I cut the cord — or, more accurately, ditched the dish — yesterday, cancelling my DirecTV account. I did it for one reason, and one reason alone: the expense.
I was paying anywhere from $100-$230 a month, depending on whether or not I had some sports subscriptions included in the total (NFL Sunday Ticket is the worst offender, but I also had NBA Season Pass). I find that I’m less and less interested in sports as the years go by, and I just wasn’t watching games all that often.
I had no problems with DirecTV service or the company. They’ve always been helpful, and their customer service has been good. But I was paying for tons of stuff I wasn’t watching. It was ridiculous.
When I called to cancel yesterday, I dreaded the transfer to the “customer retention specialist” — you know, the person whose job it is to hound you into staying rather than leaving. So I did a bit of online searching, and found a strategy I wanted to try.
When I called to cancel (of course you can’t cancel online — companies make it simple to sign up, and a nightmare to cancel), I told the friendly customer service rep that I’d switched to another service. That made it very unlikely that she’d see any value in trying to convince me to stay. There was one half-hearted attempt by her to offer me a big discount, but I could tell she was resigned to my departure. I was put on hold several times for long periods — probably her hoping I’d hang up in frustration — but on the whole, it was the easiest breakup I’ve had with a company.
I did some research for live online TV services, including all the ones I’d seen before — seems like everybody’s got one these days. I eventually went with a newer company that offers a lot of channels, but is incredibly cheap: just $16 a month. It’s called Philo.
It has the two main channels my wife wanted to make sure we had — HGTV and Hallmark — and a bunch of others, for an amazing price.
I’ve only had Philo for a day, but so far, so good. Setup was ridiculously easy, the interface is decent and it has DVR functionality. (I’ll eventually follow this up with more about the service, and some pros and cons.)
In the meantime, yeah, I’ll probably miss the sports and some of the channels offered by DirecTV. But much more than that, I’ll enjoy having a larger bank account.