It’s impossible to cut the cord

25 Apr

2 years ago, we cancelled our cable TV. We have a Roku and Chromecast. When we watch TV (or rather, when the kids watch) we use Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime TV.

We do not have a home phone number and its been bugging me. So I decided to re-activate our phone service. The price went from $94 a month, to $134 a month.
After watching a Verizon commercial on TV, I found out that $134 is the cost for phone, internet and  TV.  So I called to see if I could do better with my pricing.  Here is a rough transcript of the completely stupid conversation I just had with Verizon.

Thanks for calling Verizon, how can I help you?
Hi, I was researching your pricing on your website and I see that your triple play package with “Ultimate” TV and 75/35 internet costs 134.99 a month. That is what I am currently paying without the TV.
Yes that is right.
OK, so what is the price of that package with the most basic TV package.
That would cost $95 a month.
OK great. Can I sign up for that instead?
Yes but you need to also lease a set top box from us for $8. That brings you to $103 a month.
But I don’t want TV, I am just trying to lower my cost per month.
Sorry, you can’t have TV without a set top box.
OK fine. Add one set top box.
OK, there is an activation fee of $60. Its broken up into 3 payments.
$60 for activation?? But I am an existing customer. I already have internet and phone.
Yes well installations is quite involved, we need to charge for the labor.
(Skeptical voice) Well, ok fine then.
<typing and order placing>
Ok you are all set. We will send you the set top box in within a few days. The instructions are inside to set it up.

At this point, I was ready to lose it, so I just agreed to everything and hung up the phone.

I am completely furious. Why am I being charged a $60 activation fee if I am installing my own equipment. I had TV a couple of years ago and they are making me install my own equipment.

Furthermore, I feel like an idiot for signing up for a $40/month phone line when I could have just ordered Vonage for $24.99 a month. But that would cost $119 a month where as the triple package with Verizon is $103 + $60.

I am trying to not make the emotional choice which is to call up Verizon and tell them to go to hell.

So much for cutting the cord.

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