I Cut the Cord Today
It was a quick decision and execution driven by an increase in the cable bill.
A few months ago my cable bill increased by $32.83 a month. In talking with Cox Communication, I learned the increase was because 12 months had passed. My services hadn't changed, but the discount “to make it seem cheap at the start” had expired. I wasn't under contract, so I was free to make a change.
I had a bundle package which included TV, Phone, and Internet.
The phone never rang for two reasons. First, we never gave the number to anyone. Second, it wasn’t plugged in. When signing up for cable service in 2016, I tried to get it without phone service, but it was cheaper with it. It always bothered me to see a phone line item on my bill.
We are mostly a streaming service household with the typical exceptions of news, sports, and few network programs. The news is limited to a program, or two, on FoxNews. Sports is limited to 16 regular season and playoff games (which are expected here in New England). I could live without FoxNews for the next year. In fact, that could be a healthy decision. I will attempt to use an HDTV Antenna for the Patriots games and use Hulu and iTunes to cover the rest.
The Final Straw
I had been thinking about cutting the cord for a few years. After reviewing my bill with customer service, it became clear I needed to make a change. During the phone call to understand why my bill increased by $33, I was presented with two options to lower my bill by switching packages. One option would decrease my bill by $5. The other option would decrease it by $10, but I would lose HBO. When the call ended, I grew frustrated. The bill increased by $33, and I was offered a solution that didn’t even get me back to where I started. I made a follow-up phone call to get pricing for Internet only. It would cost $89.99, all in.
My decision was made. I just needed to clear it with "the boss." Erica had one question: "We still get Netflix, right?" Clearly, this was the right decision.
Within 30 minutes of the initial phone call, I canceled Phone and TV service. The conversation went like this:
“Mr. Cross, when would you like to terminate the service?”
“ASAP, please.” That phone call felt good.
Solution - Day 1
I made this decision quickly, and I needed to execute quickly. It’s two days before Thanksgiving, my daughters are coming home from college, and we have 17 people, who are expecting to see a football game or two, coming for dinner. Maybe I should have waited until Friday!
I have three TVs in the house. Only one was connected to the Cable Receiver/DVR. The other two TVs are connected to a Roku and Chrome Cast. I reached out to a few friends regarding HDTV antennas and had some recommendations for replacing the cable box.
I purchased and installed the Mohu Leaf 50 HDTV Antenna. It picks up 16 stations including ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. It took 15 minutes to get the antenna setup and understand how it works. It hangs on the wall behind the TV (a 55 inch on a stand)....super easy. I have the Thanksgiving football games covered. I subscribed to Hulu's limited commercials service.
The only risk I see is the antenna not working well.
Cable Bill with Phone-TV-Internet Bundle - $185.47
Cable Bill Internet Only (150mb service) - $89.99
Hulu - $5.99 per month (1-year promotional price)
Mohu Antenna - $49.99 (plus tax)
Cable Modem - I need to purchase a cable modem within 30 days or rent the one I have for $7/month. Estimate $50.
Monthly savings $89.49
Annual Savings: $1,073.88
One-Time Costs: $100
I expect we will be adding a few subscriptions for TV programs we are missing with Hulu.
Beyond the savings itself, I’m happy not to be paying for services I’m not using. Is that too much to ask for?
Check back for updates!
11/26/17 - Thanksgiving football viewing worked great using the HDTV antenna. I purchased the Netgear CM400 Cable Modem for $39.99 to replace the $7/mo cable modem from Cox. It took 30 mintues on the phone with Cox to get the new modem provisioned. It’s working well.