My Comcast Bill Is $160.24 Per Month; What Am I Possibly Paying For!?

There is still 2 days 23 hours 18 mins and 41 seconds left to get entered for some great free stuff at Hanks Holiday Handout #2 giving away $200+ of prizes!

I don’t even know where to start with this one. I’m in an area where I’m kind of stuck with them. DirectTV has been trying to woo me away for months, and I don’t know whether it is the hassle of installing a dish, learning a new technology, or possibly having to schedule time for someone to come over and install/uninstall my current product. But one thing is for sure, I’m certainly considering dumping Comcast…

What I don’t like the most about them

Well, I can’t really put my finger on the thing I hate “the most”. They have a bad product that works when it decides to, mediocre-at-best customer service, and I’m stuck with them unless I want to do a long term with some other company.

Let’s take a look at what they’re currently charging me: comcastbill.JPG

I didn’t even know about the “Sports Entertainment package”. This one is new to me. I recall signing up for it back during the NFL just to get the NFL Network, but they said it’d be a 1 time charge. Super, exemplifying the “mediocre-at-best” customer service. They couldn’t even relay it to me properly because it sure seems like a recurring charge…

The internet package is “up and down” at times. They’ve told me when I’ve called to complain about speed that they can only guarantee that it is up. Speed is affected by “several other possible causes” of which they couldn’t elaborate on any more than that.

Getting some of it back

I used to call and harass them almost monthly (seriously try this if you want to get a few $. They have always just taken my word for it, granted, it is always broken…) about something crappy happening with their service; bad internet connection, the DVR wasn’t working, shows were choppy. But the money they’d refund was prorated based on daily, not monthly charges. So my complaining was usually good for maybe $5.

Ginger from GJWHF says that she uses ITunes to watch a lot of her favorites, but I’d need to find a way to hook it up to the tv to make it worthwhile…

Where to now?

I really am sick of it. Does anyone have any better alternatives? Pros and cons to DirectTV? Is it worth it? What’s the cost?

Filed Under: adviceCompensationDebtfinancial educationFrugal

  • My wife and I switched to DirectTV when we first moved into our new house. I basically wanted to get it for the NFL package. Ultimately Charter called and offered us a great deal to bundle all of our services (cable, internet, phone) for about $50 cheaper per month.

    Overall the hassel involved in the switch may be worth it if you can save some money. Be careful though, in some areas, some of your local channels may not be available through DirectTV or Dish. I am not sure why, but I have had friends tell me this (not a direct experience).

    Oh yeah, when we cancelled DirectTV, the dish was ours, so now it is still sitting on my roof two years later.

    Dusty’s last blog post..Net Worth Update – April 2008

  • Ben

    I have Dish Networks, and I WOULD recommend them but I feel as though they would do the same thing.

    They actually have a fee for when you DON’T have your DVR connected to a phone line, and we use our cell phones because the phone line would be so infrequently used. Either way I have to pay!

    Gouging perhaps??

    Ben’s last blog post..Visa Gift Card Lab Has Custom Logos

  • We recently left DirectTV for Dish Network. You get a lot more stations for the same price. If you are interested in Dish Network, let me know and I can get you a coupon for some extra free stuff included!

    Lisa’s last blog post..The Basement Remodel

  • Depending on how much TV you watch, you should be able to lower your Comcast bill if you switch to a basic plan. Our Comcast bill looks like this:

    Standard cable (limited basic and expanded basic services) 55.99
    High speed internet 45.95
    Taxes and fees 4.42
    Total 106.36

    Still not cheap, but better than $160, and we really don’t need any more than that.

    Vered’s last blog post..The Anti-Frugality Trend: Buying Outrageously Expensive Foods

  • Melissa Mendoza

    Hello Hank!

    I am sorry to hear about the discrepancies in your bill and that you are considering switching providers. If you would like my assistance in resolving your service and billing issues, I would be more than happy to help. Please reply to the email provided and I will reach out to my regional executive contacts to ensure your problems are resolved as soon as possible.

    Regards,

    Melissa M.
    Comcast Executive Offices
    We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com

  • Hank, no joke I pay the exact same amount, its absolutely ridiculous. Especially the cable part, Directv is way cheaper for the same amount of HD programming….which my gf has, but with that there is the temptation of the NFL Sunday ticket, which is my $300 vice 🙁

    Jesse’s last blog post..Welp, so much for Lending Club (whoosh) Whats that sound?

