This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Visit Your Local Cable Company Office!

Just a quick note of advice tonight. Go down to your local cable company office, do not call them or go to their website. Take yourself down there. Then you tell them you are considering upgrading your account. You may be in for a pleasant surprise unless your account is new or you have recently upgraded.

We have had cable service since moving to Nacogdoches 14 years ago. We subscribe to the “extended basic tier” and do not subscribe to any of the premium channels, such as HBO or ShowTime. When  the Internet was added to their cable services I was one of the first customers to sign up, choosing the highest of the three speeds then offered. I was happy until a couple of years ago. That was when I discovered that my “high-speed” Internet was no longer the highest speed offered by the cable company.  My 5 mbps speed had become their slowest speed over the years. I called them and asked to be upgraded from my 5 mbps speed to the 15 mbps speed then being offered. They did so but bumped up my fee.

We have also been TiVo owners for many years.  Our first TiVo was a first generation machine.  It was 1998 or 1999. We purchased it with the lifetime subscription and have not paid another penny in fees since then. Oh, we have upgraded TiVo machines several times but each time we were able to transfer our lifetime subscription to the new machine. But we screwed up two TiVo generations ago and did not upgrade. When the generation after that came out we were ready to upgrade. Unfortunately, we could not transfer our lifetime subscription to a new machine because we had “skipped a generation.” We didn’t relish the idea of paying more fees so decided to keep what we had.

Anyway, our TiVo is now dying. It has literally been losing its memory (it randomly deletes recorded programs before we have the opportunity to watch them) and it decides which shows it will record instead of the ones we have programmed it to record. It looked like we would be forced to purchase a new TiVo and lose our lifetime subscription anyway. I had seen cable company ads for TiVo and thought I should check that out before purchasing a new TiVo machine and had to pay for another subscription.

So, getting back to the cable company, yesterday I went down there and spoke with a nice young lady face to face. She was behind a desk, not a counter. These people are on commission and eager to help, especially if you mention the “upgrade” word. That is why you must go down there in person. You won’t learn diddlysquat from the website and the people at the call center don’t work on commission and could care less about what you want and certainly don’t want to listen to you whining about the service. Anyway, I told the nice young lady behind the desk that I was interested in upgrading (the Magic word) my service to include a TiVo machine. She pecked at her keyboard, pulled up my account (I could only see the back of her monitor so must assume she was looking at my account details) and she spent a few minutes studying the screen.

To cut to the chase, the nice young lady told me that I could have a four-tuner TiVo (I believe they also had six-tuner machines but for a little more money), AND two TiVo-Minis (allows me to use one TiVo machine with three televisions sets), AND I could increase my internet speed from my current 15 mbps to 30 mbps, AND the monthly fee would be LESS THAN I AM CURRENTLY PAYING!

But that isn’t all. She told me if I could wait and come back tomorrow (which was actually today) that I would save $55 because today was “Free Installation Day.” So, once again, I strongly advise you to carry your butt down to the cable company office and talk to someone sitting behind a desk (not at the counter). The cable company is not going to call and ask if you would mind if they increased your service and decreased your monthly fees. You have to go down there and ask for it.


Bill said...

Good score. Same thing with cell phone companies. They never tell you how you can get more, but pay less. Their objective is to lock you into another 2 year contract by telling you that you need a new phone.

Croft Randle said...

It is so easy to just live with things the way they are that we fall back in the technology and end up paying more. They never tell you about this stuff unless you ash.