I signed up for DIRECTV last year. HUGE MISTAKE! The promotional price ended after one year, I barely used the 700+ channels, and the free NFL Sunday Ticket turned into an $130 cable bill in the second year.
I got cable because I thought it would be a nice feature to attract roommates. Turns out, cable is NOT a feature that roommates care about, especially millennial roommates. Our roommates barely used the cable channels either.
Getting Rid of Cable
Unfortunately, I was not able to get out of the DIRECTV Contract without paying a penalty. When I called to cancel, I was transferred to the employee retention line and they could only offer me discounts on my current bill.
I moved forward with canceling the line anyways since the $200 cancellation fee was MUCH cheaper than continuing out the contact, even at a steep discount.
TIP! If you want to keep your cable but want a discount, just cancel your line. I received THREE phone calls after I cancelled offering me lower and lower prices. I think the lowest price was around $60, 50% of my current bill.
I didn’t keep cable but I have to admit the lower prices were tempting!
I have heard that you CAN get out of your cable contract without paying the cancellation fee if you move to a new location and that location is not able to have cable set up. This situation did not apply to me so I cannot confirm.
Cheap Alternatives to Cable TV
If you’re thinking about getting rid of cable or you are looking for an alternative to cable, consider getting an indoor antenna. Remember the rabbit ears you had on your TVs growing up? Well, they still have those except they’re sleek and work without tin foil!
Amazon Indoor HDTV Antenna
I just bought the AmazonBasics Ultra Thin Indoor TV Antenna – 35 Mile Range and am extremely happy with it. In fact, I am embarrassed that I ever paid for cable because this indoor antenna meets all of my needs. I bought the 35-mile version for $24.99 (now $17.99) and I get around 40 channels clearly. This is a one-time price and I get all of the local channels plus the network channels such as NBC. You may get more or less channels depending on where you live.
I hate to admit it but I’m a bit of a Bachelor fan. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. I was pleased to find out last week that the Bachelor comes in clearly with the indoor antenna.
I also get all of the local news channels including local ABC and NBC stations.
Sharing Subscription Accounts with Friends
I have a Netflix account, my friend has HBO Go, and my sister has Amazon Prime and Hulu. Each of those subscription services allows for multiple devices.
Netflix for example allows you to create multiple profiles so you never feel like you’re sharing an account. My friend uses my Netflix under her own profile so we never run into the issue where I am starting a movie where she left off. We have two entirely separate profiles with our own saved settings.
I lucked out by paying for the Netflix. So for $7.99 per month and a one time fee of $24.99, I have access to thousands of movies and TV series for a fraction of the price of cable.
Using an Amazon Fire TV Stick or Similar Product
I also have a Chromecast and can project YouTube videos and other media on to my TV. I bought the Chromecast for around $30 as a gift for my parents. They never used it (they’re still psychologically trapped into a cable bill) so I have happily taken it back. It’s made a great addition to my collection.
If I had the choice now, I’d buy the All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote instead for $39.99. The Alexa voice recognition feature is pretty awesome and at that price, it’s a great deal.
Overall, I haven’t regretted canceling cable once and think cable is a complete waste of money when there are so many cheaper alternatives available.
Do you have cable? What are your alternatives to cable?
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