Over the course of the last two weeks, my wife and I have been in atypically close contact with family and friends. During that time, we engaged in many hours of conversation on a wide variety of topics. Interestingly, several of those discussions touched on the increasing cost of cable and internet services, which are now running virtually all of them in excess of $400/month.
A couple of our family and friends speculated that consumers will start detaching themselves from their tv cables during the next several years as costs continue to increase – believing people will maintain their internet service while starting to watch television on their computers, ipads and smart phones.
Personally, I’m not so sure this will happen in overwhelming numbers… at least not in the near future. I realize many people have “unplugged” already, but both technology and consumer behavior will have to change considerably before it will happen en masse. Will Patriots and Red Sox fans be satisfied to listen to games on the radio, like we did back in the 60s and 70s? (Remember, internet services black out local games, so as not to compete with regional television packages). Will reality TV fans give up their favorite shows or wait weeks (or months!) for them to become available through on-line content providers? I am skeptical. Yes, there will always be some who will be satisfied to watch television shows on their 8″ tablet or 15″ computer monitor so they can save some money; but, will those folks ever constitute a significant slice of the consumer base?
My wife, Deirdra, and I subscribe to a satellite television service. When we first moved into our new home in Weare a few years ago, I was not in favor of switching to satellite television. But my wife made a compelling argument, as the introductory offer was much too attractive to ignore. I relented, and agreed to try the satellite for one year. As the contract neared its end, we received a notice of a significant price increase: my wife called and negotiated some free services and a substantially lower increase that had been threatened. The same dance has played itself out over each of the last two years… and I suspect it will happen again this summer. Each time, my wife has demonstrated her chops in dealing with the customer service reps at the satellite company.
Long before RIS Media posted this article, my wife was practicing the tactics it lays out… trust me, they work. But my wife put in the time – she earned her accomplishments. She studied the consumer landscape, knew what she wanted to accomplish going in (always maintaining a level of reasonability with the company, which increased her credibility with them), and wasn’t afraid to use our ace in the hole – we can always go back to Comcast.
You see, we have what they want – our money! And Dee knows this all too well…
As far as my misgivings with satellite service? They have long been put to rest. Yes, there are three or four occasions every year when we lose service for a couple of hours during a torrential rain storm… or when I have to trudge out to the satellite dish to wipe the snow from it during blizzards (and other heavy snow events). But the truth is, the quality of the service has been outstanding, customer service has been excellent, and the cost of service has been significantly less. And I get to watch the Red Sox EVERY night… in real time!
So, if you are looking for real estate in Concord, NH, or the surrounding areas, I recommend my satellite service to you… and suggest you read the cited article to learn some tactics for controlling your costs.
Thanks for reading…