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There comes a time in a man’s (or woman’s) life when you realize something just isn’t working. It’s hard to pinpoint the root cause, but you can just feel it in your gut. You’ve got a great job, great friends and family, and heck, your hair never looked so good….but you still get that sinking feeling every time you pay your cable bill, like some faceless corporation is completely ripping you off, charging you for channels you don’t need, hiking up the rate on your modem rental and throttling your internet speeds to make you rip your hair out while your youtube video buffers….
I experienced this once.
Exactly once, actually.
So sit back, gram a graham cracker, and lend an ear (eye?) while I tell you the story of how Jake got cable (and promptly cancelled everything directly after).
How I Got Cable
If you’ve read any of the classics, such as It’s Time To Cut The Cable and Home Phone, you probably are looking at me a little bit sideways right now (you know, through your computer screen). You know that I hate cable almost as much as I hate NEW CARS! You’re like “Hey Jake, what gives? The crap you doin’ telling me to cancel my cable, and then you turn around and sign up for it, you cotton-headed ninny-muggins!”
Yeah, I did it. Sorry. BUT I HAVE AN EXCUSE.
So, it all started when I did a video interview for the Huffington Post a while back. I got all set up, put on my nerdy headset, and then…well, the call failed mid-interview. Did I mention this interview was LIVE ONLINE?! Yeah, so that sucked. I realized I needed more upload speeds, and promptly upgraded our internet service 2 years later.
I got on the phone with Comcast (evil Corp.) and told them I wanted MOAR INTERNETS! They said, sure, just send over your first-born and any limb of your choosing. I wasn’t going to fall for their usual pitch, so I told them I wanted the best deal they had on internets, and I wanted at least 10MB upload speeds. The kind lady proceeded to tell me I could have 10MB upload and 50MB download for only $55 per month! I asked if that’s the best they could do, and she then said “well, I could throw in cable and give you a free year of Showtime and HBO?”
“Uh, ok, I guess, but I really just want cheap, fast internet.”
She gave me the song and dance about how just internet at that speed without a “bundle” would cost $65 per month, so it was really a great deal. No contracts or anything.
So I got cable.
Cable Sucks And Nobody Should Have It
I got my new “self-install” kit shortly thereafter, and and I installed my modem and cable box. To my delight, the cable box was not only from the early 1900’s, it was also analog only, giving me SUPER LOW RESOLUTION goodness to watch cable with.
Our internet seemed fine, though the speed tests consistently showed we weren’t getting our promised speeds, but it was close enough. So I figured I’d play around with the fossil … er … cable box and get it set up. Quickly, I realized it was futile.
We didn’t have HGTV (the only channel that matters), and we also didn’t really have anything besides local channels. We did have an HBO channel, which seemed to only show crappy old movies and other junk we didn’t care about. But I was really only excited to watch House of Lies on Showtime. So I flipped over to Showtime (took about 45 minutes to get to channel 3529843 to watch Showtime), and it said “you do not have a subscription for this channel”
So I logged into my account online. Surely I can at least STREAM the show I wanted to watch.
Yeah, that was fun. Instead of calling Comcast to let them know about the mixup, I shut it down for the night. I didn’t really get to mess with it much after that, but was kinda bummed, because I was told one thing, and got another.
A few weeks later, I got my new “bill” for the updated services. They wanted like $83 after taxes and other weird fees, and I was FREAKING DONE! I just wanted to pay another few dollars a month for improved speeds, and I not only got sold some junk I don’t need, I was then charged excess of what they promised, and I DIDN’T EVEN GET TO WATCH MY SHOW!
I Cancelled Cable Without Ever Watching A Show
So, as I usually do when I called Comcast, I prepared myself for a ridiculously long wait time and pushy sales people who won’t cancel my service unless I answer 10 questions in succession without a life line! To my surprise, I actually was able to cancel pretty quickly. They were “sad to see me go”, but I was OVER THE MOON!
I had already lined up for another company to install service the following weekend! They not only offered 30MB download AND upload speeds, but the price was FANTASTIC ($45 per month). BOOM BABY! And they didn’t have extra fees for modem rentals and the like. It’s like they ACTUALLY WANT TO KEEP THEIR CUSTOMERS.
So ends my woeful tale of cable, and not only did I cancel it, I didn’t even watch one show when I did have it.
The Moral Of The Story
Kids, the moral of this story is that I was right all along. Cable is worthless, and so are most of the Multi-national corporations that provide cable.
We’ve had the local company for a few weeks, and the speed is fantastic. Not only that, I realized they had quoted me the wrong price, and I was able to get them to knock my bill down to $39.99 per month, FOR LIFE! So I’m actually saving $6 per month vs. my SUPER SLOW cable internet I used to have, and have 30x the speed.
So, the real question is….have YOU cancelled your cable yet?