  • I left Comcast for DirectTV but in the past I have had DishNetwork which I actually liked more.

    Either way, both options are way better than what cable TV has to offer these days.

    Monique’s last blog post..I Am So Angry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I only have experience with Comcast for my TV, and so far it’s been positive.

    My bill is just $23.50 per month. I have “digital classic” with OnDemand and the bare-bones basic cable plan. They threw in a year of free HBO, which is nice.

    Do you watch all of those channels? Maybe try to keep track of all those channels you watch in a given month.

    I don’t have TLC or HGTV as channels, but I do have many of their shows available via OnDemand, so it makes me happy.

  • I told Jonathan @ MasterYourCard I was at the Apple Store over the weekend. Honestly, if you can do it then DO IT! I told hubby the ONLY reason we have and will keep Comcast is because of his NBA League Pass. Otherwise we would have dumped them LONG ago. Our hope is that the NBA League Pass will be up for grabs next year so Verizon FIOS will be competing for that option, if they get it then we switch.

    Otherwise, if any of you can go with iTunes, do it. With all of the changes in programming due to the strike the only thing Ive watched is the news on the presidential race. Otherwise Ive found other things to do which helped me really understand how wired my life used to be around TV.

    Hubby said the Apple Mini is much better than the Apple TV option, in his words “multiplied by 3”. So go to your local Apple store and ask for details.

    I detest Comcast. I told them how I felt and we have been on a $59.99 cable and internet promotion since last June. We threatened to leave for Fios and they gave us a great deal. So it is what it is for now… at least we arent paying prime time money for crap. When he had the HBO package our bills were around $270…talk about pissed.

    Ginger @ Girls Just Wanna Have Funds’s last blog post..Beneath the Iceberg: The Psychology of the Recession (and a silver lining)

  • We don’t have Comcast here but we do have Cox which is an equal rip off. I go through att for my internet and phone and have never paid but a flat rate of $93 a month. I get high speed internet am always on and never have a problem. I get free basic and extended cable through the complex I live in so that helps out tremendously. I think att also offers The Dish Network too. It is certainly worth checking into if you have a ph line you can get the internet at least.

    Joe Cheray’s last blog post..Broken Heart

  • We have had Comcast for more than 10 years and I have had them even longer than that. The local customer service is pretty decent and every time I’ve called for some issue I’ve been blessed with good service.

    However my bill is crazy. $160 … we have two DVRs and two remote controls which we are charged extra for. Sometimes the cable just goes out and does weird things (like this morning when it just was a blank screen and then a squiggly screen). Sometimes the DVR will randomly not record things I want.

    But…I do love the DVR and I love HD on demand and I love our cable internet, which is fairly reliable. And we just switched to have our phone with comcast a few months ago and it was seamless and we’ve had not a single issue. So I won’t be switching anytime soon. I hate change anyway and nothing is so bad that would make it worth changing right now.

    Good luck!

    castocreations’s last blog post..Poor Little Girl

  • @everyone – thanks for the comments – there are some good suggestions here – I’ve got an email into them as per Melissa’s response at #5. So we’ll see where that goes. But I’m sick of it; I’m sick of the whole lot of them; they know they run the top of the echelon, but where does that get them? Well, it sounds like to gouging and lack of concern.

    It’s just sad that there isn’t a cheaper alternative. I wouldn’t complain so much if the service only cost 15 bucks a month in total, because that’s what I think it feels like. But the fact that I pay $160 per month for this is ridiculous…

    On an investing tangent, $160 per month is nearly HALF the total amount you can contribute to a ROTH each year. Maybe we’d all be better off dumping the cable $ into our investment pockets. I’m sure even in a bear market we’d see better returns and satisfaction…

    We’ll give them a shot here to see what they can come up with though as per Melissa on #5; I’m hoping for good news, but we’ll see…

  • Tom

    Ouch! I thought my comcast bill was bad. It looks like the DVR service is killing you.

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  • Insane in the Brain

    Hank,

    Maybe I’m completely out of my mind, but why not turn off the boob tube and get a hobby? Woodworking, for example, is rather expensive, but I can’t imagine spending $160 per month on it. And if I did, I’d end up with some nice furniture. On the other hand, if I spent $160 per month on T.V., all I’d gain was some dead brain cells.

