Bring Back That Old Time Television Without a Cable Bill!!!!

Those of us of a certain age grew up watching television in black and white, with either a huge antenna on the roof, or rabbit ears inside.


We got one handful of channels and there was no accompanying cable or Dish bill to be verklempt over. Life was good.

Enter the Crazy World of Cablevision:

Exhibit A:

A whopping $195 a month. It’s obscene.

As you can see, this month’s bill went up about $8.00. I called to ask why and was told that the price per cable box went up and the DVR service went up too, as well as the nasty Surcharge (more on that further down).

The irony in this increase is that last month, in an effort to save a dime or too, I eliminated $4.95 per month for the faster Wi-Fi, which, as far as I could tell was no faster than what was included, so why pay more? Therefore, I expected my bill to be LESS $4.95, not more.

If you look at the bill you’d say, gee, idiot, get rid of that dopey Optimum Phone – look what it’s costing you.

Let’s back up a year when the bill was about $165/month. I called and asked if there were any deals to be had to keep this long time customer with Cablevision. Here’s where the agent said, ‘if you add Optimum phone, I can LOWER your bill because you’ll be taking the Triple Package.”

I said I have no use for the phone, don’t want the phone, can’t stand that if the Cablevision power goes out, which it does with frequency, so does the ability to use the phone. No thank you.

She said “doesn’t matter, take the package, one time offer, keep your bill from jumping”. Okay.

When that year was up, so too was the deal. I got a letter that said my one year special deal was going to expire and now my bill would be $180+. I called again (they must love me) and I asked if there were any NEW deals to be had. The guy who helped me said “hey lady, do you honestly think you can call every year and expect to get a big savings?”

Um, yes, I said sheepishly…


I used the Cablevision secret word, FIOS, and got switched to another customer service agent who specialized in retaining fed up customers. She threw out another deal, again with the phone, and more channels. I said thanks and moved on.

That made the bill in the $170 range. I have mentally blocked out what brought it from the $170s to the high $180s, just wrote the check and groaned.

NOW, as for that surcharge line item: See …..


No matter what amount of complaining I do, saying I don’t want to pay for someone else’s extra sports fees, Cablevision said it’s a must. Now I see it also says Broadcast TV as well as Sports so I guess I’m subsidizing the people who are using an antenna????

The cable provider in RI is Cox Communications and by coincidence, that bill went up $8.00 too. A conspiracy???

No real point to this story other than to make myself feel better ranting about what it costs to watch TV. I see no likelihood in cancelling the service and may even ADD a second DVR box. 🙂

26 thoughts on “Bring Back That Old Time Television Without a Cable Bill!!!!

  1. Brother, you hit a sore nerve in our family. Our bill is well into the $225+ month with the Gold package and every sports package known to mankind. I balk when the bill comes, husband says it’s his one guilty pleasure, he does make the money for us, so I give in. I do find it obscene too though.

    Kids didn’t have school today so we booked early and headed up to the family house in the Adirondacks. We needed to get away from TV and just have a weekend of ice skating, snowshoeing and hot chocolate. Wood stove to keep us warm.

    Have a good weekend EOS.

    1. Yes. Ripp still has Friday noontime closing, keeping the hundred year old tradition to accommodate the families then who ALL left for their weekend homes. With a two hour delay opening, it wasn’t worth getting everyone there just to turn around and go home. Fine by me.

  2. We have Comcast in Miami. Isn’t any cheaper here. It’s one of those “what it costs to live” bills that we pay with shrugged shoulders.

  3. ugh! I hear you! I have been trying to cut cable for a year. When we first moved back from Sweden, we had a triple play package for $100 a month, totally reasonable. It has slowly crept up on us and cable vision won’t give in any longer. We neeeeeed reliable internet and my husband works from home, so landline is necessary. Almost zero roam at our house on any cell carrier. We have not watched any tv in over a year via cable. I can’t take the commercials, so we stream via Netflix, Amazon prime and now roku. Which is great. But cutting out cable only saves us a few dollars a month. I’ve threatened to foot fios, but have heard there are many problems and that they are not very reliable. Husband can’t afford a day without phone and Internet, so, not taking any chances.

    I think the cable companies are scared because they are a dying industry. As soon as a reliable, fast and cheap internet provider shows up, we (and surely, others) will bail.

