Author Topic: Any advice for lowering internet bill?  (Read 6196 times)

superone!

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Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« on: May 19, 2015, 10:06:00 PM »
Hi! I am trying to find some kind of plan to get out of paying a ridiculous internet bill.

I've read I.P. Daley's superguide (and the son of) but I don't seem to be in an area where I can get access to any lower-cost options (like Sonic) besides possibly a really slow dialup--but then I guess I'd need a landline. I don't need super-fast internet, though I do watch streaming video and I work from home at least 1 day a week, so I do need a fairly reliable and robust internet service.

What I have now:
Charter cable internet service ~ 15Mbps (way faster than I need, probably)
Cost: $69.99(!!!!?*$!) per month. It was $39.99 for the first year, when it automatically increased by $30/month.

Only other option I know is available: Verizon FIOS (ridiculously expensive). ATT U-Verse is not available at my apartment. As far as I understand, because I have FIOS wired in (before I moved here) I don't think I can downgrade to DSL.

Location:
Long Beach, CA

I called Charter and tried to cancel the service, explaining it was too expensive and that I was going to get a cheaper service. I had done this one other time, when I moved, and was transferred to the retention department. I got them to lower my bill back down to the introductory rate for another year. When I called this time, however, the retention person just looked up my address and looked up all of my other options himself (on the pretext of helping me out). He then explained that Charter already was the cheapest plan available at my address--so I could cancel if I wanted, but I wasn't likely to find a better deal anywhere.

I'm SO tired of dealing with Charter, and the cost seems ridiculously high for the lowest possible service -- to be clear I ONLY have internet, no phone or cable TV.

Anyone out there have advice? Either for an alternative cheaper service, or for a strategy to be able to get back to the $39.99 rate?




Shade00

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2015, 10:24:53 PM »
You can't get a deal on FIOS, even if it's an introductory rate? I saw this thread on Slickdeals not long ago - lots of info in there from folks getting really good prices on FIOS 25/25. http://slickdeals.net/f/7818643-verizon-fios-25-25-mbps-internet-29-month-24-month-commitment-ymmv?v=1&src=SiteSearch

If that fails, call Charter back and try again. Different reps may be willing to help differently.

GordianKnot

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2015, 12:25:00 AM »
I just call Comcast annually and tell them I'm canceling, and magically, the discount reappears. You should be ready to follow through on the threat, but it hasn't failed me yet.

retireatbirth

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2015, 05:44:16 AM »
Do they have a slower internet you can downgrade to? Time Warner has a basic internet plan at $15/mo. which I plan to retreat to if I ever need to. Idea is to just get on the cheapest plan available even if you dont really want it, then after a month tell them you'll upgrade if you can get a deal. $70 for just 15mb is really crazy.

Also as far as haggling them, don't ask to cancel, but just keep saying it's too expensive and not fair how they raused the rate. Ask if there's any promotions the can put you on. Don't hang up. Stay calm and just keep talking, say you love Charter and want to stay. Just ramble. The rep probably has some call quality metrics which includes speed to resolution so you're just going to stay on the phone forever until you get a deal.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 05:48:47 AM by retireatbirth »

superone!

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2015, 06:33:06 AM »
Thanks for this advice! I'll try to call back again and try to convince someone to lower my rate--I've tried twice with no luck so far--they just keep telling me that I'm on the best deal out there for my address unless I want to cancel internet altogether. The frustrating thing is I think they are right! I'm over a barrel!

As far as I can tell from their website (pasted below) I'm on the most basic plan they have. It's the $39.99 one, but as I mentioned went up after the one year mark. Apparently I should be having 60Mbps coming in, but I have an oldish cable modem that I don't think supports those speeds. This is because I refused to pay an extra $5/month to rent their cable modem! I wouldn't notice the extra speed anyway--I'm working on my laptop from 2007, so I've got patience for slow speeds.

FIOS is available for $65/month --so $5 less, but that's only for the first year, after which it goes up to $85. And there is a 2 year contract. Seems like a scam to me.

It just infuriates me that there isn't an option available for under $70/month without some kind of "sign on deal". It's very tempting to just cancel for real, but that would probably be too big of a lifestyle adjustment.

superone!

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2015, 06:42:07 AM »
I've just been poking around the FIOS site again, and it looks like there might be a lower speed plan for $34.99 for the first year of a 2-year contract. I'm going to check it out and see if it is legit. I'll report back.

Thanks for the tip Shade00!

electriceagle

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2015, 07:55:31 AM »
In many states, the companies that own the phone lines are required by law to let resellers operate DSL over their system.

Check out https://www.dslextreme.com/dsl/residential and see what you get.

catccc

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2015, 08:01:54 AM »
For the last few years our bill has hovered in the $40-$50 range.  I just switch between comcast and verizon after the promo rate has run out.  Be careful not to commit to a contract that sticks you with an unreasonably high bill after the promo rate is done.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2015, 08:33:28 AM »
Just some commiseration.  Comcast is the only wired internet provider where I live and they know it.  We don't have cable, use the internet for our home entertainment and I need home internet access for work.  We also need an MCell to get cell coverage in our house (no landline) and that runs through the internet too.

I currently pay Comcast $88.95/month.  That gets me an alleged 105 mbps for $78.95/month and $10/month for "equipment."  This is a "deal" to them because they normally will only provide internet to residents if they also get cable or phone service from them.  They offer NO internet only plans.  We originally added on the phone while we were under the introductory rate just to get internet service (we never plugged the phone in) and when they dropped us from the intro rate, after much haggling, they agreed to drop the phone service.

