Consumer Reports documents the deceptive cable industry practices used to hike real prices 24% over advertised ones

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Gee, I wonder where government regulation comes from?
-Said no one who has looked at a cable/cell phone/airline bill.


Centurylink apparently scores poorly in customer service (although not significantly worse than the others in this area), but my bill (Gigabit fiber internet only) is exactly the advertised $65, and my contract says that it will never go up as long as I maintain my account with them. More importantly — as I work from home — there’s no data cap.


In my case, Comcast advertises a 2 year introductory price of $100. I asked the lady at the counter and she wasn’t sure what the price would be after that period. It turned out to be $215. I cancelled Showtime and their movie stream, bought my own modem and with a announced price increase I’m at $195. That’s for both internet and TV cable. Yea I’m one of those old guys who doesn’t stream, mostly because I don’t think I can save enough money.

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I put up with Comcast as my only option for ten years. My bill would stay flat for awhile and then suddenly jump and then I would lose hours on the phone trying to get the bill back down to what it was.

So far with Wave my bill has stayed the amount I agreed to when I signed up.


When my Comcast bill hit $200, we switched to a local provider (their only local competition) and brought it down about $75 a month. That’s crept up steadily and is now, again, over $200. So we finally cut the cord. Now we pay $6 a month for Hulu and $12 a month for Netflix. We’ll be prepaying for Disney+ so that’s about $6 a month as well. Not bad.


Monopolies gonna monopoly.

But at least we are saved from the horrors of government regulation, which drives up prices and lowers quality of service…/<sarcasm


I have Frontier and while the Internet service is consistently fast, fuck if they don’t make it hard to like them. Their prices are barely competitive and year they jack up my rates like 20% and I need to do the customer service lottery in the hope that I can get a decent promo price for the next year. Their TV offerings are mediocre at best. While the quality is good, they are missing a bunch of channels, and few streaming services support them.

And then there’s the now two year’s long pissing match with the CBS affiliate which means that I can’t get CBS without paying extra to subscribe to their streaming service.

Meanwhile Frontier happily charges me the same price for TV despite offering me less service.

(Terrestrial broadcasts are a crap shoot in Seattle because of the geography and I can’t get any OTA channels without mounting an outdoor yagi antenna, which my HOA doesn’t allow.)

As soon as my promo rate expires I’m considering dropping TV service entirely and subscribing to YouTube TV instead. I will no longer need to pay for TiVo service (which is about to go on my shit list anyway with them adding pre-roll ads), and I’ll get all the channels I care about. Seems like a win to me.


Frontier claims in my neighborhood to offer half gig symmetric for $40 a month for 2 years. Fortunately I’m also in a Comcast service area so I actually have leverage to hold them to it.

Even though it’s duopoly, it’s better than having one ISP or nothing.


That’s a pretty killer deal. I have 200/200 service and with TV and phone it’s nearly $200/mo. They really bend you over once the promo period expires. I’m often tempted to go to Comcast but I like the symmetric speeds, no caps, and pipe that’s not shared with others so I always get the speeds I pay for. I’d probably be fairly happy with Internet only.


Hello, fellow centurylink customer! I’m getting the same thing installed Monday.

Speaking on the customer service, they didn’t tell my wife what was involved in the installation, and calling back just got me some guy in India who couldn’t look up my account info (nice guy, but didn’t know what would be done at my house).
Is the fiber inside to the modem? Or do they terminate it outside and run copper into the house?

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I don’t have CenturyLink but I’d assume all residential fiber offerings are the same.

They will run a fiber optic line to your home from the fiber terminal in your area, and terminate it at a box called an Optical Network Terminal (ONT). The ONT can be mounted inside or outdoors depending on various things (mine is in the laundry room of my condo). Your home’s cable TV, phone (POTS), and router will all plug into the ONT.

If you’re savvy you won’t need to use their shitty router and can instead opt to use your own. I highly recommend this since you can use much more capable and secure equipment rather than whatever garbage they provide.


In my case the fiber went to a box outside, then they pulled the copper and the power for the fiber box around the side of the house and through the wall into my office. The power then goes to an outlet there and the copper to a modem/wireless router combo. The tech happily turned off the router part so I could just plug it into my Eero, and everything works fine.

I should say that it took a week or two before I started seeing those speeds consistently on the speed checks. Sometimes in that period the up or down could drop as low as 350, not that it meant anything to me.

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I understand the main thing is that fiber can’t make sharp (e.g. 90°) bends, so if it were to be in the house then very specific conduit layout would need to be ready ahead of time.


Blech, that’s a lot. Even with Cox (35 up/350 down) I was just paying $100, which I could justify as my lifeline to work, but then you couldn’t pay me to watch even cable television, and we just rely on our cellphones. I don’t follow any sports seriously, though. Fortunately all I follow is an out of market baseball team, so I can hook into MLB TV for that.

My mother-in-law has all three through Comcast, and interestingly her land line service through them is worse than any cellphone. We are looking at the $5/month zero frills service from AT&T just to have something we can plug an unpowered phone into for emergencies, but obviously cable phone setups don’t work for that.

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I could live without cable TV and phone (and at $50/mo YouTube TV looks very attractive). I’m very tempted to cancel my phone and TV service, but I also worry about shenanigans from Frontier with billing. I may call them soon and inquire about rates though.

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In Tucson I get Simply Bits for $50 a month, microwave dish. In Phoenix you can use Phoenix Internet for comparable prices. I don’t get A&E but they cancelled Hornblower 20 years ago and they’ve been running redneck reality shows every since.

Thanks! Thats really what I was hoping for.

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We pay for Netflix, Prime and through Prime Britbox. Often also the MLB TV season thing. Tried CBS All Access for a bit, but only watched Discovery on it, and couldn’t justify it. We also happen to be just a few blocks from one of the last really good video rental stores, which we wind to taking a fair amount.

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I’m an old guy who used to pay Dish a large amount every month.

Switching to Sling cut my bill in half, and I only use the ISP for internet-only service, and use a VOIP line for phone for $20/month from Pioneer.

You should try it, if you have decent speed from your ISP. Mine is only 25 Mbps, and it does Sling and my wifi at the same time, no problem.