    Just a thought.

  • @Tom – yea, no kidding. I’ve had enough.

    @InsaneInTheBrain – I hear you. That’s just it, I don’t use it all that much. I watch tv about 4 hours per week in total. I am seriously considering dumping it. I know that I can see all the shows I normally record on it through the internet, but I don’ t yet know how to wrap it up to my TV. Probably something I should look in to.

    @Everyone – just an FYI on the 3rd comment from Melissa Mendoza saying that she can help out. She hasn’t helped out. I had to email her and remind her that she posted here about 3 weeks ago, and she apparently has forgotten about me again – furthering InsaneInTheBrain’s point of possibly dumping them… grrrr!

  • Wow, I pay about the same with Comcast ($162) and that includes unlimited phone service. I also have HD service and a DVR. I would certainly check to see if they can offer you a better plan.

    SingleGuyMoney’s last blog post..I Wish I Had Talent Like This!!!

  • @SingleGuyMoney – I actually DID get call back from them – looking to add a post about it soon, but they hacked off a good chunk though when they called… Behold the power of blogging! 😉

    hank’s last blog post..Introducing The Money Life Network!

  • Better late than never to comment especially about Crudcast! I too am a Comcast customer for the past 2 years. There have been several times when I wanted to take out a shotgun and blast the modem into the next county.

    I think we have as skimpy of a package from them as possible. I’m pretty sure our monthly bill is around $100 for cable and Internet. Customer service is pathetic here as well. The last time I had a problem, I called and reported that we had both cable and Internet problems. I explained that I had unplugged the modem, router, power cords etc and had rebooted my computer. Then they asked me if I had done all of the above…HUH? What did I just say? Do I need to do sign language over the phone or what? I then asked if they knew of any work being done in the area. No, they had nothing on their records showing any work.

    I got up and again disconnected and reconnected. While waiting for the electrical trickle dischage, I went out to get the mail. Three houses down the street sat TWO Comcast trucks and a few men staring at the node. Hmmmm….maybe customer service didn’t get the memo. LOL

    Come December when our last cell phone contract expires with Sprint, I think we are redoing all of our changeable utilities. I’m pretty sure Verizon will be getting our phone and Internet business. I am purchasing the new analog/digital converter and I may say so long to cable TV. I mean really, we can ONLY watch one channel at a time. No one’s cable does anything to enhance my life like the Internet or my phone.

    When will corporate America ever “GET” that customer service is THE ONLY WAY to grow business, get word of mouth business and fantastic blogging comments? Hire me! I would be happy to groom your employees in the fine art of customer service.

    Ginger’s last blog post..Fuel Your Summer Fun Rebate – $10 Hasbro Games

  • yana

    Did u give dem ur social security number or driving license. um if its driving license or ID no. den jus cancel ur service n don’t pay ur bill.

  • @yana – good point; I did not; but I do like to note that I did get some word back from them on the situation and they credited me back almost 200 bones, I’m keep meaning to write about the update, so maybe next week it’s time! 🙂 Thanks for swinging by!

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  • Hi great article thanks for the tips! I think I’ll reference this on my own blog!

    Also, I setup a site that let’s Comcast customers compare their Comcast bill with others in their neighborhood and city. If you’re interested, I’d love to hear your thoughts:
    http://comcastbills.com/lower-comcast-bill/2010/05/compare-your-comcast-bill-with-your-neighbors-introducing-comcastbills-bill-compare/

  • Dan

    My wife and I recently dropped our premium channels and just have basic cable and internet through Comcast. We use Netflix streaming to get content for our kids to watch when our local PBS stations are not broadcasting children’s programming. I get ESPN3 through my Xbox 360 so I can watch sports. We are saving $100 a month effortlessly and we kick ourselves for not doing it sooner!

  • TV

    This looks like it is really high. I gave up comcast a long time ago as I was always having disputes on their billing.

  • Did u give dem ur social security number or driving license. um if its driving license or ID no. den jus cancel ur service n don't pay ur bill.
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  • Comcast and the others are ridiculously expensive. I have switched to Direct and it was well worth it.

    http://gafftapes.com