But it wasn’t easy.
This blog post isn’t to bash my (soon to be former) pay TV provider DirectTV. I never had an issue with service or lack of channels — I very well could have had ESPN 8 The Ocho if I went up high enough. My decision to cut the cord, as I laid out on this blog last week, was strictly financial. I’m going to save more than $1,200 a year. That’s an extra mortgage payment, several car payments or maybe even a nice vacation this summer.
This blog post is about the process of canceling cable or satellite services. If you plan on following me down this path, give yourself at least an hour, plus some time for follow-up calls.
First, I’d like to thank everyone for the positive feedback from last week’s blog post. I received several emails from people in the industry, as well as consumers, telling me they’ve done something similar, or plan to. Good for you! Keep that money in your wallet.
Now, onto my cancellation experience. The DirectTV sales representative I dealt with was very polite, friendly and she did her job very well. So well, that I came close to nixing my decision! But I stayed strong and explained to her that my wife and I travel occasionally for work and this decision was purely financial.
She then went into a list of options, such as being able to freeze our service for a month at a time, meaning we wouldn’t have to pay for that month, but we also wouldn’t have satellite TV during that freeze. Makes sense if you need to leave on business for a month or two at a time, but not for us.
She then offered to take away the premium channels, drop a service level and get rid of the DVR (I was essentially paying for the works).
Again, I said, “We’re just looking to save money by using over-the-air TV for free plus some streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.”
There was some confusion with my contract. I was told I had a 24-month contract, but I knew that wasn’t true. Good thing I still had some notes from the original purchase saved on my computer. The condo association I live in allows us to sign up for a 12-month contract, which is a little rare for DirectTV I found out. If it was a 24-month contract, I’d be looking at a $360 early cancellation fee. While I’d still save money in the long run, paying that much to get rid of a service would be tough to swallow.
When it was all said and done, I owed $140 to cancel early. I hung up the phone with a sigh of relief.
Four hours later, I receive a call from DirectTV. “Why did you cancel? We’d love to have you back. Can we work out a new deal?”
I give them an “A” for effort, but free is simply better for me.