I called Verizon FIOS earlier in the month. Surprisingly, they were much more accommodating than I thought they would be. In fact, I was estimating the early cancellation fee to be around $85. The contract expires in November, so I was 3 months earlier than my contract end date.
The Verizon rep said that if I continue with the Verizon FIOS Mix and Match, I wouldn’t need to pay any early termination fee. Though this sounded too good to be true, I wondered the Mix and Match program would force me to continue with some form of cable. After assurance, I would not have to commit myself to any cable service. What’s even more interesting is that I don’t have to commit to even a yearly or 2 year contract.
The total cost of my monthly bill will only be $39, more than $100 in savings each month. This does come with an initial upfront cost. In order to utilize the faster speeds, Verizon recommended a new router.
It appears August 19th is the date when we cut the cord. A service person is coming by to rewire the FIOS connection.
Keeping my fingers crossed on an easy and smooth transition.
After careful consideration, I’m leaning towards cutting the cord in the month of August. There are items that I’d like to test out before being fully committed. One being the antenna. Antennas can range from cheap to expense (over $100) and I hear good things about them, provided you live in an area that has good reception.
I tried an app on my Apple TV called Locast. As an alternative to antennas, the app provides all local channels transmitted over the air. This might be a great option if your reception is not that great. The app is available for most tv streaming box or a smart tv’s and it would be perfect if it wasn’t for the consistent donation reminders.
I’m hoping that this post can show my thinking and plans to remove cable. As you know, many are cutting the cord to save money and utilize streaming services that they actually use. And many of you are struggling to find out what this whole process is like. If you’re one of those people who are spending more time on streaming media services like Netflix or Hulu, perhaps this could help.
Here’s what we’ve been doing.
The Internet Paradox
Unfortunately, most cable companies are also the ones that provide internet services. Without it, you can’t completely divorce yourself from the cable. Cable companies offer the most widely used broadband and they can cause issues if you attempt to cut cable.
Here’s an example. I called Verizon FIOS to find out what would happen if I cut our cable service. How much will my monthly bill be? The representative mentioned that the discount on internet services will be removed. Currently, it’s $39 for internet. The low rate is because the cable tv service is part of my total package. If I removed the cable, the internet service jumps up to $82 (including fees and equipment rental).
Perhaps being an existing customer, Verizon might want to make me rethink about my decision and make me feel that the change isn’t worth the hassle.
Pretty crazy, right? When you factor in other costs like live streaming TV like Youtube TV ($55 per month), the monthly bill goes up to close $140 per month. This amount is similar to what I paid monthly for my full cable bill. (I pay $148 per month including taxes and fees)
Then Why Cut Cable?
I think there are good reasons to consider cutting the cord. Given that streaming services are monthly and don’t require a contract, it makes it easy to drop the service if it becomes less used. However, with a cable tv contract, you’re forced to a long term commitment. This could mean there are months where you may not watch anything and still pay a monthly bill without thinking about it.
Even with Live TV through services like Youtube TV or Hulu TV you could cancel the service without any penalties. Cable often gets you in a 1-2 year contract and impose severe consequences if you decide to leave before the contract end date.
For us, cable is so lightly used that it makes sense to remove cable and not worry about even a live tv service. Even for sports programming we can get an antenna or download a sports service only when the local sports team does well.
For our favorite cable shows, we realized that the shows can be purchased through our Apple TV app for a season pass. If we get rid of cable, there’s a nice option to purchase a season pass through big companies like Apple TV. Interestingly, they run roughly $20 per season pass. Considering that we could save at least $50 per month, a one-time purchase of $20 is a drop in a bucket. It’s as if we can keep our favorite cable shows and not worry about the excessive cable bill.
There’s plenty to think about. I’d like to test antennas and see if they work. Antennas would allow us to receive free local channels and allow us to watch our local sports team.
Another step that we would take is comparing prices for internet. Not all of you have the luxury of having more than one internet provider. However, if you do, it makes sense to price compare and even leverage a lower price against your current cable company.
Once we all a clearer picture, we’ll start planning for our cable cord-cutting in November. I will update this blog as we find more information on how we can save money.
Let us know what you think about cord cutting below.