This is the story how I cut the cord. OK, so I didn’t cut all of the cords, but I jettisoned the more expensive ones.
It started when Cox, a company with whom I’ve been associated for over nine years, decided to more than double my bill. Cox was a bundle, and as we all know, bundles are your best value. Well, I’ve come to learn that bundles are the sucker’s way of buying services.
When it came right down to it, I was paying in the neighborhood of $75 for a 25 mps broadband, $38 for a full-featured telephone and over $100 for cable television. EVERY. MONTH. All of these prices were less than half before my “bait and switch” plan was up.
That’s when I started shopping for services. I found out our city’s utility system also offers broadband across fiber, and that fiber comes right into the home, not stops at the street like the cable company. And for more than three times the speed I was paying 2/3rds the price! $54 for 80 mpbs for LUS Fiber. That’s sweet!
Next, we invested in an Ooma phone device. For those unfamiliar, this is basically a phone service over the Internet. So, one would need Internet service to make this phone work. I understand that most people don’t need landlines because they use their cell phones. Well, our phones are based in Dallas with a Dallas area code. This freaks out some people, like schools and such, so we have the landline. Understand that we rarely answer this phone. It’s mainly to take messages from robo calls and telemarketers. It’s a number I don’t mind giving out because you’ll never reach me through it. I’ll reach you. If I want.
Ooma set us back $100 for the device, but our phone service now is less than $4.00 per month, and that’s just to pay for fees and taxes. In other words, the phone service is free. It has everything: caller ID, call forwarding and even voicemail. It’s hard to see a downside.
Then I invested in a good antenna for the home. Since the house was pre-wired for cable I merely hooked a Winegard antenna in the attic and it works on all TVs plugged into the network. I found out I could catch 26 very clear channels over the air. FREE!
This seemed like the perfect setup except for one hitch. The wife was having severe HGTV withdrawals, so it looked like I was back on the hook for cable. I knew I didn’t want to go back to Cox, and while LUS also offers television service they were almost as expensive, so I took the plunge and went with DirecTV. Well, that didn’t go as planned, and I’d rather not rehash a previous blog, Battling the Death Star.
So, as I was waiting for the day I could jump from DirecTV to my only other alternative, Dish, my son-in-law told me about their cord-cutting experience and mentioned SlingTV. Sling is basically cable TV without the cable. Like O0ma, all you needed was a broadband connection. There are two flavors of Sling, and I got both: one has HGTV and the other has a sports package. Both have pretty much everything you want from Cable without the inflated costs or home shopping channels.
If you’re a new subscriber with Sling they will send you a Roku Express, which is necessary if you don’t have a Smart TV. I already had a Roku so I use it on the kitchen TV, and our living room TV has the app, so only one remote handles everything!
By the way, I already had Amazon Prime and Netflix, so those weren’t factored in the final equation.
Here’s the scorecard:
Cox Broadband $82.99
Cox Phone $38.99
Cox Television $129.00 includes box rental
LUS Fiber $54.00
Ooma Phone $ 4.51
Full disclosure: both DirecTV and Cox have streaming services similar to SlingTV, but having been burned by both of them I chose to go with a more benevolent entity. I’ve been extremely satisfied up till now and anticipate in the future as well.
Categories: What was I thinking?