Tag Archives: cable tv

Cable TV and Cars – News to Go

personal finance news

This morning I had some time to catch up on the news and a few stories in the newspapers and online have caught my eye. Two fo them have to deal with the deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The other story is running the numbers on buying a new car or a used car in terms of maintenance.

Comcast’s Pricing personal finance news

We are currently Time Warner Cable customers, so  we’re watching the news to see what is going to happen with Comcast. This Sunday the NY Time’s Farhad Manjoo did an analysis of Comcast’s current services and speculated on how future customers would be affected.

Many families have dropped cable hoping to get big savings, but Comcast has priced their services so cord cutter aren’t really getting much of a discount. In fact, Manjoo found that it was just $10 more for a TV/Internet bundle that also included mobile service.

Time Warner Cable Got Its Price, for a Price

The Comcast deal is also on the news on the Wall Street Journal, with their story focused on the trade-off Time Warner Cable made to get the price they wanted. The deal is all stock and the price Time Warner’s CEO Rob Marcus wanted is $160/share.

The WSJ goes into details about some protections that are NOT included with the deal, such as a consolation fee if the deal is rejected by the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department.

Used Cars are Not Money Pits, New Cars Are

Jacob from I Heart Budgets shares how buying a reliable used car will put you financially ahead by going over the typical life of a car for one owner from purchasing it the car to selling it off. He examines the idea that buying a high mileage car leads to more money on repairs. He looks at some scenarios and shares his take on what kind of car works in the long run.

For us, we’ve found that buying our cars with no loans has made our monthly budget less stressful. After paying off our car loan years ago, we made it a goal to buy used cars (after thoroughly researching) and driving them until repairs are exceed savings or circumstances necessitate a different car.

Through the years, I’m happy to say that the older cars have done an incredible job holding up, allowing us to do minimal maintenance and still save money for the next time

 Thoughts on Money News That Matters to You

What money and personal finance stories are you following this week? How do you feel about the Comcast/Time Warner deal? What’s your take on buying cars – do you prefer new or used? Do you finance or buy with cash?

Deceptive Promotions from Phone, TV, and Internet Companies

television serviceLast night one of our local news channels, WRAL, had a consumer segment about viewers who signed up for phone, internet, and television at one price but got another one. It’s one of those segments where the station goes ahead and fights to help viewers with problems.

This particular one had caught my attention because my mom was having  problems with her TV and internet service. Both her new and older providers were trying to charge her ridiculous fees. Long story, short – she was able to get them to honor the agreement though not without headaches.

Based on what I saw on the WRAL newcast, it seems like my mom is not alone when it comes to fighting companies to get the service they signed up for. During the 5 on Your Side segment, that the over 2,700 complaints were filed with the North Carolina Attorney General’s office involving Time Warner, Att&T, and DirecTV, and Dish Network.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself With Promo Switches

One particularly frustrated customer was Betty Mazor who thought she was getting DirecTV for $72.99 plus taxes and instead received bills that ranged from $93 -$184. With WRAL’s help, she got out of her contract without having to pay an early termination fee. Still, it can be incredibly annoying to have to schedule time out of your schedule to get the service you want. Thankfully there are a couple of things you can do to protect yourself.

The piece highlighted some tips that you can use to help you get the deal you want. My mom had done these and so far she has been successful with getting her deals honored.

  • Keep a record of your conversation. When you sign-up for the offer, make sure you write down the day, time, and person you spoke with about the promotion. Get details about the exact price in case you have to dispute it.
  • If possible, have them email you the details. This is a wonderful way to make sure you get the deal you want, but unfortunately some companies refuse to do this.
  • Don’t be afraid to fight back. As soon as you receive your bill, call the company up. Talk to a manager or supervisor, record their names. Use resources like your local news stations and your state’s Atorney General if you have to. Companies who bait and switch should be held accountable.

Is there a guarantee that you’ll get what you signed up for? No, but you can increase your chances if you follow the tips above.

Thoughts on Handling Problems with Bills

If you’re frustrated by the run around, consider looking at alternatives, such as switching to a low cost smart phone plan that can be both your land and mobile line, building your own entertainment package, and getting a better deal on your internet services.

What about you – have you had problems with your television, phone, or internet? How did you get it fixed?

Photo Credit:  espensorvik