I gave up cable over a year ago, and I haven’t looked back
I broke up with cable over a year ago. To date, it is the easiest breakup I’ve ever been through.
I spent many hours of my life yelling at the FiOS people. Many, sad, frustrating, why-is-this-what-I’m-doing-with-my-life hours. Mysterious charges of several hundred dollars would appear, and no one I talked to would have any explanation. Some promised it was a mistake that would get taken off, some told me it was legitimate and I had to pay it — yet nobody knew what the charge was. It took months and finally bitching on Twitter before I was able to get some answers. But by that time I was done. Why was I paying $150 a month for the privilege of spending hours of my life talking to clueless and/or rude customer service agents who cared not one whit about customer service, AKA two-thirds of their job title?
Around this time, I bought an Apple TV. Now I had an easy way to watch Netflix on my television, instead of my laptop or iPad. Then Apple finally released the Hulu Plus app, and I came to a realization: 100% of everything I watch is on DVR anyway, so at the very earliest, I’m watching it a day after — sometimes a week after. Plus, Hulu Plus had the majority of the shows that I watched available the next day. And it was cheap! And I didn’t have to spend hours yelling at people! So after a few months of hemming and hawing, I cut the cord and ditched cable.
Immediately, I started saving about $100/month. My cable and internet bill was around $150. For just internet, I started paying around $35. Hulu Plus is $7.99/month. I already had my Netflix subscription, but I was paying about $15/month for that. Plus I had the one-time $90 cost of the Apple TV.
After that, I was watching Community, The Office, Grey’s Anatomy … just about every network show I watched I could easily get. Plus, I was able to discover more. I became a die-hard Scandal fan after catching up with Season 1 on Netflix right before Season 2 started airing on Hulu.
I’m certainly not alone in my frustration. I come across more and more people every day who have made the same switch, and contrary to popular belief, we’re not downloading shows illegally.
Of course, not all shows are available, and there are some I’m definitely missing out on. Walking Dead, for instance, has been sacrificed due to its lack of a presence on Hulu, and the fact that only the first two seasons are on Netflix. Same thing with How I Met Your Mother. I stopped at season 7, as that’s the last set of episodes Netflix has. However, I’ve also started watching shows that I didn’t watch when I had cable. In addition to the aforementioned Scandal, I just binge-watched the first two seasons of Revenge. I watched the first two seasons of Downton Abbey, and was able to watch the third via the PBS app that allowed me to stream the show from my iPad to my TV.
Last week, I injured my knee and went over to my sister’s house for a few days, as she has fewer stairs that I would have to navigate. She also has cable. I was briefly excited, thinking of everything I could catch up on that I missed during my self-imposed cable hiatus. I turned on the TV, flipped through the On Demand menu, and … nothing. There wasn’t a single show that I wanted to watch. Nothing that I missed that I desperately needed to catch up on, just nothing. In the end, I did end up watching Showtime and catching up on the first few episodes of Dexter. I’ll catch up on a few more next time I’m over there. And I still have absolutely no desire to re-subscribe to a cable service.
Have any of you made the switch away from cable? Is there anything you miss?