3rd world problems…


We have downsized.

In an effort to get a handle on our (over)expenditures each month, we decided the time was right to cut the cord from cable television, though not entirely from the world.

We kept WI-FI.

Two years ago we were enticed by an extraordinary deal through AT&T to jump ship and climb aboard the U-verse express, so we did. The price was right and I have to say, we enjoyed having so many channels at our fingertips–the first month.

Then I began to notice, the same old lines kept coming up, “There’s nothing to watch on TV,” Everyone said. “What do you mean? We have a gazillion stations now, certainly there’s something to watch…” I argued, even though I already knew they were right. So many stations that didn’t hold our interest whatsoever, filled with nothing but boring, uninteresting programs.

When our two year contract was coming to an end I contacted the service provider and was told, “Sorry no promotions in your area, here is what we have to offer…” Of course, their offers were filled to the brim with the stations we never watched, but limited the stations we did, not to mention jumping over $80 in price. So I implored, even begged them to offer us an alternative at a decent rate or we would leave and in response I got, “Sorry, we don’t have that in our list of offers…”

My town offers their own cable and internet program so I went to talk to a sales person in person–hard to believe I know, and she was very nice and offered me cash to return to their service–$500 worth of gift cards to be exact and a free mini iPad of all things. My eyes got very large as I began to contemplate changing services. Due to unforeseen circumstances and the fact the satellite office where all these enticements were taken place was very busy (she was the only one working), I opted to come back in the morning and set everything up.

That’s when everything changed. By the grace of God, I walked into my living room and found both kids reading books. I asked them, “If we eliminate cable, would that bother you?” The doll looked at me and said, “I never watch television anymore. I only watch Hulu and Netflix…” Which I brought into the home last Spring. The boy offered an similar answer, “Mom, when was the last time you saw me in here watching television?” I couldn’t remember.

The next morning I walked into the satellite office and declared, we are jumping off cable completely. We’ll keep the internet service and nothing else, in the end saving ourselves over $150 per month.

Two months later, I told the boy, “No more 24/7 internet access… another reason to find a job…” “What are you talking about?” “We have 500 GB of data per month we’re allowed to use. Since you’re both home you’re eating all our data,” I explained. “Then get more data…” He replied. “As soon as you have a job to contribute to pay for that added data, I’ll do so. Until then, get offline, get a job and make your old mom happy,” I explained some more. “Why haven’t you yelled at the doll about her streaming anime content. Why are you only picking on me?” “Because your sister has already been notified and now so have you.”

Last month we came within 10 GB of going over our data plan. Yep, some peeps need to get a job.

Oh, and by the way,  when I called to cancel our service with AT&T, I was sent to a different agent who “specializes” in cancellations. “Oh, Marsha, I can offer you this deal or that or the sky the moon the, the….” She said. “Tell me, why did I have to say the word “Cancel” before anyone was willing to work with me? I think that’s shameful. Had you been willing to work with me before I got to this point, you might have kept a customer. Instead, you have someone who is happy leaving your company.” Her reply was simple, “Because that’s now how this company works…”

Money first, customer value, customer service second.


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