As I write this, I now have full Digital Cable TV, cable phone service, and our usual Internet connection. I’m also now paying less than I was for just their Internet connection and for VoIP phone service with a different provider. In fact, come to think about it, the price isn’t much higher than what I was paying for Internet service alone!
Where we live, we have one choice for “high speed” Internet services. Time Warner Cable. AT&T will gladly provide me two cans and some string and call it DSL but the cable company is the one company that has wiring to our house that can do this – and we’re in a cell phone dead spot so 4G LTE isn’t an option for us either. As such, because we do so much online streaming and uploading/downloading of files, we opted for their highest speed possible.
A while back, Time Warner Cable decided to introduce modem rental fees. They were quite modest at first – about a couple of dollars. Then they went up. Way up. $5.95 a month for a basic box, and you’d have to pay more if you want one of their WiFi routers which you had to have if you had the highest speed services. We’ve always had a router, and their supplied WiFi router was put into modem mode as soon as we got it to remain compatible with the rest of the home network. So, it was a no-brainer for us to buy our own modem ($80, Wallyworld, Motorola branded) and return the cable company supplied WiFi capable modem. That saved us nearly $6 a month. It’s paid off for itself now. We also got “a deal” on their Ultimate speed package where we were paying $65 a month. That was a one-year deal, and that was okay. After the year, we got renewed at a special price of about $93 a month. OK I took it, and lived with it on the basis that we “need” Internet access. As far as we’re concerned, it is another utility we have-to-have, along with electric and water. Though since we have a well and septic, we’re our own water company. Then I went in to log in and pay the bill. $89.95 a month, equipment included, for digital cable TV, home phone, and Internet service at the tier lower than ours – but we could pay $10/month extra and be on the fastest speed. $99.95/month + taxes. We were paying $93/month plus taxes. I could even pay $2.50 a month and pop in a CableCard and have the digital programming on our newly acquired big screen TV. With VoIP phone service for two numbers coming in at nearly $40 a month, and deciding that we can live without the second fax line number (for now), the savings were obvious and we’d have TV thrown in as part of the deal. Sign me up! So I did.
So, I say this. The cable companies prices don’t make any sense. Neither do the satellite companies either, but they lock you into a wonderful contract if you go with them – which is the nice thing with Time Warner Cable as they generally don’t have any contracts for residential services. Existing customers end up paying through the nose, whereas new customers get the best deals. We got the deal because we were eligible – we only had Internet service, no phone, no TV.
Next year, our services will go back to the “regular” price. Oh, and the cable box we’re leasing from them will then be added to the bill – probably about $9 or more a month. I’ll be having a look in November and see if it is worth keeping what we have now, or whether it is worth punting around again.