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I’ve wanted to cancel my cable television service for years. Right after Voldemort moved out, I thought it would be a good time. It wasn’t. There was far too much emotional crap flying around to deal with something as mundane as the cable package.

So I didn’t.

Then I moved and had to have all the services transferred to the new house. Now, I thought, I’ll get rid of cable. But Cox offered me a good deal on a “bundle,” so I took it.

I just got the bill for December and realized that all those stupid bundle promotional prices have expired. The bill went up by almost $100 a month. And no one even watches TV anymore. The kids stream everything on their computers or other devices. I can’t handle the news (local, national, or cable) and only watch the very occasional series like Major Crimes on TNT.

No friggin’ way am I paying more than $100/month for that.

I’ve got a Netflix subscription and Amazon Prime instant video. It turns out that I can buy episodes or entire seasons of Major Crimes from Amazon to stream for a helluva lot less than the price of even one month of service from Cox. (Although the current season is pretty lackluster and I may not even bother.) All sorts of HBO series and movies are available free through Amazon Prime. And I can purchase a Showtime subscription through almighty Amazon for less than $10 a month. Sheesh, why does anyone pay for premium channels through the cable company anymore?

I didn’t think I’d be able to get any reception without the cable box, but after disconnecting it I found that I still get cable on the downstairs TV which never had a cable box. No clue why that is. If it changes, I may buy an antenna and set that up for local stations. Or I may not. We honestly watch TV so rarely it probably isn’t worth the trouble. I’ll keep the option open and see how this goes.

Cable companies just don’t seem to care how most people are choosing to get their television entertainment now. Cox tried to charge me $75 just for “expanded” services, which included about 200 channels, many of which were music (radio stations on your TV!). Then there were charges for equipment, premium channels I didn’t ask for but were included in the “bundle,” and a slew of taxes and fees. When I told the rep to cancel all the TV services, he found another bundle that would save me a few dollars compared to their street rate, but there was no flexibility to drop premium channels I didn’t want. And I would still be paying almost $50/month more than my previous bundle. It’s crazy-making.

I just said no thanks to the whole convoluted con.

Eventually cable companies will feel enough pain from people cancelling TV services to make the reasonable and necessary changes their market is demanding. Right now, though, they’re desperate to hang on to the huge profits they’ve generated over the past decades. Greed is the bottom line. As usual.

If you’ve got any tips on antennas or essential subscriptions for replacing cable, please share! I’ve wandered around dozens of blogs over the years gathering the courage to cut the cord. It’s awesome when other people share ways to make the process less intimidating. So far it’s been painless.

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