Author Topic: How to Reduce Internet Bill for Netflix Users  (Read 3583 times)

snuggler

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How to Reduce Internet Bill for Netflix Users
« on: September 20, 2013, 12:11:23 PM »
This is my first original post on MMM. What a great and friendly environment! I'm excited to get to know you better and to share ideas on how to be both more frugal and more awesome.

My fiance and I are already living pretty frugally, although of course, there are more things we can do. One of those things that I am working on is reducing our internet bill. We currently pay $56 per month to Cox, for a 18 mbps plan, but the cost of that plan is going up to $62 in October.

We are decently heavy internet users- we watch Netflix frequently to lower our entertainment costs, and my fiance also likes internet-based video games. I also have a pretty intense job, which often requires VPN access to work remotely during the wee hours of the morning.

I've looked at some of the threads on the topic in this forum, and have seen some comments that 3 mbps is sufficient for most people's needs. Thus, I'm looking at Uverse and Cox 3 mbps options, and will try to use the competition to get them to lower their prices.

I already called Cox once, and they offered me a contract-free 18 mbps plan with bundled phone and internet for $50.37 (or $49.12 if I agree to have a fully-listed phone number). This plan is not set for a rate increase in October, so it would remain at these prices for the foreseeable future. The phone price is at a discount for 30% off, so I'd probably have to cancel that after 12 months.

As a second alternative, we are considering asking my nextdoor neighbor, who is a coworker, to share our plan. The other neighbors are probably not interested- I don't think my upstairs neighbor would go for a shared plan, and the condo on the other side of us has a lot of turnover (students), which would make payments a headache. 

As a third alternative, we are considering shutting off the internet for a weekend that we are traveling, and then re-signing up my fiance as a new customer (the bill is only in my name right now). Then, we would do a price lock, to lock in prices for 24 months. This comes with a $48 termination fee, that reduces by $2 every month. We just signed up for another year lease at the condo, so expect to be there for at least 11 months.

These are the current published plans on Cox's and Uverse's websites:
Cox 3 mbps = $44/mo., no fees (we have our own router + modem) (probably will go up a few dollars in October as well) ($35/mo. for 3 mos. for new customers)
Cox 18 mbps = $56/mo. $62 (in October), no fees (we have our own router + modem) ($45/mo. for 3 mos. for new customers)
Uverse 3mpbs = $30 (for 12 mos.) + $100 equipment fee
Uverse 6 mbps = $35 (for 12 mos.) + $100 equipment fee
Uverse 12 mbps = $40 (for 12 mos.) + $100 equipment fee
Uverse 18 mbps = $45 (for 12 mos.) + $200 equipment fee

If you were me and my fiance, what would you do?

Don Voice

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Re: How to Reduce Internet Bill for Netflix Users
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2013, 12:42:24 PM »
I had Cox for a year (3mbps plan) or so and they kept creeping their costs, 5 dollars here, end of 6 month promotional rate there. I called to see about getting the rate lowered and they tried to get me to lock into that 48 month deal you mentioned, but it sounded like a crappy deal to me (I don't buy green bananas either). When I finally switched to Verizon, all of a sudden Cox could offer me and EVEN BETTER DEAL!! but it was too little too late at that point. If you're serious about switching to another provider and not just bluffing for a better rate, then they can give a better rate than anything they advertise. You just have to be willing to walk. I'd try that route first, and if it doesn't look so great I'd switch to U-verse 3mbps.  It works out to be the cheapest over the next year.

ZiziPB

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Re: How to Reduce Internet Bill for Netflix Users
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 01:39:15 PM »
I just switched from Comcast to Uverse.  They are definitely willing to waive the equipment fee if you call them and ask for it.  I got cable TV (I know, I know, but I do like it and will not get rid of it) plus 18mbs internet for $79 per month plus taxes, no installation charges and no equipment costs.  The price is good for a year.

Angelfishtitan

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Re: How to Reduce Internet Bill for Netflix Users
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2013, 01:50:43 PM »
I just switched from Comcast to Uverse.  They are definitely willing to waive the equipment fee if you call them and ask for it.

100% agree with this. I have always had At&T, but through moving and wiring upgrades I have gone through 3-4 different modems, all free becuase I told them I wasn't going to pay for it. A few months ago I even called them up and told them that I could get a faster connection for the same price elsewhere (nicely of course) and was curious what they could do. Ended up with a 18 mbps plan for 12 months at $35/mo. Sometimes you just need to call again and hope you get a better person on the other end.

snuggler

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Re: How to Reduce Internet Bill for Netflix Users
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2013, 03:10:08 PM »
Thanks for the advice everyone. Glad to hear the Uverse equipment fee can be waived- I was hoping that would be the case.

Two follow-up questions:

First, for the Uverse users- does the modem/router need to be reset frequently? One thing I've loved about Cox is that I can use my own modem and router, and have literally never had to reset the system. Just curious if having to reboot is a common thing with Uverse's equipment.

Second, for you Netflix users, is 3 mbps really ok? Netflix says to get 5 mbps if you watch HD frequently (which we do). Is that just baloney, or will we see hiccups with 3 mbps?