Cable Company Contracts

Probably wrong section to post this, just wanted to share something.
I learned a valuable lesson yesterday dealing with cable companies and their contracts. How many of you have called up and was quoted a price for a bundle only to find when the installer showed up his work order was totally different than what you had agreed to?
Second time this has happened to me. I finally found out why and thought I'd share.

That 800 number you call for service is most likely going to be answered by someone contracted out. They are there to make a sales. I spent 45 minutes this last time going over everything and thought I was walking away with a decent price and no contract, just a 2 year price guarantee. The installer showed up the next day with a work order totally different than what I had agreed to with sales.

Short of the story, never deal with that 800 number on the web page.. Call one of the local stores up and converse with them over prices and bundles, straight up advice from the installer.
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I'm guessing you are talking about some Cable TV company, and NOT 'The Cable Company', correct?

IMO I'm wondering why you allowd the billing issue to occur twice.
if the deal is $$ and it then changes to $$$$ upon arrival of the installer, I'm thinking the next word out of my mouth almost immediately would be STOP!! and maybe then too, BYE BYE!!

we gotta be our own advocates to preserve our rights as consumers.

if the deal ain't straight tell them to hit the road!

if the billing is wrong and they refuse to remedy it, contact the state atty's office!

My EXP with Verizon, Frontier, Charter, and Time warner has essentially always been the same. mostly.

their sales people are poorly trained. only interested in getting the sale, and the pricing is later on, seldom identical to what is or was 'quoted' at the time a deal was made with the sales agent.

I've had to contact the state attorney's office twice due to misrepresentation and or illegetimate billing practices with Verizon and Frontier.

as well CC sales agents informed me particular content was definitely abailable when it had been dropped by the provider just months prior.

I've never had to experience an installer handing me a bill that was different from the original deal however.

I have had installers who could not communicate because they could not speak English.

installers that chose to merely drag the cable feed across several rooms rather than to connect it to the existing cabling outside the home. I had to call the CC provider and have them tell that one to leave my property. apparently my Spanish for stop and leave was somewhat lacking, or his hearing was bad.

in changing ISP providers I've had my landline shut down for 16 days waiting for the previous co. to release it to the NEW provider. an unwarranted and needless act. supposedly,this arose from a paper work malfunction.

Yeah, I'm sure it was.

with another local CCTV co. I've had to see a dozen techs over the course of several months, on my site to finally get my service working without interuption or total failure.

with all of the local to me CCTB joints their sales agents say one thing and their billing depts do something else quite regularly.

only a minor portion of CATV on site techs actually know what they are doing, and or kno how to trouble shoot problems.

my present provider now is using their own installers rather than private or 'sub' contractors for installs. this has proven out far better.

billing however remains troubleing at times.

much of these issues wil fall away soon with the advent of 'ala carte' streaming apps and the province of cellular communication. people are begining to simply subscribe for Internet alone, and then opt into third party providers like HBO, Encore, TNT, etc., and aboiving most of the issues CATV companies exhibit.

@blindjim ...exactly what I told them, I will not be part of this hostage situation. I do not need these pressure tactics, hit the road. That’s when my wife intervened, at that point I shook my head and let her make the decision to what she wanted with one exception, my internet speed stayed in place.

I’ve been a verizon customer since they layed the glass out front, yes, for a very long time. Frontier took over and the billing tactics and service went downhill.
I had to close my existing account before they would negotiate a new one...lmbo @ today’s customer service and their tactics. Anyways, ended up with all new gear and a 200MB internet service opposed to the 50 I had. The bundle was supposed to be 100MB but they upped it as complimentary. LOL...we’ll see when the bill comes in, and if they honor that 2 year price guarantee.
I will say that since the new boxes, router, and set top box the TV picture is much better. Haven’t had time to download/upload anything yet, so I cannot comment there. Speedtest shows 200/200 but we all know the download is dependent upon the source uploading. Personally, I think 200 is overkill...*laffs
We just passed the one year mark in our new home and I see that my cost for bundling our cable needs have just gone up. I have come to the conclusion that cable companies offer you a temporary, discounted rate to start, hoping that you will set it up to be paid directly by the bank or to a credit card. In that case, they’re hoping you won’t notice the increase or will just chalk it up to inflation. Very clever!
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I just had my TIVO Dreamsystem upgraded to a 4k unit with all the accompanying mini boxes and new remotes.  Having a "small" cable company has its advantages as they sent an installer who is contracted by them who spent two hours here getting everything set up properly for an installation charge of $54.95. Not bad for all of the time and work he did here.  No new charges for the hardware upgrades!  Works a "dream".
I have found that if you threaten to cancel tv service (I've done this with catv and directv in the past) they will generally give you a discount. My go to line is something like "let me get this straight; you'd rather receive zero than "X" amount?" I have internet now for $14.99 a month, like elizabeth. But I think it's just because I'm a "senior citizen." In general, if you're firm with them you can usually get your way. After all, the infrastructure is already there so the installer only has to connect a couple of wires to establish service. 
@elizabeth ...I like that, thought about doin the same quite a few years back. I got so fed up with the provider’s ridiculous pricing I seriously thought about the coffee shop wifi and doing my little bit of work there. I probably should had.