The next lowest tier of internet is 25 Mbps for $66.95 plus $10.00 equipment.  Below that is 6 for $50 something AND they prohibit streaming video at that level and will throttle you if you do.  Oh, and in order to get those plans I would have to re-sign up for phone or tv and the minimum plan is another $20.  This really seems to be the "best" they can do. 

I don't know how such a monopoly is legal. 
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 08:35:21 AM by Blonde Lawyer »

catccc

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2015, 08:45:55 AM »
Just some commiseration.  Comcast is the only wired internet provider where I live and they know it.  We don't have cable, use the internet for our home entertainment and I need home internet access for work.  We also need an MCell to get cell coverage in our house (no landline) and that runs through the internet too.

I currently pay Comcast $88.95/month.  That gets me an alleged 105 mbps for $78.95/month and $10/month for "equipment."  This is a "deal" to them because they normally will only provide internet to residents if they also get cable or phone service from them.  They offer NO internet only plans.  We originally added on the phone while we were under the introductory rate just to get internet service (we never plugged the phone in) and when they dropped us from the intro rate, after much haggling, they agreed to drop the phone service.

The next lowest tier of internet is 25 Mbps for $66.95 plus $10.00 equipment.  Below that is 6 for $50 something AND they prohibit streaming video at that level and will throttle you if you do.  Oh, and in order to get those plans I would have to re-sign up for phone or tv and the minimum plan is another $20.  This really seems to be the "best" they can do. 

I don't know how such a monopoly is legal.

You can probably lower yours a bit with your own equipment?  When I had comcast, I got the exact same box-thing they provided on ebay for a few months worth of rental fees.  Might be worth a look.  And why not drop down the the 25Mbps?  I can't believe they dont' have internet only plans, though, that's just mean!

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2015, 08:57:02 AM »
Just some commiseration.  Comcast is the only wired internet provider where I live and they know it.  We don't have cable, use the internet for our home entertainment and I need home internet access for work.  We also need an MCell to get cell coverage in our house (no landline) and that runs through the internet too.

I currently pay Comcast $88.95/month.  That gets me an alleged 105 mbps for $78.95/month and $10/month for "equipment."  This is a "deal" to them because they normally will only provide internet to residents if they also get cable or phone service from them.  They offer NO internet only plans.  We originally added on the phone while we were under the introductory rate just to get internet service (we never plugged the phone in) and when they dropped us from the intro rate, after much haggling, they agreed to drop the phone service.

The next lowest tier of internet is 25 Mbps for $66.95 plus $10.00 equipment.  Below that is 6 for $50 something AND they prohibit streaming video at that level and will throttle you if you do.  Oh, and in order to get those plans I would have to re-sign up for phone or tv and the minimum plan is another $20.  This really seems to be the "best" they can do. 

I don't know how such a monopoly is legal.

You can probably lower yours a bit with your own equipment?  When I had comcast, I got the exact same box-thing they provided on ebay for a few months worth of rental fees.  Might be worth a look.  And why not drop down the the 25Mbps?  I can't believe they dont' have internet only plans, though, that's just mean!

If I change plans I lose my "no phone or tv" waiver.  The 25Mbps is only $10 less but adding on phone or tv would be at least $20 so I would be paying more.  Even if I could convince them to keep my waiver, with as much as I'm spending already $10 to more than triple my speed seems worth it but who knows if it really is.  Since it doesn't currently appear to be an option I haven't given it much thought.

lifejoy

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2015, 08:59:24 AM »
When I lived in an apartment, I shared internet with a neighbour :)

Split the bill 50/50!

PathtoFIRE

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2015, 09:19:44 AM »
I had the same issues as the OP with Charter. Starting May 2012, I signed a 2-year contract for 30Mbps internet for $35/mo. At the end of that, the rate was set to increase, I called, and got another year of the introductory rate which was now $40/mo. Then this year, I was informed that the rate would be increasing to the non-introductory $60/mo. I called 3 separate times, and was given the same answer, no lower speed is available, and no promotions are available for my address. So I called one final time to actually order the disconnect, got the same answer as before, but this rep told me that after 2 months, Charter considers you a new customer, so she said to check in 2 months later and see what is available. So what I have done is that I got Freedompop for the home, the 10Gb plan. The modem will be obsolete in November when Sprint eliminates Wimax, and while the initial offers were $90 for the modem, when I didn't complete the registration, I got an email offering the modem for $20. We are using that for 2-3 months while curtailing our internet usage significantly (I didn't keep track, but I estimate we used about 50Gb between online videos, phone updates, etc.; now we update phones when on various free WiFi networks, watch less TV, etc.). My 2 months will be over mid June, so I'll call Charter and see what I can get. I admit I'm not saving a huge amount of money doing this, especially given the hassle.

For my area, cheaper ATT DSL was available, but once you add the equipment charge and the extra fees (Charter seems good about keeping fees to a minimum, I only paid about $1.50 in additional taxes/fees on top of the $39.99 charge), it was nearly $50, and for much slower internet; also my prior experience with ATT DSL was suboptimal compared to 3 years of Charter).

An additional option which we considered but didn't do (this time) is just have DW order service. Her last name is different, but even if it wasn't, might work. Or might not, we didn't try or ask.

neo von retorch

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Re: Any advice for lowering internet bill?
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2015, 09:24:25 AM »
Wow, where I live, no contract FiOS 25/25 is $39/month. They don't have any options lower than $65 in your area?