CenturyLink versus Comcast
There is a reason that cable companies, cell phone companies, and other telecom companies are constantly ranked lowest in customer satisfaction. The entire business model of the industry is to deceive customers while locking them in so that they cannot “vote with their feet” and leave the service easily for a competitor. It wouldn’t matter if there was plenty of competition, but industry lobbyists spend millions of dollars every year to ensure that never happens.
Today, for those of us in Colorado, the choice is between Comcast and CenturyLink, neither of which conjures up images of satisfied customers and exceptional value. It’s no wonder so many people end up just cutting the cord instead.
I know that for many Americans, TV is an important part of their life. I know plenty of people who talk about all manner of TV shows and programs that they watch religiously. I’m just not that guy, and neither is my family.
Currently, I watch The Big Bang Theory, and then either Denver Broncos or Colorado Buffaloes football. Depending upon the week, I might watch one or two other games, college or pro, but that’s really about it.
This isn’t a new thing for me either. I didn’t watch Breaking Bad. I only watched the first season of Walking Dead. I haven’t had HBO in decades. I watch Doctor Who, but don’t really like the new Doctor, and frankly, I’m not much of a fan of Clara either. In other words, I should probably just drop TV altogether.
The only reason I haven’t so far is football games, and the kids. My kids don’t watch much TV either. Honestly, I don’t know where they would find the time. They go to school until 3:30, don’t get home until around 4:00. We eat dinner at 5:00 ish, and they go to bed around 8:00 pm. I mean, we’re lucky to cram in one 30 minute episode of anything. Lately, they like Curious George (PBS) and Paw Patrol (Nickelodeon). We most definitely do not watch TV live almost ever. Our schedule just doesn’t fit around the TV station schedule, so the DVR is a requirement as well.
Which brings me to $165 cable and internet bill. Yikes!
I don’t need a home phone. We have cell phones, and frankly hardly use them. I think my plan still offers just 500 minutes, and I never come close to using them all. I DO need internet. I run a business from home, so Internet is a requirement. But, $165 for internet and a little bit of TV seems like such a waste.
I called to see what I could do for a lower price, and basically, I can save like $15 per month if I sign a two-year contract. No thanks.
I can get internet only for something like $78.
What makes this all so infuriating is the common tactic of offering an actual deal that’s worth having in big print ads I get in the mail or see on TV. But, of course, that’s for new customers only. That’s a shame, because $99 per month seems like something I could live with.
So the only other place I can get high-speed internet is CenturyLink. They are the phone company, so they are dying to sell me a phone line, but like I said, I don’t need one.
So, they have a Double Bundle. DirectTV and 12 Mbps internet for 1 year with a 12 month contract for $54.94. Sold!
Only, CenturyLink is a telecom company and those companies insist that dishonesty is the best policy.
To actually USE my $54.94 bundle, I’ll need literally $34.99 for the modem (can’t use the internet without it) the TV receivers (can’t use the TV signal without it, and 2 room minimum), and then $15 more because the receivers are “advanced.” That last charge is particularly dishonest because there is no way to use “basic” receivers.
In all fairness, this isn’t all on CenturyLink, DirecTV is no more honest than Comcast or a cell phone company, so some of those are their “add-on” charges.
Still, $89 + tax is a less than $150. As an added bonus, after I haven’t been a Comcast customer for a while, I’ll qualify for their new customer deals, which means I might get a decent price out of them again some day.
And so it goes.