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Negotiating the internet bill (every single year)

April 23, 2017

I hate cable internet companies.

I’m talking about one in particular, but all I’ve ever worked with seem about the same. Of all the things I hate, I hate most that they offer “affordable” prices for 1 year “promotions”, then the price increases.  I recently noted a jump in our internet price, and went through the yearly ritual of calling and negotiating a better rate.  I dislike making phone calls and I don’t really like negotiating either. After a few days of trying to get my husband (who has similar phone dislikes) to do it for us, I gave in and called our internet company.

First, they make it hard to find out the pricing for new customers.  You have to enter your address, and if they detect you have an account already, they demand you sign in (so they can show you upgraded packages and not “new customer” teaser prices).  New customers are offered 25 Mbps for $50/mo – or even better, 10 Mbps for $30/mo.  After asking if I wanted to pay more for some higher data rate (who needs more than 25 Mbps??), they finally offered me the $50/mo promotional price.  I accepted (although I was not happy with the price) – but then the representative said they needed me to wait on the line to get tech. support help to make this happen.  I was unhappy with the price and unimpressed with the fact that it would take time to implement, so I just hung up.

Next, I signed into my online to my account again. I eventually found a website loophole that seemed to allow me to order the $50/mo internet myself without calling anyone on the phone.  I got part-way through the order process, but then had to choose between a $60 appointment for someone to “install” my internet, or a $15 for a self-install kit to be mailed to me.  (The webpage also told me I needed a new modem. I don’t.)  A “live chat” box popped up, so I asked if I could by-pass this step since I already had this exact service and don’t need any new setup. They told me no, and that the $15 self-install kit included a code that could not be e-mailed or texted “for my own security.”  I said that was ridiculous and left the chat.

At this point, I had been rude to two employees and still hadn’t gotten a reasonable rate. I feel a little bad about being rude, because it isn’t their fault and they probably are paid poorly and it must be a miserable job.  But what does the company expect?

I tried calling one last time, but this time I was smarter and got myself routed to the customer retention department.  I complained about my bill, and the representative again offered me upgraded packages.  “I don’t want more services, I just want it to be less expensive.”  She asks how I felt about my previous rate, then reinstates the $40/mo rate I was paying –  for another 1 year “promotional rate.”

I sort of won, but also sort of lost.  I’m still paying more than I was as a new customer, and I still wasted at least 30 minutes of my life cutting $20/mo from my internet bill. It still feels expensive. It still is more Mbps than I need.  I’ll still have to do it all over again next year.

This anti-consumer behavior is disgusting and infuriating. Why isn’t there real competition? (Not to mention they can now also sell all of my data to advertisers.)

Do you have to go through this pricing shenanigans every year too? If not, what is your secret?!? How much do you pay for high speed internet? Does anyone have an internet company that they actually enjoy doing business with?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Myria permalink
    April 24, 2017 9:05 am

    I pay $74.99/mo for Cox Cable Internet. That’s Internet only. It’s outrageous. I called and they offered $5 off for about 6 months and then it went back up to this price. I’m in a major city (Oklahoma City), but there aren’t options like AT&T Internet for my address. I don’t understand why.

    • April 24, 2017 11:08 am

      Yes, it is unfair how there isn’t competition.

      Our area doesn’t have much, but I was seriously considering switching to a < 1 Mbps DSL service since the pricing is so terrible.

  2. April 24, 2017 9:55 am

    I once called to lower my bill and I was told that what they could do was take off the $10 monthly credit that I currently have and then give me a $5 monthly credit instead. Which is absolutely ridiculous.

    When we had Comcast we found that if we went into the physical location, we were treated better and the people we talked to were given more leeway with what they could offer us. Comcast, and all other internet providers, are jokers but it was better to go into the store than sit on the phone arguing.

  3. April 26, 2017 1:16 pm

    I’m now paying $65/month and I hate it. I went to customer retention and the only thing they could offer was MORE than they’re charging me now. So I may go back to my method of switching between AT&T and Comcast and dealing with that hassle each year. It’s SUCH a pain.

    • April 26, 2017 8:56 pm

      Don’t tell comcast, but ATT doesn’t have high speed internet in our neighborhood, so we almost have no choice right now. I did research and was shocked at our lack of options. I’d actually consider the <1 Mbps service, but it really doesn't suit my needs.

      I really just don't understand why it has to be like this. I refuse to believe they can't make a profit with more reasonable prices that don't expire every year.

  4. jestjack permalink
    April 28, 2017 4:26 am

    I was just sent my latest cable/internet bill and like you it reflects a $20 increase …. for the same services. I called Comcast to get some relief….NO DICE…after 30 minutes on the phone with two CSR’s. Thinkin’ seriously about cutting it out all together…

  5. April 28, 2017 9:15 pm

    It’s occurred to me to drop Cox (which is the best of a bad lot in these parts) and just use the neighhborhood cafe for my Internet connection. That, however, would require me to take up residence there…

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