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10.19.2007

Doin' the Dish


I did it. The monopoly has been Comcastrated. Eighy-sixed. X'd punk.

I thought I'd document my journey to the plate since I expect it to be an unsettling experience at times. I'll start with the history that brought me to stop feeding the pig:
  1. Comcast terminated my employment
  2. My Comcast bill 10-ish/06: $114/mo
  3. My Comcast bill 11-ish/06: $129/mo
  4. My projected Comcast bill 11-ish/07: $136/mo
Maybe my biggest beef though has to do with DVR service. In order to be willing to pay the empire an additional $12/mo for DVR service, a $13/mo upgrade to Digital Preferred is required. Granted, SusCom's policy was similar, but it just bothers me.

The Clipper Curse
MJ's been in a coupon mood lately and therefore procured her mom's Clipper Magazine. I've been in a Dish Network mood and had finally gotten a handle on their current offer when I saw an ad in the Clip for Dish service from an authorized retailer that included the current offer plus freebies: TV Guide for a year; choice of iPod, Digital Video Camera, Home Theater System; free $100 Gas Card. I wrestled with that ad and after three falls mydishnow.com had the match. Last night, I made the call.

56 Minutes, 17 Seconds
I went in with a gameplan... If favorable responses were received to my fact-finding questions, I was placing an order, even though I was skeptical that anything was going to go my way. Well, the reality was a 50/50 split. After slight hesitation, I unpocketed the plastic. Nearly an hour later, I give you the lowdown:

Programming
  • America's Top 200, local channels, regional sports networks (MASN and CSN-MA), DVR service, all fees except local tax: $49.99/mo
  • HD Package including 38 channels in hi-def: Free for 6 months, $20/mo after promotional period or $6/mo enabling fee which still gives you locals in HD
  • Free HBO, Cinimax and the like for 3 months
Equipment
  • Free Dual-tuner HD DVR receiver makes programming and DVR service accessible from 2 TVs eliminating the need to purchase a 2nd box with an additional DVR service fee
  • Free Dish
  • Free Installation
The "Extras"
  • Free TV-Guide for 1 year - okay, not necessary, but I'll take it
  • Free iPod - Not so fast... it's a Shuffle, and an old 512 MB model at that. It must be redeemed through their web site where the details are revealed. Hassle + $25 shipping > Value of 512 MB iPod stick. I guess I'll just go with the home theater system.
  • Free Gas Card - Again, I'm passing on this. My head is still spinning from their Redeption Policy.
  • Disney Trip - After I placed my order, they transferred me for "verification" which was really 15 minutes hearing about a great trip featuring time-shares and VIP cards that I had to decide on then and there because they only had a few left.
Other Notes
  • There is a $30 non-refundable start-up charge
  • This particular company checked my credit score which somehow signed me up for an account with the scorers that MJ had to cancel this morning
  • After the free prize discoveries, I have little faith in this company's truthiness. But there apparently is a nationwide high-speed internet offering from Dish and AT&T coming in the very near future

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Wow!

Wanna know something? I am (shoulder) leaning towards the same move (although moreso to DirecTV) once LRH and I cohabitate.

I may have to chat with you when the time comes...

I've had enough of Comcast.
 
I have often wanted to decomcast my house for several of the same reasons. My question is:

1. What do you currently have for voice and Internet? I have the triple play and considering what it took to get my phone number I don't want to mess that up.
 
We just have a basic Verizon plan for phone. I'll still be using Comcast for HSD until something else is offered in my area. This was always the hang-up for me since I'll now be paying $60/mo for internet service. However, I think I'll come out lower with Dish TV + Comcast HSD than all Comcast. Best-case scenario is that DSL comes to town during my 6-month introductory Dish offer.
 
My hang up is the voice. My wife has family in Lebanon, PA and Harrisburg. We were paying about $25 a month in toll calls and $15 a month in long distance on top of the basic Verizon charges. Now get all my phone calls for $39.95 per month with CDV. I never had enough confidence in Comcast HSD and Vonage to take that plunge.
 

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