Cutting the cord

We did it. My Lovely Bride™ and I have finally cut the umbilical cord to our cable company, and no longer make use of their services. After nearly 30 years of… well… relatively mundane service, we are talking our business elsewhere!

Sort of, anyway.

You see, our combined Xfinity bill for cable TV (via streaming, and only the basic television package, at that) and high-speed internet jumped in price this last month to $199.88. Now while I am aware that they have some discounts I could have taken advantage of, such as $10/month off for setting up Autopay, this would only have made a small dent in the overall price of the service. Also, I only got the streaming basic cable package because I thought my sweetie would want it, but she was never watching it anymore, so why bother?

Meanwhile, our cellphone provider (T-Mobile) was offering 5G Home Internet for $50/month. That’s it, no bulls**t, no hoops to jump through. Just plain ol’ wireless Internet service, for a decent price.

So, since we’re trying to save some money, which do you think we chose?

Anyway, so I set up the T-Mobile internet hub last weekend, and it took only a couple of minutes (mostly using their app to track down the best place for the hub in our home). I unplugged the router we had connected to our cable modem at that time, and we took a couple more minutes getting all of our devices connected to the new hub. That was it, seriously. The only thing we’re having issues with is our printer, that connects to the network over wifi, and doesn’t want to play nice with the new hub. Then again, it always has issues with being introduced to a new wifi network, so I’m not surprised by this.

So that’s it, right? Aside from the printer, we’re all done, and have moved on from cable after many decades under their totalitarian thumb? Well, not so much.

Now I have to cancel our Xfinity service.

From previous experiences with this particular company, they make cancelling their service as painful and inconvenient as humanly possible. For example, we used to have a couple of digital cable box/DVR combo devices in our home, one for the bedroom, and one for the living room. But after some time, we found that we never used them, so we decided to return the devices, and change our plan to just be cable internet only.

That required us to bring the DVRs to one of their brick-&-mortar stores, so they could be inspected and processed. Fine, we could do that. But then they wanted to know where the cable modem was, as they insisted that we were cancelling our service entirely. I told them that I wasn’t cancelling the internet, only television services, and that I owned my own modem. This turned into a very testy exchange, since the tech insisted that I had their modem, and he wanted it back.

Now then, I had previously had one of their modems, when we first got cable internet. But we had returned it years before, since I found out that I could save money over the long term by buying my own, as opposed to renting theirs.

The tech did eventually find the record of my returning their modem, but he never apologized for being a Royal Dick about it. This is why I am rather apprehensive about what is soon to come…

You see, as I said before, I have to cancel their service. I have indeed tried to do so already, but Xfinity makes it as difficult as humanly possible to get out from under their thumb. For example, they offer three different ways to cancel your service:

  1. By Phone
  2. In person, in one of their stores
  3. Via mail (seriously?)

So, I opted for option #1, to cancel via phone. You are directed to a website where you can schedule a time for an agent to call you back, so you can cancel the service. But this is really a way to make things more difficult for the customer, and the agent will just try to throw some discounts at you, so that you will eventually relent, and keep the service. But that would be better than the alternatives, and I wasn’t going to be needing any discounts, so I gave it a shot… But the website was not working, so they said I should try again later.


So, rather than go with Option #2 or #3, I checked on the Xfinity website for other options, such as through the Support page. Turns out, they have a limited Chatbot (AI, I know, but worth a shot), that I could “talk” to about this. Unfortunately, they couldn’t hook me up with a real person (although this was touted as an option), and they couldn’t help with scheduling a callback, either.

Option #1 was a failure, so on to #2, I guess.

I put in my address, which the website already has, as it was showing me a map of my local vicinity already. Whatever. When I put in my address, magically the map was populated with Xfinity stores I could go to, where they could cancel my service for me. Great, problem solved, right?

Not really.

For the first part, none of these stores open before 10am, which is pretty much my bedtime, being a Night Shift worker. Also, in looking at the pages for these stores, nowhere on there does it say they can cancel my service. They can modify services, add services, and try to do so with extreme vigor, I expect… but not cancel.

So I remain in Cable Limbo. I’m being charged for having their services, despite not using them since last weekend. I can’t go into one of their stores until this coming weekend, when I have the free time to take care of this issue, but I will be rather tired when we go there. Furthermore, I expect they will insist that they cannot help me cancel our cable services, despite the main Xfinity Support website stating that they can.

In short, we’ll be getting the runaround, and I expect a flurry of discount offers will come our way, as they try to convince us to remain a customer of theirs (which we won’t be doing). I hate getting the runaround. The last time this happened was when I tried to cancel our satellite radio subscription. I ended up having to yell at the agent on the phone, as NO MATTER WHAT DISCOUNT SHE OFFERED, WE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE USE OF THEM! Our satellite radio was not working any longer (the radio module was busted, but the system worked fine for connecting my phone and ipod to, which was all I needed, anyway), so we did not need, nor could we use their satellite radio service any longer. I had explained this to the agent on the phone multiple times, but she would not relent, until I lost my temper and yelled that we do not want your discounts, and just want the service cancelled immediately.

Sidenote: We started receiving mail from that satellite radio service two weeks later, begging us to sign back up.

Anyway, I plan to drop by an Xfinity store on Saturday, so we can have a nice chat about cancelling our service. I will also make it clear that, should they not cancel our service, I would no longer be paying that bill in the future. What are they going to do, disconnect my cable at the pole? Yes, that’s a bit over the top, I know, as that would do nothing but tank my credit score, which I don’t want. But I will have my cable service cancelled this Saturday, come Hell or high water!

… and then I’ll have some ice cream, I think. In fact, I expect I’ll be needing the comfort food.

UPDATE: Done. It took one minute, from walking in the door, to walking out a former customer of Xfinity. All they asked was if we were moving or not, and if we had any equipment of theirs. The customer service guy was friendly, polite, and we could tell seriously didn’t give a shit if people were canceling their service. He apparently was used to folks dropping Xfinity like a hot potato, so didn’t even bother trying to get us to stay with the company.

That guy deserves a raise.

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