That Time I (Almost) Cancelled Cable

Our cable/internet/phone bill shot up to $190 last month. I was baffled, until I realized that our 12-month promo price had expired. Then I was kinda pissed. Nearly $200 for cable and internet (our phone is basically free when you bundle all three)?! That's insane! I told Jacob I was thinking about cancelling cable and he didn't bat an eye. He only watches about four shows. I had to talk myself into it though and convinced myself I'd be ok. We have Netflix and Amazon Prime and I'd get Hulu Plus and be good to go, right? The next morning I called the cable company and decided to remove the phone too because we never use it and because it would cost $25 a month unbundled. Our bill would now be $65 a month for just internet. Awesome! Steph suggested I keep a daily diary about how I survived my first month without cable. So here goes.

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Day 1
Dear Diary, 
I just cancelled cable and I'm kinda freaking out. Hulu Plus is missing about ten of my shows. Alright, no big deal, I'll get Chromecast and watch them through their network websites. But wait, channels like AMC and FX require you to log in to their website WITH your current cable provider, which I don't have anymore. How am I going to watch Mad Men?! I can buy a season pass to some of my favorite shows, but then I'll be paying about $20 per season for ten shows. That's ridiculous. And now I'm thinking about the Olympics. I watched tons of live events during the London and Sochi games by logging in with my cable provider. I know that the summer games are still 820 days away, but I am very concerned about this. 

I'm also worried about watching shows late on Hulu. I don't watch a whole lot of live TV, but there are definitely some shows that I make an exception for, like Scandal. I have a hard enough time with east coasters watching before I do. I don't like expiration dates either. I like to save up a month's worth of episodes and have mini-marathons. I don't want to have to keep track of when they are going to disappear!

Kid shows are extremely limited on all platforms, unless you're into Sponge Bob. Blah! Wild Kratts and Team Umizoomi are my kids' favorites and they are really loving new shows like Peg + Cat, Wallykazam, and Paw Patrol, none of which are available anywhere. Five more season passes? This is getting ridiculous.

A friend on Facebook commented about the lack of a land line in case of emergencies. Though it's getting better, it's not guaranteed that 911 operators can pinpoint your location when you call on a cell. My kids know how to use our house phone and have practiced calling 911. I don't think I feel comfortable without a house phone. So I just called the cable company back and added a cheap phone option. We can accept incoming calls, but outgoing calls will cost five cents a minute. That's fine, we rarely use the phone. We only had thirteen outgoing calls on our last bill. That makes our new bill $80 a month, which is still not bad at all. I was satisfied with the price, Diary, but still so concerned with my shows.

I've heard tons of people talk about the success of an antenna. We could do that! I posted a question on my neighborhood's Facebook page, asking if anyone uses an antenna and how well it works since we all live in the woods. One neighbor told me she has a cheap antenna and only gets four channels, which constantly cut in and out of service. Another neighbor said he made the switch, but watching everything online spiked his data usage and he had to spring for the most expensive internet option, which was the same price as just adding cable back. Three neighbors told me they got about 20 channels, but only upstairs and in south facing rooms. That won't work, I watch TV downstairs, on the north side. Boo.

I called Jacob at work and he told me to do whatever I wanted to. Helpful. I called the cable company back, explaining that I want to keep all my services, but asked if there was a to bring the price down. After a few keystrokes on her computer, she said she could upgrade my internet speed, leave my phone and cable the way we've always had it, and apply a $40 rebate (just because?) which brought my monthly total to $147. We were paying $143 before. I can live with that.

It's been a hectic day. Thanks for listening, Diary.

Day 2
Dear Diary,
Last night I watched Mad Men on time with the rest of the world. I can't stand Megan. Joan and Peggy were so rude to Don. Betty is such a disaster, but I still love her. Don better be nice to Dawn, she's not going to take his crap! Oh! The cable/internet guy is here to install the new modem for our faster internet service! I'm so glad I didn't quit cable. Peace out, Diary.

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So yeah, I didn't actually didn't cancel it. I know it's a ridiculous cost for an unnecessary product, but the hassle of trying to watch my shows did not appeal to me at all. I don't want to put in that kind of work. I have a house to clean and more TV to watch! I applaud all of you who have cancelled it and still keep up with your shows. When I initially posted on Facebook that I was thinking about cutting cable, I got a lot of likes. I think people were confusing it with being done with TV period. Like I was becoming someone who just didn't watch TV at all. Pssh...yeah right!

Also, holy #firstworldproblems. I'm such an asshole.
Regardless, stay tuned next week for my coverage of the Upfronts!


Johannah said...

I *almost* did the same thing too! We were paying $180 just for cable and internet. And then in November I had a baby. I couldn't justify spending that much money a month on cable and internet. So I called our cable company to cancel. After about 30 mins on the phone with them, and them not wanting to lose a customer (Me!), I now have cable, internet and a home phone for $130 a month =) I don't think I could possibly live without cable tv. Especially when the Olympics are on and special news broadcasts!!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

This is HILARIOUS and so so so me. I was right there with you on convincing myself that I could and then doing the research, asking about antennas, who streams what where, checking out which shows I'd be able to watch. All of that led to a big HELL NO but I still daydream about being able to do it.

I am furious with Peggy, I snarked on her on my blog today. I hate Megan and hope she goes away, SOON.

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

Yay! I love your Upfronts posts.

We cancelled cable for like 4 months. And I totally survived!!

Lauren said...

I need DVR and my internet service is selective. Plus my husband loves football s we will be DirecTV customers for life. Jerks! But your account of it all was so good!

Micah said...

I don't have cable (just the basic local channels), and sometimes I miss it (mostly HGTV, TLC, and a few others). For the most part though, I can get by with just the basics and Hulu.

Karen M. Peterson said...

I don't think I could do it either. I love my shows and having to go and find them on other platforms just seems like too much work.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Now that I have pay tv I can't imagine not having it I love it, it was a long time coming to Australia

Mrs. Jones said...

I can't imagine being without my tv/cable. Sad but true, so I applaud you for doing what you want and keeping it! :-)