Author Topic: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan  (Read 7013 times)

The Dutchman

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Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« on: May 17, 2013, 12:17:00 PM »
I have lived in Ohio and had Time Warner I have also lived in MI and had Comcast.  Both providers are HORRIBLE.  Just google "Comcast is the worst" it is amazing how bad they actually are. 

Does anyone have any alternatives to Comcast for internet ONLY? 

Connected:
2 computers
2 smart phones

Usage:
Hulu
Netflix
Pandora
Grooveshark

I live in the Metro Detroit area (Westland)...
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 12:23:12 PM by The Dutchman »
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Sri C.

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 01:58:13 PM »
Unfortunately I am in the same boat as you and in Irvine,CA Cox is the only provider with ATT. Cox came out cheaper so I will update you with the info.

Perhaps the best bet would be wireless/cellular internet but I consume ~1G/mo at the minimum so it could be very expensive for me.

Daley

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2013, 03:38:23 PM »
Dutchman, this post in the superguide should be right up your alley.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2013, 03:52:44 PM »
Dutchman, this post in the superguide should be right up your alley.

I would love to see the OP be on something better than Cox/TWC but the guide you linked to is not up to date anymore (as I noted here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-isps-voip-cell/msg79894/#msg79894)

The DSL services look good but once you dig deeper and see how you have to ALSO pay ATT for providing the copper line and so on, Cox/TWC comes out ahead both in speed and cost.

The only way to work around this seems to be to get a reliable cable connection through Cox/TWC without paying more than $50/mo just for internet/data.

Daley

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2013, 04:30:59 PM »
Dutchman, this post in the superguide should be right up your alley.

I would love to see the OP be on something better than Cox/TWC but the guide you linked to is not up to date anymore (as I noted here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-isps-voip-cell/msg79894/#msg79894)

The DSL services look good but once you dig deeper and see how you have to ALSO pay ATT for providing the copper line and so on, Cox/TWC comes out ahead both in speed and cost.

The only way to work around this seems to be to get a reliable cable connection through Cox/TWC without paying more than $50/mo just for internet/data.

Excuse me, but one tiny detail about a new equipment fee added and clearly marked in the past year for a regional DSL provider in California and your inability to grasp that California telecom tax rates and AT&T offerings literally vary from exchange to exchange somehow makes the entire guide and the post linked dated and irrelevant? I didn't update it because there was nothing worth updating.

As for your claims that I never mentioned that AT&T doesn't allow third-party dryloop?
Pothole #3 - service bundling. Some ISPs like to force you into bundling services together. Comcast is a great example of this as they hate giving people only internet access and actually had a history of charging more per month to internet only users than internet users who also ordered the basic channel TV package. Others like AT&T refuse to give third party DSL providers access to dry-loop installations forcing you to have a local only land line phone turned on with them for $20+ a month before you can subscribe to DSLExtreme where you can save $15 a month on their DSL service over AT&T's for the same price, making AT&T's dry-loop DSL the only and cheapest DSL option for your area at $40+taxes and regulatory fees. Be aware of what sort of price and service restrictions you're getting into with your ISP.

Sri, you might want to re-read that entire post and my posted reply to your comment left.

Earthlink is a viable "alternative" (insomuch as it's another ISP providing service over Comcast lines), and the guide lists out other options depending on who provides his copper phone lines. This is literally not new or dated information.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 04:33:13 PM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

Sri C.

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2013, 04:49:06 PM »
I.P. Daley, I'm not trying to step on your (or anyone) toes and I have much to learn from you and the rest of the forum members so I don't want anyone to ignore me or be biased against me; yet I had to spend considerable amount of time trying to find out what it would cost me in the end for internet connection.

This could have been captured in a WIKI. (Since the info changes so quickly and from time to time, a WIKI is more appropriate)

The Sonic's $6.5 fee might be insignificant to many, but to me, it was a dealbreaker as the total price of DSL through Sonic.net would now be atleast $15 more expensive per month versus the basic Cox cable (I managed to snag a deal of $30/3 months for 3Mbps that should be sufficient although they are going to charge me "self installation fee" that I'm going to dispute.)

My thought was that we are trying to get the "best deal for the price" and it's the tiny details that add up.

A cable connection is going to be nasty and unreliable if the CMTS in the area is oversubscribed: this can be diagnosed using the "proper" modem and on sharing the details with Cox I am sure we can arrive at an amicable solution? Who knows, we will see, but in my area, NONE of the said options worked for me and my two days worth of effort (calling, chatting) was at a waste except these forum posts.

This is not saying the information is not useful to everyone else; it's just that it worked out very badly for me and had this been a WIKI, I could have updated it and people in SoCAL would have been more careful in investing their time elsewhere.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 04:53:54 PM by Sri C. »

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2013, 05:27:50 PM »
This is not saying the information is not useful to everyone else; it's just that it worked out very badly for me and had this been a WIKI, I could have updated it and people in SoCAL would have been more careful in investing their time elsewhere.

