The benefits of talking gadgets, technology, and college buddy competition in "toys" is the discovery of cost and value. When I asked R.M. what his cable, internet, phone bundle package cost per month I discovered I was "asleep at the switch". R.M.'s 200mbs download, premium cable channel package was close to what I was paying per month for 30mbs, and no HBO.
To add misery to the moment, I discovered my own promotion packages had run out (over 3 months ago) and the cost increase was $55/mth (yes just the increase!) - a mere 44%! This was large enough that I actually considered calling the EVIL EMPIRE -Time Warner (whom I hate and vowed never to become a customer again) to find out what they could offer.
Now I have blogged about this constantly over the years (but silent for almost 3 yrs):
Cost of Speed 7/2/13
Entertainment Inflation 2/14/12
Rate Prison 11/25/11
Delighting the Customer 9/6/11
Contracts vs Expectations 9/1/11
Cost Meter 1/29/11
Individual Prices 10/31/10
A shift in Time 1/25/10
Cost of Communications/Entertainment/Subscriptions 9/1/09 The Granddaddy of them all!
My desire and attention to analyze this in my normal "analysis paralysis" was dormant for 3 years - would this cause it to regenerate? I decided to call CBT FiOptics to give them the opportunity to save me the time and allow them to keep my business without the normal ANALYSIS PARALYSIS.
The result was a 25 minute call and a reduction of $28/mth for one year (that was at least 51% of the way to reducing the inflation pain). Just enough to keep me from going the extra "analysis" mile.............. UNTIL ........
I looked in my office mailbox (was it a coincidence?) and lo and behold appeared a Time Warner teaser offer - my package that I had just negotiated Time Warner offered for $15/mth lower. UGH!! My equilibrium was shattered. Should I .... could I...... would I...... attempt to see if it was comparing apples to apples? Was it worth the deadline call before June 13?
Add to the teaser rate - Time Warner's offer for a 30 day money back guarantee and the final temptation --- "Ask how to get a $300 Visa Reward Card available with select packages". This sounded worse that the free vacation packages you win with the telemarketers.
So - is it worth $180 ($15/mth times 12 months) to even consider switching to the Evil Cable Company?
NO - But looking back at 9/1/2009 and doing an analysis of the total costs of communications/entertainment/subscriptions is probably worth re doing. You just can't get the frugal out of my DNA :)