I live on the internet, now days just a few clubs maintaining their sites. Weekly thing, updating menus, what bands what nights, specials, etc..

Now in the back of my mind, I’m thinking cranking my own server back up...*laffs

I see quite a few responses above getting savvy to our service providers, hifiman definitely got over. Thumbs up.
Most cable companies like Comcast Xfinity try to sell bundles I think most people don’t need, since more and more people rely on their cell phones instead of getting a home phone line the companies try to bundle you into. My advice is to cut the cable tv cord and just purchase the internet only plan you want. Agree to the phone only if it makes your combined package cheaper than internet alone. Years ago I moved to 300mbps internet alone and purchased my own DOCSIS 3.1 modem to be future proof. I signed up for PlayStation Vue for tv. But that is changeable easily. Concentrate your dollars on speed and bandwidth for smart home devices, streaming, etc. 
Verizon "It is your right and our duty to ... for your services..."  

A threat to the cable company to give a lower rate or you will drop them works some of the time but not always. Depends on whether they have met their sales quota for that particular time. I have been through all the scenarios with multiple providers. They all mostly want customers to "bundle". The costs for individual services vs bundled is tempting but, in the end, the cable company will win.
Now I use Dish Network (many Sirius stations) and a fiber optic provider for Internet. One thing I still have is a landline phone. With all the smartphones out there fewer people are keeping a landline. But, if you want to have a landline I found an excellent option.
After researching all of the home phone options I settled on the OOMA system ( broadband Internet is essential since it is a VOIP system). The base unit cost under $100. Any phone can be used with it. They offer a WIFI adapter to connect to your network if you don't want to hard wire from the modem/router. Not very expensive. I have their standard service...unlimited US calls, voice mails and all the other typical phone services. There is a one time $40 charge if you want to port your existing number of choose a new number at no charge. Bottom line........
I was paying the local phone company $50/mo. for a landline. Now I only pay less than $5/mo. for the OOMA setup. Even though there is an initial cost for the basic equipment, at $5/mo. it doesn't take long to recoup the expense. Been using it for a couple of years.

Just switch between satellite and cable every year or two. You'll always be getting the new customer rate. My 2 cents....
gregdude has a good point. However, carefully check the conditions of a contract if you're dealing with a satellite provider. Most will provide free equipment and installation if you agree to keep their service for a specific amount of time. Shopping for all of these types of services can be challenging. Always carefully read what is in the written contract rather than what someone says over the phone.

AHH.....consumers must always do careful research.

Dumped cable TV about 3 years ago. Just kept the internet service and have no land line. Got 2 Smart LG 4k TVs for Netflix and Prime, hard-wired to my router. You can run a long ethernet cable through walls and under floors without degradation to the signal. Got one of those HD antennas for each TV picks up about 25 over air channels for local news, etc. and PBS, ETV.  Got no cable boxes, own my modem and router. Use Sling during college football season only for my Tigers, then cancel it (Sling even encourages such with a question on their site, something like “ Favorite team season over? No problem”. In the past when I had TV I had one experienced installer do something incorrect and next installer came out to correct it and pointed it out. Company sent me wrong box for services I was getting, bill kept going up over time for TV, it was all a real mess. I will never go back to cable TV programming. 
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March 2010.  Cut the cord with Direct TV and have never looked back.
Wow thats really amazing.