That sounds like someone volunteering. I've been trying to Wiki-ize the guide for a while now, but I've been light on time and patience to dedicate towards it specifically.

As for your observations, I still stand by my claim that the core of the Superguide (posts one through seven) is still up to date, relevant, and not contradictory to what you said as my referencing Bakari's information was as a more general approach that might work in the right exchange and with the right DSL provider, and my mention of Sonic.net is mostly contained to their Fusion service, which even with the additional $6.50 a month equipment fee for what is provided with telephone and internet is still an excellent deal overall. Your comment and picked bone was with feedback from Bakari posted a year ago, not with what filtered into the core seven posts - content, I might add, that I do update and modify through feedback in the rest of that thread and elsewhere in these forums.

By the way, sorry for being a little gruff again lately... it's been a long week, and I don't handle stress as well as I used to. Nothing personal, folks.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

Sri C.

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2013, 05:36:41 PM »
That sounds like someone volunteering. I've been trying to Wiki-ize the guide for a while now, but I've been light on time and patience to dedicate towards it specifically.

Sure.

As for your observations, I still stand by my claim that the core of the Superguide (posts one through seven) is still up to date, relevant, and not contradictory to what you said as my referencing Bakari's information was as a more general approach that might work in the right exchange and with the right DSL provider, and my mention of Sonic.net is mostly contained to their Fusion service, which even with the additional $6.50 a month equipment fee for what is provided with telephone and internet is still an excellent deal overall. Your comment and picked bone was with feedback from Bakari posted a year ago, not with what filtered into the core seven posts - content, I might add, that I do update and modify through feedback in the rest of that thread and elsewhere in these forums.

The Fusion service is a GREAT deal for people who have it. SoCAL unfortunately is not on the list and Google Fiber might hit SoCAL earlier than Fusion ;-)

By the way, sorry for being a little gruff again lately... it's been a long week, and I don't handle stress as well as I used to. Nothing personal, folks.

Enjoy the weekend! I appreciate the tremendous effort you have put into that mega thread and the others too. Everyone has an off day (or ten ;-))

Daley

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2013, 05:54:23 PM »
That sounds like someone volunteering. I've been trying to Wiki-ize the guide for a while now, but I've been light on time and patience to dedicate towards it specifically.

Sure.

PM me with an email address. We'll talk more in private after tomorrow.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

The Dutchman

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 07:04:07 AM »
Some good banter above. 

As far as the super guide goes... Wow.  That is some good stuff.  It took me a while to digest it all as there is a lot of information there. 

In my area (48186)
WOW = 50 $/m
AT&T = 30 $/m
Earthlink (Comcast) = Last Resort 30 $/m

I didn't find any viable local ISP options.  So it looks like it is a race between the worst of the worst (ATT vs Comcast).  I will probably call them both up and see what the best is that they can offer.  The whole time I will be picturing two midgets gabbing on about who is the tallest. 
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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 08:19:16 AM »
I didn't find any viable local ISP options.  So it looks like it is a race between the worst of the worst (ATT vs Comcast).  I will probably call them both up and see what the best is that they can offer.  The whole time I will be picturing two midgets gabbing on about who is the tallest.

Well, the good news is, if you went Earthlink? You'd be dealing with Earthlink's support monkeys instead of Comcast's. Not a great improvement, but still an improvement.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

The Dutchman

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2013, 08:24:19 AM »
You'd be dealing with Earthlink's support monkeys instead of Comcast's. Not a great improvement, but still an improvement.

Yeah, I know some of that money is going to Comcast though and I hate that.  If anyone has ANY other options let me know.  I will be pulling the trigger in a week or two. 
-The Dutchman

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2013, 08:31:08 AM »
I might add you should read the Earthlink fine print. The first three months are only $30, it's $46/month after that point for 6Mbps only.

I sympathize with the choosing between two evils issue. I won't do AT&T anymore even if it meant choosing them or doing without. I'd rather do without. I'm almost there with Comcast, too, but not yet.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

The Dutchman

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2013, 08:38:06 AM »
I might add you should read the Earthlink fine print. The first three months are only $30, it's $46/month after that point for 6Mbps only.

Understood.  I called; they have a deal that gets me 6mbps for 30 $/m locked in for a year "introductory".  One thing most people don't realize is that you can negotiate (and I love doing it).  I called up Time Warner, last time i had them, and said "look you are raising my rates in a month; I realize these are introductory; however, I wanted to see if you could keep them the same for me because I don't want to switch providers."  It took about five minutes and I had signed up for another 12 month "introductory" rate by the time it was all said and done.  I did this 2 times in a row (service with Time Warner for 3 years).  It worked great. 

