Read. The. Statements!

The credit union’s bill-pay system is set up to pay the monthly Cox telecommunications bill in two chunks: a slab from The Copyeditor’s Desk to pay the (alleged) high-speed Internet connection, vital to doing business, and the rest from personal checking to cover the land line and the various indescribable bullshit the company uses to jack up its prices. It emits these transactions automatically, without my having to do anything special to make that happen.

This morning I opened the statement that came in last night’s mail. (That’s right: in the abysmal straits to which the U.S. Post Office has sunk, mail here is often delivered after dark.) Lo! It was ten bucks more than the total allotted monthly payment!

Dayum!

Annoying close comparison between last month’s bill and this month’s bill revealed that, for no discernible reason, Cox had ratcheted up the price of the Internet connection by a little over nine bucks.

Note, however, that they did nothing to ratchet up the speed of their interminably tardy “high-speed” service.

Ah, well.

So I called and, once connected to a human (only took about 10 minutes…), asked for an explanation.

Right away, without even any whining or caviling from me, the youthful-sounding man on the other end offered a $10 “discount,” good for a year.

Welp, it doesn’t solve the ultimate problem. But it’ll save me $120 in 2014.

Better than a hit on the head.

I sure do wish cell phones came with unlimited extensions, the way land lines do. Actually, somewhere I heard of a service that allows you to have your cell phone ring on a land line, thereby converting your land-line phones to de facto extensions. But alas, I’m afraid you prob’ly still have to pay for the land-line service to pull that stunt off.

Which is an aside.

The PF take-away: Always open every statement, no matter how routine it looks, and read it. And when confronted with something new, annoying, or bizarre: Question Authority!

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Tara @ Streets Ahead Living February 5, 2014 at 8:10 am

In NYC, there are three cable providers and I live in the land where we can only get one of them, Cablevision/Optimum. While Cablevision has GREAT customer service, they won’t reduce our cable internet bill. They know I have no other option for internet service so in spite of threats to cancel, they don’t offer any reduction in service. I suck it up because cancelling, returning the modem, and then setting up service in my name (it’s in my husbands) are not worth it to me right now to save a few bucks on my monthly bill. Glad you were able to get yours reduced!

funny February 5, 2014 at 8:41 am

I believe we have several now. Before I dismantled the broadcast TV, some new outfit was blitzing the airwaves with ads for a low-cost, all-purpose service. Their ads were so annoying and tacky I figured they probably have sh!tty customer service…but it may be time to start looking at Cox’s competish.

I sher wouldn’t pay for cable TV, though, unless I was a total spectator sports nut. Netflix is awesome!! And amazingly cheap.

Linda February 5, 2014 at 12:32 pm

My only choice of broadband Internet service for many years was Comcast. So when AT&T installed U-Verse fiber optic service in the area and sent sales people door to door to sell it was easy for me to say yes. After almost two years, they increased the cost of my broadband service by $10 a month. I contacted them about it, but they wouldn’t drop the price. Considering that it is still cheaper than Comcast, I’m not dropping the service and didn’t want to make an empty threat.

They all try to sell you their TV services, and to get the free install and cheapest deal I had to sign up for TV for the first year. Considering the crappy programming on the cheap channels it was easy for me to decline the TV portion after my contract period was reached. I much prefer watching streaming shows and FREE local HD channels with my little antenna.

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