Friday, August 8, 2008


With more than a little trepidation, I am working from home this afternoon to let the cable guy in. To switch our phones to cable. There are two reasons we're making the change: the local service is cheaper, and the long distance is free.

I have blocked the move for a long time for reasons of my own. The first is just that I've never liked the idea of having EVERYTHING in our house dependent on the same power source. In our neighborhood there are no natural gas lines, so our hot water and heating are on electric. The cell phones are on local towers, which have generators, but could go out in an outage. For reasons I don't really understand, the phone lines and the power lines are orthogonal, where outages are concerned. I've never seen both go out at the same time. Cable, however, does seem to be tied to electricity. Oh, and we live in the woods, several miles on foot from the nearest store or the hospital. With a lot of trees. Trees that break and fall in ice storms, putting the power out. I'd feel like a castaway if it were January and the power went out and our cell phones eventually ran down to no battery life and you get the idea.

Another reason I have hesitated to switch to all cable all the time is Time Warner's customer service. It's not that they're rude, or even incompetent. They're just ridiculously, unbelievably SLOW. The fastest I've ever reached a human on their lines was 5 minutes, but usually it's between 15 and 30. I once waited almost an hour. To talk to someone. Add another hour on the phone, 3 more people, a 4-hour appointment for a technician, and a drive to the local cable office to actually solve the problem. I've never had that trouble with the phone company. Probably because our phone has *never* gone out as long as we've lived in NC.

But, we're dumping a total of about $70 a month on local and long distance phone service, versus a 2-year locked-in rate of about $30 for the cable. SNG and I have promised each other a generator for 3 years now, and maybe this is the year we'll actually buy one. Or not, since we haven't had an ice storm in 4 years anyway.

I know that I'll hurl curses in the air again and again over Time Warner Cable's horrendously slow customer service, but in the meantime we'll sock away the cost of 2 pizzas at Lily's a month and maybe that'll be worth it.


jgr4 said...
FYI, I discovered a bug in your template. If I click on the comment link in the main blog, I come here to HaloScan comments. But if I click the post title to go to the post page, and click the comment link *there*, it sends me to blogger comments.

Eduth said...

Re generator: Around the time of Hurricane (I-think-it-was) Isabel, we bought a generator. It's still in its box, never been turned on. But it's a good "insurance policy," and who knows, it may be warding off future hurricanes.

PartnerInCrime said...

Well, after the trauma of enduring a 9-day power outage in the dead of winter while 8 months pregnant, I will never again live without a generator. Even if all it does is sit in the garage and gather dust, I sleep better knowing it's there.
Funny you're home to let in the cable guy, though, since Time Warner is also coming to our new house today. They asked us about doing the phone, but it makes me nervous. I haven't set up a landline here yet, but it's on my list for today.

cat said...

Anyone who's anyone is waiting for the cable guy today. :-) E-baby's sleeping right now, but once she's up, if c-baby is up, come over and play!
I need to fix that template-- Jim, thanks for letting me know.