Monday, March 11, 2013

Miscellany and Bundling

First, even though I really like and admire Valerie Harper and was sad to hear her devastating news, I hate the whole media exploitation of her illness. However, she was just on one of the Hollywood-type gossip shows and I stopped to listen to her. She has a fantastic attitude, but the interviewer asked her what is looking better and tasting sweeter to her these days. She said, "My husband's face" and it just moved me to tears. Her prognosis is three months minimum, but she could live a number of years more.

On more mundane fronts, I am leaving for Nashville tomorrow so you will get some hotel and travel reports. Weather looks OK for going and coming.

And now to bundling. I have resisted bundling, even as I cursed my bills each month. Right now I pay $49.99 a month (which somehow transforms to $75+ when the various taxes and weird fees are applied) for unlimited phone service, along with the usual call waiting, voice mail, etc. That's from Verizon. Happiness Rating: 9.9 out of 10.0 -- Every so often, and I mean two or three times a year voice mail gets screwed up, but service is fine.

I pay $50 a month for mobile wifi for Internet access from Sprint. Happiness rating: 5 out of 10. It's great when I travel, but the signal is really uneven at home and I can't stream movies, can barely see Youtube and then only if I'm patient.

Cable TV is from Time Warner and I pay about $108 for cable (which I have to have to have any picture and I pay for HBO). Happiness rating: 6 out of 10. The bill continues to go up. Reception continues to have so many little glitches -- frozen pixallation, if that's how you spell it, and recently a "Please wait a moment..." message when I'm changing channels -- not all the time but enough to be annoying -- at least once a day.

Today with my Verizon phone bill, there was a letter about checking your plan to make sure you're getting the best and I see they have a two-product bundle -- phone and a router for $49.95 -- the same price I'm paying now just for phone. Another reason I didn't want to add a router is that I didn't want to pay for both an at-home router and one for travel.

I'm thinking of doing the router from Verizon. The three-product bundle is cable from Direct TV and I really don't know much about Direct TV. I've had Time Warner for literally decades. Anyone have any experience with Direct TV? The three-bundle deal is $79.95.

One caveat is that these prices are good for one year, but I guess it can all be negotiated. Any thoughts?


Mary Mc said...

I got Verion's FIOS bundle and it feels as if I'm paying too much for it. These bills are all so confusing - how do you compare? I have pretty good service all around now, although it was a very rocky start, so my only complaint is that I think I'm paying too much for my "bargain". For a year they gave me a $10 a month reduction to make up for my bad service.

Barbara said...

I resist bundling because I hate the idea of all the eggs in one basket - if one thing goes wrong, you lose ALL forms of communication. Then the problem with the one year deals, is that once they've gotcha, they jack up the price and aren't willing to negotiate because they know they've gotcha. Also personally I've had a lot of problems with Verizon regular land line phone service, and difficulty getting customer service or repair dates to show up, so I wouldn't ever take a chance and put other services there too.

Barbara said...

Also, have a great trip!

Melissa said...

I agree with Barbara, I think you have more leverage in fighting increases if you are not bundled. This has helped me avoid increases on my cable bill (time Warner) for the last two years but I had to threaten to move to do so. Cash has time Warner cable and Internet and the home phone was thrown in (but they both use cell phones almost all the time so I don't remember if they pay for long distance.
I think you can save a few bucks by bundling but I like choices too.