Playing the Internet/Cable Company Game

Everyone knows that if your cable bill goes up, you call them, and they will work with you to retain you as a customer. So when my Comcast bill went up $20.00 a month, making it $130 for cable and internet, I was not a happy camper.

I am two years into retirement, and the cost of everything is going up – power, water, garbage, cell phone.

I set the bill aside on July 1st and then went about my business celebrating the 4th on the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th.  Finally it was time to face the music and call Comcast. When I got a woman, I thought, this is not good. I can get a better deal if I talk with a guy.

Boy, was I wrong about that. Last year’s guy sold me 140 channels (I used six of them) and some decent speed internet. The woman this year got me slower internet once I explained that I don’t stream or play video games. She sold me the basic TV package. My bill came down to half price. By the time the taxes and fees are added, it will probably land in the $80 – $85 range.

How did this happen? I chatted her up. We talked about her kids, how playing outside is more important than doing electronics all day, how having seven children is a lot to handle, how the youngest (oops baby) will keep her young. After all, she had him three years ago when she was 37. I had my last one at 38. Mine is now twenty-five, and I’m an old lady. But I don’t feel old. I think my daughter has helped me with that.

I now know more about that woman than some of my neighbors. I let her vent, I let her talk about herself, I validated her hard job as a mom. In return she listened to me and gave me a smaller plan at a smaller cost. She talked about her 69-year-old mother (maybe she’s my girlfriend!) and how her mom didn’t need many bells and whistles on her plan, either. We were raised in a different time. We don’t buy into the technology as much as younger people.

I still go on five-hour hikes twice a month, sing every week for two hours at chorus practice, and chat up strangers in stores and other places.

The Comcast woman mentioned that she wants her kids to be able to make eye contact and know how to start a conversation. She is making sure all seven of them can do that.

I remember back to when watching TV was a family affair. We had one black and white set, no remote, and the aluminum foil on the antennae was to improve reception. TV was four channels and free. The whole family watched the same show together. The five kids took turns jumping up to change the channel.  We ate popcorn and drank juice off of metal TV trays. The TV station signed off at 11:00 or 12:00 depending on the day of the week. We didn’t get a second set for years.

But I digress.

Things have changed. Those that bought stock in cable companies back in the 80’s are laughing all the way to the bank. I am laughing a little myself, because today a mom heard me and gave me what I wanted.

At last.

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