I decided to get rid of my cable.
There was a time I lived for my cable/Tivo combo. It was totally worth all the money I was being charged for cable + box rentals+DVR monthly charges… I could watch anything I liked at any time! It had been my childhood fantasy – in the days when VHS machines were the size of a pony and there were only 3 networks and The Wizard of Oz was only available on television once a year.
I have Roku now – I get most of our shows now for free – streaming. Getting rid of cable and DVR will save me over $1300 a year. No brainer, right? Well…. there are a few of my favorites that don’t stream on Roku – like Food Net work shows and Top Chef. I love Top Chef… but I can watch them on my desk top computer. But I can’t watch them in bed, at night (I don’t have a lap top and they don’t stream on mobile devices.)… but is it really worth $1300 to watch Top Chef in bed and not at my desk? Such a dumb problem. It’s not even a problem. Cable has to go.
So, I called Time Warner Cable, while Spenser was watching a show. Peppa Pig, which he watched on Roku.
I got a nice woman and told her I needed to cancel my cable and she said she was sorry to see me go and came back with a discounted price for cable.
I said, “I need to have NO cable – not a discount on cable,” and she said, “Oh I can’t handle that. I only can cancel if you are moving.”
“Please connect me to cancellations.”
She transferred me to someone else. I waited. Peppa Pig was almost over.
I was on hold for ages then I got an automated message. “Press or say the service you need.”
“I’m sorry, I cannot hear you. Press or say the the service you need,” the automated voice said.
I pressed a number.
“I’m sorry, I cannot hear you.” This went on for some time until I realized this was some kind of scheme to keep people from cancelling. It had to be – my phone worked. I hung up. Furious and called back.
Peppa Pig was over and I started a new one. Sorry I’m still on the phone, I mouthed to Spenser. He didn’t really care.
The next guy I got talked to me as though he could help me – “Sure, first I need to ask you some questions.” He asked me all about the kinds of shows I watch and what I do on the computer. After that, he offered me a discounted price!
“No, I said, I need to have NO cable. not reduced price.”
“Let me see if I can get you an even better deal…”
The temptation of watching Top Chef in BED came back to me…. was it worth $900 a year? $600 a year? Remember, I can watch every other show I like in bed and the others on my desk top computer…. this is such a ridiculous problem. Such a dumb, insane thing to be thinking about! I have better things to spend my money on.
I’m getting rid of cable!
“I don’t want a better deal.”
“I can’t do cancellations here,” the man told me. And then knocked $45 off my monthly bill, which infuriated me more! $45 a month I could have had all these years????
So I’ve been wasting even more money, when all I needed to do was threaten to quit and they’d just reduce my bill so easily???
*I implore you all, reading this – call your cable company and tell them you want to cancel and see how much money the shave off of your monthly bill! Do it! Why should the cable company be rich ? And it’s not the employees getting rich… Not the phone operators who are told to make it impossible for people to cancel, not the people at the offices listening to discrepancies and exchanging cable boxes… it’s Mr. Time and Mr. Warner and that’s it! It’s too late for me now… but save yourselves!*
I tried to stay calm. I understood it wasn’t his fault and he was clearly being told what to say and what not to do, but this was infuriating.
“I really understand,” he said, “but I can only try to get you a discount. You cannot disconnect your cable on the phone, you must return your cable boxes.”
“So I have to go in to the store to do it?”
He wouldn’t answer me. It was like he’d revealed a HUGE secret and then regretted it. Was he being recorded for learning purposes?
“I’d like to speak to a supervisor,” I told him.
As I waited, the second Peppa Pig ended. I’d been on the phone with the cable company for an hour. Then there was a click and the line went dead. Cut off. Those F’ers!!!!! Tricks. Illegal tricks! Trying to make it impossible for me to get out?
Fine, then, I’m going to the TWC store.
Every day since then, I’ve planned on unplugging my cable boxes and taking them into the TWC store near me and every night, I lament how my day took me elsewhere.
Those Time Warner fuckers have gotten another week of my money. They’ve won that. But I’m returning those boxes this week. I’m gonna do it…. tomorrow? Or Saturday. I see they are open Saturday. I can’t let them win.
So tonight, I might as well watch Top Chef in bed. One last time.