Introductory rates are the actual cost of providing the service.  They only structure it this way because most people don't have the balls to negotiate and so they make bank on those people. 
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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2013, 08:51:58 AM »
You've been lucky, honestly. Negotiation hasn't worked as well on my end the past few years. There's been a change in a lot of providers customer care approach in most monopoly and duopoly regions that I've noticed... they know they have you over the barrel, and they just don't care about using lube anymore. This doesn't hold true with these same companies business services as they'll still negotiate like champs, but on the consumer end, most outfits just don't care anymore. "You'll be back."

Personally, I've given up negotiating. It's just not worth my time anymore. When my entire communications budget is under $65 a month anyway, shaving off another $10 for a few months at a time and having to song and dance on the off-chance they might throw me another bone again if they're feeling generous just doesn't seem like it's worth it. Glad you negotiated a better deal with Earthlink, though!
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

Sri C.

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2013, 12:17:42 PM »
One of my friends calls it the "cox monkey dance" where Cox (Comcast) makes you, their pet monkey, dance and chatter and might give a $10 discount for 3 months ($30 for three hours of your time) for doing it once one of the sadistic CS reps are satisfied enough.

I am a more practical person and think it's a very badly distorted version of customer retention where, if you, after being on hold for an hour, still manage to be on their line for another hour more, they give you the discount just to get you off the line so that they can rope in the next sucker.

The "cox monkey dance" does not work well if:

1. You are in a place where there is only Cox cable (like I am in) and they have you by the unmentionables
2. You actually value your time more than $10/hour

My friend usually schedules this call late at night after he has had some drinks and is feeling like Iron Man, but my plan is to seriously research cellular internet (CLEAR) or ATT DSL (which is fortunately not hard to get at Irvine since the Irvine HOAs don't allow ATT to setup the huge UVerse terminal boxes) once Cox provides me with internet connectivity.

Unfortunately, from my limited research, ATT DSL comes with a host of:

1. obsolete taxes ("federally mandated") and
2. surcharges, that subsidize voice calls for people who watch TV all day and have been feeding off welfare since the day they were born

Once you get the final ATT DSL bill, it might very well be that the $20/mo DSL connection you signed up for becomes a $30/mo bill at which point Cox looks like a better option

I am considering moving to North CA just to enjoy Fusion (No, just kidding)

The Dutchman

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2013, 02:07:16 PM »
I am a more practical person and think it's a very badly distorted version of customer retention where, if you, after being on hold for an hour, still manage to be on their line for another hour more, they give you the discount just to get you off the line so that they can rope in the next sucker.
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My friend usually schedules this call late at night after he has had some drinks and is feeling like Iron Man....

I agree 100% it is the worst business model ever; however, if it is all you need to choose from then you make the game work for you. 

The only time I will call the cable company is when I am driving or doing something which I can switch off quickly for when I am not on hold.  Typically it is an hour total to get your "introductory" rates and you can lock them in for 6 months min.  So for me 6m x 10 $/m (savings) = about 60 post tax $/hr. 
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Sri C.

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2013, 02:19:58 PM »
I am a more practical person and think it's a very badly distorted version of customer retention where, if you, after being on hold for an hour, still manage to be on their line for another hour more, they give you the discount just to get you off the line so that they can rope in the next sucker.
---
My friend usually schedules this call late at night after he has had some drinks and is feeling like Iron Man....

I agree 100% it is the worst business model ever; however, if it is all you need to choose from then you make the game work for you. 

The only time I will call the cable company is when I am driving or doing something which I can switch off quickly for when I am not on hold.  Typically it is an hour total to get your "introductory" rates and you can lock them in for 6 months min.  So for me 6m x 10 $/m (savings) = about 60 post tax $/hr.

Good suggestions on setting the "lockin period".

Let us know what you decided on finally and how it's going

The Dutchman

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2013, 11:12:52 AM »
Alright I finally got this one sorted out.  It looks like I am going with WOW for 35 $/m with 15mbps locked in for 18 months. 

Originally it was 40 $/m for 6 months. 

During his little sales pitch he breezed over quickly a 5 $/m protection program and I pulled on the reins and asked what it was.  He said if anything were to ever go wrong that a technician would come out free of charge.  Told him that the only thing that could go wrong really is me breaking the router or severing the cable.  He said yes.  In the 10 years since I have moved out of my parents I have NEVER had any issue with my internet that couldn't be taken care of on the phone.  We thrifted that little guy out and got it down to 35 $/m. 

Lastly I told him I would like to lock the rate for 2 years.  He said that we are not like Comcast or AT&T so you are ok we will not jack the prices up.  I said that is fine I still want a longer "guarantee", as he called it, on my rate.  He bumped me up to 18 months.  There would be no need for a rate "guarantee" period if the rates never went up if you ask me. 

As a side note if you are going to WOW let me know (message me) and I can send you a referral which will save us both a little bit of money. 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 11:14:35 AM by The Dutchman »
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Mr Mark

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Re: Alternative to Comcast In Michigan
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2013, 11:39:40 AM »
Thanks Dutchman!

Just pm'd you, as I want to set up exactly that right now in Detroit. Perfect timing!
Mr. Mark