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04/18/15

Vocal discord: Why cable costs can be crippling to your wallet

Who doesn't love sitting down after an arduous, long weekend and finding something to watch on television?
Maybe you're "binge watching" your favorite television series, taking in a movie that you may have missed at the theater or just making it a point to check out something on your DVR to get caught up on what you missed, but the reality is cable and satellite television falls as a priority for most consumers, even those who promise that they hardly watch much on the tube.
But at what point does would be poverty as far as your budget goes outweigh priority as it relates to cable television and the high costs. Truthfully, discussion regarding cable television and satellite costs is polarizing in that most savvy consumers will try to circumvent their high bills by implementing the use of streaming services at a lower cost and just either partially or completely cancel their cable.
The cable and satellite companies fire back with a round of promotions that vary from the much publicized "triple play" from the likes of Comcast or Verizon FIOS, in addition to satellite companies like Direct TV giving a staggering low rate of less than $50 per month, with additions such as NFL Sunday Ticket in the case of Direct TV.
And while the cable and satellite companies love the idea of heaping on value by bundling services and adding freebies, the honeymoon period on those ends typically in divorce, and that is the real issue as to why the communications industry doesn't have much of a customer approval rating in the eyes of the consumers.

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Take the Direct TV package, for example. Your rate is low initially, but then it takes a drastic jump back up to what one would consider a normal television rate (usually in the three digit range, around a $100 or more). Comcast also offers its bundling services for the year at a lower than usual advertised rate, but customers find themselves scrambling after that promotional period runs out. Even the bundled services hardly would be considered cheap even during that initial courtship period, often tipping the scales at more than $100, once you add in equipment rentals such as modems and DVR boxes. Sticker shock surely sets in after the fact as that $79.99 first year monthly rate (which actually ends up being more around $100 or more) shoots into the satellite stratosphere of easily more than $200 per month.
Smart shoppers pit the cable and satellite industries against one another and make it a point to negotiate lower rates as much as possible. They'll also flat out cancel their service if money is tight, refusing to succumb to cable as something they deem a need. Doing that is essential but isn't always the easiest cord cutting move given how fondly you are of your entertainment options, even if you're telling yourself otherwise.

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