to new taxes, including a $2 phone tax for Montgomery County, MD as of this month, we’re paying about $5 more per month than just late last year. But our VOIP plan is a topic for a different discussion.

Negotiating a Lower Cable Internet Price

So we got our newest cable bill yesterday, and I received a bit of a shock when I opened it. Rather than our total bill being about $60 for both TV and internet (with taxes/fees), it was just over $80! It was 8:55pm, and customer support closed at 9pm, but I decided to try to call anyway.

Surprisingly, I got through to a very helpful CSR who immediately noticed two things:

1) Our special discount ended this month

2) They incorrectly applied the code for cable internet as if I didn’t have a cable TV package ($60), which is $17 more per month than their regular internet price.

She corrected the code, but I mentioned it’s still about $15 more per month than I could get DSL. She said she would check into what specials she could offer, but noted that you “usually won’t qualify for a special until 3 months after your last discount ended”. However, she came back with the price of $30 per month (rounded off) for internet; $3/mth less than I was already paying. I said “Sure! Sign me up!”.

Please don’t tempt me!

But then she mentioned they have a special just in the month of June where you can get any of their “Triple Play” items (TV, internet, phone) for $29.95/mth for a year, but you don’t need to get all 3 items to qualify. The TV deal is their “Digital Starter Package“, which gives basic cable plus a digital box (which we already have), plus expanded cable (ESPN, Discovery, etc.), all for just $10 more per month than we’re currently paying.

Ooooooh, so tempting. While we get free shows on OnDemand, we have to wait for Comcast to load them up, which appears to be on a spotty schedule. But is this just lifestyle inflation? I know there are other options to watch TV online or by renting DVDs of shows after the season ends, but sometimes I just want to flip through and watch someone eating some weird food, or monkeys doing weird things to each other, or whatever else shows up on cable these days. I don’t want to wait! I want to be a couch potato now!!!

Luckily this is the summer when we have more than enough home projects to keep us busy, as well as our day jobs, side businesses and, of course, my graduate school classes. But it is still very tempting, especially since both our families are coming down next month and some members like their TV (or it’s nice to keep the kids busy while the adults catch up with conversation).

What would you do? Would you pull the trigger and upgrade your package for $10 more a month for a year? Remember, that’s $120, plus taxes.

About the author

Clever Dude

10 Comments

  • What’s up, Dude?

    I’m glad the agent was able to get you something. She was right, in most markets, you have to wait 3 to 6 months after being on a discount to qualify for a new one. If you decide you are interested in the upgrade, email our team at We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com. We’d be happy to get you in touch with the right people.

    Kind Regards,
    Melissa Mendoza
    Comcast Customer Connect
    National Customer Operations
    We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com
    @ComcastMelissa

  • The price of $33 a month for internet seems pretty high. Are you paying for the basic speed or a higher speed? We cut our internet bill in half by downgrading to the lower speed and I can’t tell any difference.

  • It’s time for me to call Time Warner and get a break on internet access.

    I too have basic cable, which costs $13/mth but internet is costing $45/mth.

  • @Melissa, thanks for the info!

    @Andy, are you thinking of DSL (e.g. Verizon)? Their lower speeds are under $20/mth, but since I don’t have home phone service with them, I would pay more and get dry loop DSL (about $30/mth). I don’t know of any cable internet offerings with slower speeds.

  • Well, there are a couple of things to consider. (I know, because we went through something similar a few months ago. Dish lured us in with free month’s sample of G4. As the second or third one, we got hooked. Sigh.)

    1. How much will this keep you from being active? In general, especially in the summer, its’ good to be out and about. With the advent of a DVR it’s less of a big deal, but still something to consider. (Not a consideration for us, because I have chronic fatigue, so it’s not like I was postponing a 10-mile hike to veg out.)

    2. Can you find the money in the budget? This was the compromise I used. I called around on the bills, and deleted enough other funds to compensate for our increased Dish expense. Which was either $12 or $17. I’m betting that $10/month would be easy to find. You could get that (plus some) just from checking auto insurance quotes. Or going down one tier on the cell phone calling plan. Or skipping one lunch out each week. You get the picture.

    I have to say, we LOVE our upgrade! It came not only G4 — Attack of the Show, Ninja Warrior, X-Play, plus coverage of E3 and the Comic Con — but also with Animal Planet, which Tim has long coveted. And some cartoon channels that get some shows he likes. All without actually raising our budget. You feel smug AND entertained. Best combo ever!

  • hey dude, i’m in your boat with Comcast – live north of you in frederick county. Anyway, i had the same setup with Vonage – didn’t like their price increase from the 500 minute plan so I switched to Ooma after 6 years with Vonage. Ooma is great – check it out at Costco.com. It’s like $200 for the unit but never any monthly fees. Works great – no issues for the past 5 months. Was even able to keep my vonage phone number by porting it for $40. check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

  • You’re right. We have DSL rather than cable. We don’t have cable at all. Our DSL is through the city we live in and is independent of the phone company. We could drop our land line and still have our DSL. I haven’t been able to convince my GF to drop the land line yet, though.

  • @Andy, the DSL you’re talking about, whether your city calls it this or not, is “Dry Loop DSL”, which means there’s no phone service attached to it. It’s pricier than if you carried phone service, unless your city negotiated a lower rate to rent the bandwidth for your service. With Verizon, it’s about $10 more per month for Dry Loop, but you’re saving at least $10 or more by not carrying a useless phone line.

  • Thanks for the heads up on the cable deal. I’ve been considering breaking down and getting cable what with the new digital broadcasting and my addiction to CNN.

    I just checked out the website and my options for cable-only were “Digital Starter Package” for $29.95/month or “Digital Starter Package with HBO” for…$29.95/month.

    Basic cable was on offer for $15, and I assume I’d also need a box with that, so it would probably work out to the same $20 that you’re paying.

    $30 bucks for “installation” in an apartment building already wired for cable, so all the guy has to do is make my drop hot and plug in the box.

    Anyway took me all of ten minutes to order online and confirm via Live Chat with one of the overseas call center people.

    So, if other people like me are thinking about caving in on cable about now, it’s a good time, deal-wise.

  • After looking further into what type of internet service we have I don’t think it is DSL at all. It is a private fiber-optic network that the city owns and is separate from the phone line and is for internet only. Time Warner wasn’t too happy about the city doing this and sued to try to keep them from installing the network. We get high-speed internet for $16 a month. This is a good deal if you can get it. This is the only service of this type in the state and there are only a few places in the nation that have a similar service.

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