Getting Rid of the Cable Guy?

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl this year. I didn’t even look online for a link to all the Super Bowl ads. I had read that Jim Carrey was going to reprise his role as The Cable Guy for a Verizon ad, and only recently watched it. It wasn’t until a week or so ago that I have been forced into the position of ditching cable. Here’s that story.

If I am being honest with you, there are very few shows that I watch on TV. As a matter of fact, when the TV is on, it is usually playing PBS shows, Nick Jr. or Disney Jr. for Ella. We have a DVR that Sam records Grey’s Anatomy, This is Us, and her shows, but it is mostly filled with Ella’s shows.

For Christmas, my dad got Ella her own tablet. When connected to the internet, she can play Alphabet games, watch PBS shows, and listen to kid songs. Without the net, her choices become limited.

Sam and I connect to the Wi-Fi when we are at home so we don’t use all of our data on our cell plan. We can watch videos, listen to music, make phone or video calls, and search Facebook all while connected.

Recently, we started to notice the internet would go out for a few minutes. Then we started to notice that the DVR would stop midway through a show we were watching saying the internet was out. Our Amazon Alexa started to tell us, “I’m having trouble connecting to the internet. There may be a problem with your router.”

It got to the point where the internet was out more than it was working. I finally gave the cable company a call. I explained what was going on and they ran some diagnostic tests while I was on the phone. “We show you currently have three devices connected to your internet.” I laughed out loud and said, “They may be connected, but the internet isn’t working.” Then, almost on cue, Alexa once again spouted off that she was having trouble connecting to the internet. Thank you, Alexa.

The woman on the phone stated that she could probably get me a new Wi-Fi gateway in about 14 days. I told her that was not acceptable. I finally got her to get one out within 5 days. When it finally arrived, I had to download the app on my phone and log in. Once logged in, it searched for the router after I scanned that little square “Q” code thingy and found it. It then said it would finish the set up, which would take “10 minutes.”

After about 18 minutes, the app flashed a message that said, “We cannot complete your set up at this time. Please try again.” I tried a few more times to no avail. I had to break down and call the cable company again. I spent about 35 minutes on the phone and the set up was eventually complete.

A day after the new equipment arrived, my wife got the monthly bill from the cable company. It had suddenly jumped up about $60! That was all it took. I was furious! There was no indication that there was a charge for the new equipment. Hell, it was their equipment that we were renting. If it broke, they should have sent us a new one at no charge, right?! So why is it all of a sudden that much higher? It’s anybody’s guess.

When we first signed up with the company, all we really wanted was internet. We were talked into getting the “bundle” with a home phone (which we never use), the internet, and cable. In all honesty, all we need is internet. We stream half of the shows we watch anyway.

I have yet to call them to cancel our service because I am hoping that I can nab something through Verizon (where we already have our cell phones). It would be nice to combine internet and cell phones into one bill, which would probably bring the cost down a lot. I’m working on that.

One final funny story involving the cable company. They told me to make sure that I returned the old equipment when the new piece arrived. I could send it back in the box it came in or drop it at a local store. If I did not do this within 7 days, we would be charged for said piece of equipment.

I threw the broken one in the new box and took it back to the store over the weekend. Sam had told me to make sure I got a receipt in case they tried to charge us for it. I walk into the store and a gal barely looks up and me and says I can place the box on the counter next to her. I do and ask her for a receipt. She hands me what I think is a receipt and tells me to stand in line to talk to someone.

URGH! All I wanted to to was drop this thing off and go. Now I am waiting in line to be called over just to get a receipt. When I arrive at the front of the line a big overly smiley guy calls me over. I hand him the paper I was given and he asks what my “business” was with them. I told him I was bring a router back and all I needed was a receipt to prove I brought it back.

Guy Smiley asks a few questions about our address and such and then begins the sales pitch. “How are you fixed for cell service?” “What about your cable package?” “We can put your cell phones, tablets, cable package, home phone, internet, and blah blah blah ….” It takes all I can muster to not tell this guy to stop. “The more stuff you add to the package the less it costs you a month…” Brilliant.

By now he has had my receipt in his hand for who knows how long. I want to just grab it and go! “No, thanks” “No, I’m good.” “No, we don’t need that.” “I’m really not interested in that…” He will not get the hint. I finally tell him that I don’t make any kind of decisions without my wife. With that, he finally gives me the last ditch “I can get you this deal … BUT ONLY UNTIL MONDAY.” Yeah, I’m sure.

He handed me his card. I think he put his cell phone, the store phone, his home phone, and the number to his third cousin once removed on the card so that would be able to reach him. It was only then, that he finally handed me my receipt! I was exhausted by the time I walked out of there.

It will bring me no greater joy that to make the phone call to cancel my cable service.

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