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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Gerstenberger

Cutting the Cord

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

A few weeks ago, I shared that I had finally entered the 21st century having had my first Virtual Health visit via Facetime with a nurse who wrote me a prescription which I picked up at my local pharmacy. All this was done from the comfort of my home office and took about 15 minutes. If you missed or would want to re-read that posting just go to this link .

This past week I had reached another 21st century milestone in that I cut my cable cord and began streaming all of my television programing solely via the internet. While it took me awhile to figure out how to do this and get up the “nerve” to try it, once I pulled the plug on cable I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to negotiate my new streaming service.

The biggest challenge I had was getting out of the package that included internet and cable with my current cable company and getting internet only service from them at a reasonable price. Even though my cable company published a $39.99 rate for “internet only” service, in speaking with their customer service representative I was told that rate was only available to “new” customers. As an existing customer, the “internet only” rate for me would be $92/month! This didn’t make sense since that rate when combined with the monthly streaming service cost would be about the same as what I was paying for internet and cable from my current provider.

After several conversations with my cable company and escalating the issue to their “solutions” center to no avail, I decided on a different approach.

I placed a call to the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and a very helpful representative told me that cable companies are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) not the PUC and she provided me with the FCC’s toll free phone number.

I called the number and was placed on hold. While on hold, a message was played that explained that, the best way to file a complaint was online and I was directed to the FCC’s website.

Hanging up the phone I filled out the complaint form (which took less than 10 minutes) and clicked the “Submit” button.

To my surprise in less than 24 hours, I received a call from the executive offices of my cable company as a follow up to my complaint! I explained to the representative the basis of my complaint and was promptly informed that while their regular customer service representatives were not authorized to provide the $39.99 rate to existing customers, she was able to do so, and my issue was quickly resolved.

The next day, I registered for YouTube TV, tried it for a couple of days to make sure that the quality of the reception and programing all worked properly and then cut the cable cord.

While it’s unfortunate I had to go through the FCC complaint process to obtain the level of service that I wanted, I was pleasantly surprised at how efficient things worked once I did. Lesson learned.

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