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We’re adjusting to the new place and I was checking  out the bills that came in the mail. I reviewed the cable tv and internet bill and I noticed that Time Warner Cable was charging a lot more than normal. I decided to double check and give them a call.

Hit with the Cable Bill

We usually have our cable and internet bill run around $50/month.  We have cable and internet from Time Warner and we use Skype as our land line. It’s been working out for us well and save for some occasional shows we’d love to watch, we haven’t really missed much.

As we called to transfer service to the new place from the apartment, the customer service representative helpfully mentioned that for a mere $10/month more, we can substantially upgrade our cable (with HD!)

A month later we received our bill with the deal included. The bill wasn’t $60-$70 as I expected, it was $140.23. I was really surprised by how much it was. It’s not like we have a complete cable internet, phone, and TV bundle with DVR.

Current Cable Package ‘Deal’

In case you’re curious see how the charges added, I’ll share my bill. Here’s how the cable and internet bill broke down:

  • Broadcast Cable – $13.12
  • Basic Cable – $31.45
  • Digital Cable – $7.80
  • Cable Box – $9.57
  • Cable Remote – $0.46
  • Road Runner High Speed – $47.77
  • Reconnect Oulet (1 time fee) – $24.95
  • Tax & Fees – $5.11

I’m amazed that it says that this’ promotional deal’ will end April 23, 2010. How much is the package if the promotion is $115/month for just cable and internet?

Is the Cable Package Worth the Price?

I have to admit; I would’ve liked to have kept the services, but the price jump didn’t justify it. I’m not a TV fanatic and my schedule is busy already, so Cable TV isn’t a huge deal.

Time Warner, if you ever offer that promotional deal, let me know. I’ll even price lock into it, but over $100 for cable TV and internet is a bit much. I don’t need HD extras; just would’ve liked to have kept HGTV. 🙁

I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised; Consumer Reports noted that bundling doesn’t save you money if you’re not a power user.

Bundling is less likely to save you money if your telecom needs are simple–say, basic TV, minimum-broadband Internet, and telephone service with little or no long-distance calling.

Guess my telecom needs are simple, which suites me. Lakita over at Personal Finance Journey is loving being free of cable TV.

Do You Check Your Bills?

Have you noticed a bill increase without notice? Have you downgraded the cable and/or internet to improve your cash flow for either building some savings or paying off your debts?

Photo Credit: mkosut

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20 comments comments closed

  1. Yeah, it definitely seems like my cable bill has grown over the years. Same for phone, and internet. Water too now. Shoot, everything! argh! lol.

  2. It was frustrating seeing as the promotion was going to end according to the bill and I’m thinking, “If it’s this expensive WITH a promotion, I better get out”. I double check bills because I know they can be wrong at times.

  3. That’s a ridiculous price. I have Comcast near Boston, MA and it’s $100 for cable, internet and phone with HD and DVR. That’s a package now and when it expires (1 year deal) my first call will be to the retention department. Then I’ll get in whatever the best package is at the time like I am now.

    • I was surprised that the CSR didn’t notice the insane price. He acted pretty nonchalant about it. I was able to snag a deal so I have some extra channels instead of 200.

  4. I don’t have cable, only use Time Warner for our internet service. We’ve noticed the same thing, bundling doesn’t really save money…argh!

    P.S. I noticed you were having the same problem with the Yakezie badge on the right. I had to go into the html code and replace the quotation marks, they transferred in strangely and I had to replace them in order to get the badge to show correctly. Hope this helps!

  5. The same thing happened to me, but I let it go for Months until I researched the bill. It turned out I was paying like 20 bucks a month for some channels that I didn’t even know existed!

    After getting someone who was actually useful on the phone he told me about ALL the different packages they have and I then chose correctly.

    • I’m glad you took some time out to examine your bill, it can really pay off. I’m glad you got a package you liked.

  6. Good habit to follow, to check your bills!
    A lot of the time these companies add charges to your bill without you knowing. I think Telus (the wireless company I use) said one day they decided to stop allowing for free receiving text messages, and they didn’t really tell us (or they did, but the notice they sent out was so convoluted and confusing that you really didn’t know what they were referring to).

  7. @EofW: I was surprised at how they handled the whole thing. The customer service representative couldn’t explain what the promotion was and just asked me what I wanted to do. I just requested to downgrade our package to what we had before.

    @Little House: Thanks for the tip on the badge. I see I might have to work on that a bit more to get it to work right. 🙂

    @YandT: That was a sneaky charge to include in your bill! I try to check each bill to make sure a wrong charge slip through. Sometimes those notices are hard to understand.

  8. Hello Elle,

    I switched cable/internet providers a few months ago. There wasn’t “a lot” of savings as far as price is concerned, but we did get a few additional perks such as more channels, a dvr capability, wireless internet throughout the house, etc. So this was a win-win for us. Like you, I don’t watch TV often, but at least now I get to record the few shows (American Idol and Oprah:-)) I have been missing!

  9. @Patrenia: I wished we got a DVR with the deal! having that option would’ve been something useful, but alas my promotional deal wasn’t that well constructed.

  10. Don’t you just hate checking out the monthly bills expecting to see a ‘normal’ expense only to see it 20%+ more than expected. It tends to happen with me from time to time with my electricity bill. Nice post!

    BTW- First time visiting – nice site! Keep up the good work!