It’s an increasingly common problem: you don’t want to pay for cable TV, but you want access to HBO. If you try getting HBO from your cable provider, they will try to upsell you with expensive packages that give you way more than you need.
Wall Street Journal columnist Geoffrey Fowler says he’s found a way to work around expensive cable plans, letting you get internet, HBO Go, and “the most basic of cable” from four of the big cable companies.
It’s not a perfect plan — you’re not cutting the cord entirely — but it’s pretty close. Consider it a “secret menu,” if you will, to order HBO Go — without all the bells and whistles of pricey cable packages.
After calling up the biggest cable companies, here are the magic words Fowler determined you’ll have to say to your customer service representative in order to get HBO Go:
- Comcast: “Internet Plus”
- Time Warner Cable: “Starter TV+HBO and an Internet plan”
- Verizon FIOS: “50/25 Mbps + Local News and Sports + HBO (or Showtime)”
- AT&T U-Verse: “HBO Internet Plus”
Of course, the advice comes with a warning: cable companies are notorious for discouraging customers from downgrading or cutting off service. If this happens, Fowler said, just keep telling the rep you’re speaking with: “I want Internet and HBO.”
Some cable-cutters just use friends’ HBO Go accounts — and the company doesn’t mind. But Fowler’s workaround is a good way for would-be cable cutters to get their own HBO Go accounts.