    1. I think hell will freeze over before there will be a reliable, fast, and cheap internet. 🙂

      Landlines are the real challenge for the phone/cable companies. I won’t part with mine but I have friends (can you hear me now Diana?) who are cell only. My kids are cell only. I did ditch the fax line which cut my bill considerably. Between the cell phone, the land line and the cable bill, it’s close to $400/month.

      I’m impressed you don’t watch anything from cable – the History and Smithsonian channels are awesome for home schoolers like you. No commercials except between shows. Then the mute button comes in handy.

      If you are packed and ready for Florida, have a great stay away. Lucky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. History and smithsonian are on roku, and we have had more documentaries than we have time for on Netflix and Amazon 😊

        The packing process has begun, it’s rather extensive, since we are going for two months. Ugh and Ahhhh at the same time!🌴

  4. We have Time Warner in the city and no choice to change companies since the whole building subscribes. Our bill is in the $180 range.

    Cablevision has a whole house DVR system like FiOS so before you add another DVR box, call them.

    We ditched our landline two years ago – decent enough cell service in the building to carry on a business call without the call dropping or hearing every other word –

  5. Pbs is also on roku, so I am keeping (somewhat) with Downton Abbey. Not sure how I feel about the season so far.

    Have you seen House of Cards?

  6. The cable provider in RI is Cox Communications and by coincidence, that bill went up $8.00 too. A conspiracy???

    I bet you can thank Nancy Pelousy, Harry Weid and Barack Insane Obama for pushing that through in the bill they just had to pass before they could see what was in it.

  7. When you add in MY cell fone and the RI Cox internet – tv – landline, our monthly nut is closer to $700. Talk about egregious!!

  8. We had Comcast for a few years before FIOS was put into our community. Virtually everyone switched to Verizon. Customer service as well as actual service was dramatically improved. Comcast sent a guy door to door to ask what they could do to get us back. I told him, “Get off my property. Your service was so horrendous.that there is nothing Comcast could do to get us back.” All of our neighbors felt the same. We have always been happy with Verizon. Perhaps just because Comcast was so bad.

    1. Im laughing my head off Carolyn. I can totally see you telling the Comcast guy to get lost! You are the best!
      For me, the transition isaa much my many email addresses that are all @optonline, Cablevision’s stupid name. I’m waaaaaay to lazy to change each one to @verizon.

  9. You know we are a no cable household. A couple of months ago we gave up the landline. Now we pay $55 a month for internet and phone w/ Optimum. We watch HDTV via antenna for free. We use Tivo for recording shows and can buy movies from Netflix. We’re frugal!

    1. I know. We’re wasting money galore. You got it right. I’m not anywhere as disciplined as you. But I passed on the (yet again) $2.99 broccoli. I’m frugal in someways. Extravagant in others.

  10. Timely subject. I spent a couple of hours on the phone with Comcast which hung up on me twice and also used the online chat. My bill for cable, Internet and phone increased $35.00 a month to $195. In any event, Comcast had nothing to offer but to reduce Internet speed and eliminate the tennis channel, which we do enjoy, and downgrade the service. Cell phones work poorly in my neighborhood. Local TV channels do not come in at all without a heavy duty antenna.
    Fios is available and I may switch to get a good new customer ‘deal’. Probably more trouble than its worth.
    I know there’s a solution out there. I like Apple TV, installed on a bedroom TV, and use it for PBS programs. Discovered Johnny Worricker that way. Haven’t paid attention to Downton Abbey since season one or two. A British show similar to House Hunters only much better is Escape to the Country. That can be streamed from YouTube.

    1. The critical sentence you wrote is “it’s probably more trouble than its worth.” Cable providers know they have us under their thumb abd know how hard it is to change providers.
      Warricker is excellent. Bill Nighy and Helena Bonham Carter are great.

  11. Dish’s Sling service may be just the ticket. I don’t know how to link recent articles from NPR and Bloomberg ( and others) about it but the whole idea looks very promising to me.

  12. Every week or so I check my junk mail folder. Guess what. Comcast reduced my rate for the next year and increased my internet speed.
    Don’t know what to think but am not displeased at the moment.

    GO PATS!

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