I’ve thought about getting rid of satellite TV and just streaming all of my entertainment for years. I don’t watch much TV to begin with, and it’s usually after the show airs when I do turn on the tube. However, because my husband enjoys live sports, we’ve always had satellite TV — including NFL Sunday Ticket.
Now that my family structure is changing, I’m rethinking many of my expenses and restructuring my cash flow (as well as restructuring my life). One of the first things to go, I decided, was the satellite TV. On top of that, we also had a cable package that included TV and Internet. The TV portion seems superfluous until you realize that the point was so that it would be easier to access live sports online when traveling. (And because at the time of signing up for the package, the cable company gave a monthly discount so good the cost of the package was less than Internet alone.)
I will always need Internet access because of the nature of my work, but there’s no reason to pay for TV as well. So I went ahead and got rid of these services. Unfortunately, because I thought my life was going to be stable for the next two years, I signed contracts, and that meant early termination fees.
Why It’s Still Worth It — Even With the Early Termination Fees
I was paying $98 per month for satellite TV six months of the year and about $140 (because of NFL Sunday Ticket) for the other six months of the year. My Internet plus TV package cost was $130 per month. My total cost for the year for these services was $2,988. So, on average, I paid $249 each month.
When I called the service providers to talk about canceling, I was told how much I would have to pay for early termination. DirecTV said that I could put my account on hold until I completed my move, and then have satellite installed at my new place without paying an installation fee. I was tempted but decided that I just wanted to be cut loose from the obligation. My cost was $287.
Comcast wasn’t nearly so generous with their policies. When I called to ask about moving service, they said that I needed an address or I would be charged an early termination fee regardless. Because I knew that I would need Internet again, I considered keeping the cable. However, the reality that Comcast would charge a fee even for someone who planned to remain a loyal customer struck me as extremely poor customer service. I found out later that Comcast isn’t available in my new area, but the fact that Comcast’s policy is such that there is no hold option for loyal customers bothered me and ensured that I will never be a Comcast customer again if I can at all help it. My early termination fee was $243.
I paid $530 just to get out of my contracts in total, but I think it was worth it. Right now, my new Internet costs $75 per month. I chose a package that would allow me to stream Netflix ($7.99 per month), Hulu ($7.99 per month), and Amazon Prime ($99 per year). My new average monthly cost is $99.23. That’s a savings of nearly $150 per month. So far, I’m six weeks into my new arrangement, and I love it. I get all the TV I care to watch (which isn’t much) and I don’t feel like I’m missing out.
It will take me another two months to “break even” on my early termination fees, but then everything after that is money in my pocket.
Do you stream your services? Does it work for you? How much do you save?
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