Why are so many consumers cutting the cable cord?

Cut the Cable (Bill) - 10 Alternatives to Cable Television

Report: 33 million will cut the cable cord this year–higher than previous estimate

Research firm eMarketer says it underestimated how many people might become cord-cutters this year. The firm now believes that 33 million individuals will drop traditional pay TV service in 2018, meaning its previous prediction from July 2017 was off by about 6 million people.

eMarketer seemed to believe that TV providers such as Comcast would slow the bleeding by loading Netflix and other streaming services onto their boxes. Instead, those services continue to cannibalize cable and satellite TV service outright, while live TV services like DirecTV Now and Sling TV allow people to retain many of the same channels they had with traditional pay TV service.

They never seem to mention the high cost. Right now, my monthly cable bill is about the cost of a monthly payment on a luxury car — which, of course, I don’t have. (I have a 16-year-old car. I always pay cash.)

How can that be?

When I call to complain and try to lower my costs, they spout a bunch of word salad that says I can give up both premium channels and it will save me… $10. (I only have cable in one room, I don’t have DVR service.)

One of the reasons I founded CUFF is that I dream about the day that I can speak for 50 thousand or so activist consumers when I talk to politicians.

9 Comments

  1. I dropped Directv & Xfinity, no difference. My bill stayed in the $180 per month range.

    • Aside from disliking my money going to the likes of Comcast, a company that lobbies against the interests of “we the people” in every way they can, I was always outraged by two things: 1) Their annual 4%+ rate increases, even through the Great Recession and 2) all their charges for hardware that I had to pay for to secure their damn network. So, I purchased a DVR+ from ChannelMaster — for $400 and installed an antennae in the attic. Total cost was maybe $700. Now I had DVR functionality for all over the air HDTV channels. Then I added HBO, Netflix and Amazon for streaming. Amazon Prime covered the video content, so I count that as “free” since we had been paying for it before anyway for 2 day shipping, etc. So that’s $14.99 for HBO, $12.99 for Netflix (I have two kids, so being able to “double stream” was worth another $2 a month). We had Sling for a time for $29 a month but when my wife lost her job three years back, I nixed that and we haven’t gone back. So we’ve got a $60 a month high speed broadband bill (that we would have anyway). So my total variable monthly cost for “cable” is now < $30 a month. At five years now, if I amortize the Channel master and antennae, there's about $11 a month there and falling every month. My only issue is that we installed solar panels on the roof and they have screwed up my ABC antennae reception! It's not easy saving a buck. But cutting the cord has worked out well for us.

  2. Sadat Kent McArthur
    Sadat Kent McArthur

    AT&T high speed internet $40, Netflix and Hulu $20. All I need.

  3. I just cancelled cable service b/c of cost and how they track everything we watch. Too expensive and intrusive. While returning the cable boxes, there were streams of people in line to return their cable boxes also because of same reason.

    • What do you mean about how they “track everything we do”? I have Netflix too, and I do get “suggestions” from them on what they think I’d enjoy. What is happening with you that is intrusive? I hate intrusiveness and if I’m missing something, I’d like to be enlightened.

  4. I’d like to cut the cord on Direct TV. But I don’t have much of an idea what to expect after that. We have Netflix and Amazon Prime, in addition to Direct TV monthly bill. Sometimes we can’t find anything on either of those that appeal to us. Do you need a smart TV to cut the cable? I don’t think ours is a “smart” TV. What I’d like to do is join individually the channels I’m interest in, but then the monthly costs add up. It’s fine if they add up to less than the cable bill. But how would I watch them? Via streaming? (Sorry, not very tech savvy). I’d like to subscribe monthly to HBO, Hulu, Acorn TV, Brit Box, Showtime, etc. Can I do that without the cable?

  5. I am currently in a fight w/cablevision-optimum-altice (and several unnamed shell companies of theirs). First, our expensive new tv stopped getting audio w/the cable; then we called so-called customer service (a clear misnomer) for several weeks and got the cable guy to our house. The new box worked for only 2 weeks & back to ‘go’. Got no satisfaction after TWO MONTHS and hours/weeks on the phone w/service. Then got hoodwinked into an altice mobile deal that (of course) was not really a deal and the promised cable guy (surprise!) never showed up! Duh!
    I feel like a grade-A schmuck! Enough! i am going to pursue this and already tracked down execs who clearly don’t want their names or contact info divulged (wonder why?!). Any suggestions?

  6. I cut off cable from time to time. The most popular reason wwas for the money. I found Netflix and before them were the video stores in the 1970s. Until, RUKU It was left to sales and computer classes and workshops on things that needeed to be addressed. RUKU opened my eyes to free entertainment and all i needed then was a clear picture. Now into the next century 2000+ we have arrived. SMART TV. video games, , movies, some of the apps , and streaming all night till the next afternoon.. Myself? I am living with a disabilitty so I hooked up my Robbie robot vacumm sweeper and lights and make certain my DME(durable medical equiptment) is running properly. I have to travel with POC(portable Oxygen concentrator) so it plugs in like the cell phone and tablet next to the laptop. I had a hospital stay from a life changing accident and since Janurary 1992 I have changed my entire life from the way most are doing it. I neveer take anything for granted and always find more than one way to do things.

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