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The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal.

I came home from work the other day and my wife said a gentleman had stopped by from Comcast. He informed her about a potential deal we could receive if we switched.  We currently have AT&T U-Verse.  We’ve been with AT&T about 9 months after switching over from Comcast.  When it comes to cable and internet service, I go with the least expensive.  This has meant switching every few years between the companies.  This might seem like a hassle to some, but for me, it’s how I keep my costs down.  My wife told the gentleman that I handled all of that; he said he would be back in the area on Saturday and would stop back.

The Deal

Sure enough, Saturday afternoon the doorbell rang.  The deal was basically $89 a month for cable, phone and internet.  I’m usually skeptical of deals because they usually are too good to be true.  Included in this deal would be a $150 credit for switching over.  It would also include a couple movie channels and faster internet speeds.  Ok, I’m now interested.

We talk some more and I learn that a HD DVR receiver is included and that I would be looking at about $122 a month when taxes and fees are included for the first year.   The second year would be $25 more.  Being in charge of the finances, I know I pay $157 a month now for those 3 services.  So, even in the second year of the deal, this is less than I pay now.  This deal is looking better and better.  However, I know that I have a termination penalty with AT&T; I just can’t remember the amount.  I also want to compare the channel line ups to make sure I have the channels that I currently watch included in the new deal.

I asked if I could get back to him after I compared the channel lineups and determined my termination penalty.  He left his contact information and the channel lineup and informed me that the $150 credit would be expiring on Monday.

Upon Further Review

First, I compare the channels and don’t see anything missing.  The biggest difference is that I am swapping Showtime for HBO.  Not a big deal for us as we only watch Showtime occasionally anyway.  Next, I need to contact AT&T to find out what my termination penalty is and when does it end.  Rather than call on the phone, I use the on-line chat feature.  The service representative looks up my information and says that my contract is up in August of 2014 and that early termination results in a $15 a month charge for each early month.  This is actually better than I thought.  I thought my contract did not end until 2015 and that there was a $300 termination fee.  The representative informs me they don’t want me to cancel and offer to lower my bill by $10 a month.  This deal is working out in all the right ways.

Signing on the Dotted Line

I call the Comcast guy back Monday morning and tell him I want to go ahead with the deal.  Even by cancelling AT&T early and paying the $15 a month fee, I still come out ahead by about $30 a month.  There is a termination fee with the agreement, which is no surprise to me, there always is with this type of deal.  It is $230 if I terminate before the end of 2 years.  Since my prices are looked in for the two years, I don’t really care.  The one item that did catch me by surprise was the $30 installation fee.  In all of my past experiences, this has been waived.  The fee is offset by the $150 bonus in my mind.  So, I only net $120.

I have had both AT&T and Comcast in the past.  I’m not really partial to either one, which is why I probably switch so easily.  Price is my deciding factor.  Whichever one gives me the best deal has my business.  In 2 years, I will go through the same dance and see if I can score another deal.

Have you been able to lower your cable bill recently?