After spending my entire life as a traditional cable subscriber, I finally decided that cutting the cord and switching to a streaming service would save me a lot of money. After considering a number of streaming options, I decided to try DirecTV Now, which threw in a free Apple TV 4K with a four-month commitment.
Graham Flanagan: This is it – when I finally cut the cord. I’ve been a traditional cable subscriber my entire life. I got last month’s cable bill and it was $US210 for internet and cable. For a while we were at $US180, and then at the end of the year, it just ballooned to $US210. So this just ridiculous. We were with Time Warner Cable for a long time, now Spectrum.
Thank you for calling Spectrum. Can I get the first and last name on your account please?
Flanagan: In the past, I have negotiated the cable bill down considerably.
Uh, I’d like to reduce our service to just be internet only – no more cable TV.
I called to cancel cable and only have internet access. And they wouldn’t just say OK, I’ll take care of that for you.
That’s actually a different department that’s going to disconnect any services for you.
Flanagan: I kept getting passed around to different operators. I’d get to one operator that would say,“OK, that’s great, I don’t handle that. So I’m going to pass you to my colleague, who will take care of it for you.
Five minutes of muzak later, I get somebody else.
You want to go ahead and move services off the account?
Flanagan: Yes, sir.
Second Operator: OK, what services would that be?
I want to get rid of everything on our account except for internet.
When you give them a call, they try to drag out the experience as much as they can.
When you would watch the TV, what channels would you watch?
We watch “Morning Joe” …
They jump in there and ask you these questions, like, “What kind of shows do you guys watch? What do you and your wife use your internet for?”
It’s, like, what is the point of this?
You see, here’s what I can do.
Flanagan: They would give you just a price that was a little bit lower.
Looks like it’s going to bring it down to $US183.80, before taxes and fees.
Flanagan: “Yeah, that’s too much.”
OK, this is it. When I finally cut the cord. Had to disconnect the cable box, and had to take it to the Spectrum Headquarters. It was honestly a little sad. It was almost like I was giving up a pet for adoption. We obviously still wanted to have some sort of content provider where we could watch live TV, because we enjoy news programming. We enjoy sports. There are a lot of options to look at. Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu TV, but the option that just looked like the best choice was DirecTV Now. The package that sort of hooked me was $US50 a month. I would have to pay four months up front, and if I did that they would also throw in an Apple TV 4K.
OK, so it’s the moment of truth. We are going to try out DirecTV Now. The day that we hooked up DirecTV Now, the Olympic opening ceremony were happening, so that was going to be like the ultimate test.
The quality is solid. Crisp HD. I mean, I honestly can’t tell the difference. I’m in. But it’s really not up to me. It’s up to her. What do you think about the quality of the picture?
Graham Flanagan’s wife: It’s good – oh here they go!
Flanagan: We were on board pretty much immediately. The worst thing about it, there’s no DVR, so we are back in the ’80s, where if we want to watch something we’re going to have to watch it live, but there are reports that DirecTV Now is gonna add a DVR feature.
The whole point of this is to save money. We were paying $US210 a month. Now, with the combination of Spectrum’s internet service and DirecTV Now, we’re going to pay $US120 a month. That’s going to save us over $US1,000 a year.
So it’s been three weeks with DirecTV Now, and it’s been great. The quality’s been great. It’s worked perfectly. Another bonus is that you can watch stuff on your phone or your iPad and you’ve got to think that unless cable companies start aggressively lowering their rates, a lot of people are going to start switching to these streaming services. So I’m really honestly surprised I didn’t switch over a lot sooner.
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