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That Time I Tried to Cancel My Cable

"Hi. My name is Erik Deckers and I—"

"Thank you. How are you?"

"Great, I just wanted to—"

"Erik Deckers."


"No, E-R-S."

"Yes, with the 'S' at the end. So I just wanted to can—"

"No problem, I watched a whole episode of Elementary while I waited."

"Great, so I wanted to get some help with—"

"You've already got my account number."

"Then why did I enter it when I called in?"

"Verify what, exactly? It's not like someone wrestled the phone away from me while I was waiting. For 45 minutes."

"Fine, it's A2C-4EF-789."

"No, nine. One more than eight. You know, the German word for 'no?'"

"That's Dutch."

"Yes, I'm sure. Look, I just want to cancel my cable."

"No, the service is fine. We were happy with the service. I just don't need 300 home shopping channels."

"I know you don't. I was exaggerating for effect."

"Yes, I know how many channels I actually get. I don't need them all."

"I know all about those. I don't like them."

"I don't even watch one news channel, why would I need 12?"

"I don't think I've ever watched the Game Show Network in my entire life."

"No, that won't help."

"Because I don't need three free months of the sports package."

"Yes, but last time I had the sports package, all the baseball and football games were blacked out on the regional channels, which defeated the purpose of the sports package. Then, when the channels weren't blacked out, they all showed the same exact program at the same time. Every channel was showing the same poker tournament."

"Who needs 17 sports channels all showing a bunch of fat guys playing cards? If I wanted that, I'd hang out at the American Legion."

"I understand Major League Baseball doesn't call you about programming decisions. I'm not saying they should—"

"I don't care if they're high def! Poker isn't a game, and watching the semi-finals of the National Poker Championships on the Big Sky Sports Network doesn't interest me!"

"What kind of discount?"

"That's not much of a discount."

"No, I understand what you meant. I'm saying $10 per month isn't much of a discount."

"Well, my cable bill is nearly $100 per month. You're only offering 10%. I can switch to the other guys, and their cable package is half as much."

"Okay, cable and Internet. That doesn't really matter. The point is, I'm paying $100 per month for data to get into my house, and I don't need the cable."

"Let's see, we watch network TV, the kids watch YouTube on their cell phones, and my wife and I watch Netflix and Hulu on our tablets."

"We're just trimming the fat on our expenses. We realized we don't watch as much TV as we used to, and the stuff we do watch is available on Hulu. Or if we really want it, we can buy an episode on iTunes for two or three bucks. I can get a whole season of Elementary for $40. If I cancel our cable, I can buy seasons of two of our favorite shows on iTunes with one month's cable bill, and catch the rest on Hulu."

"Adding a phone line isn't an option."

"Because we don't need a landline. We haven't had a landline for 12 years."

"That's not even less than $100, that's 30 percent more. We're trying to cut costs, not increase them."

"Who needs it? I can use my cell phone in an emergency. I also use Skype and Facetime for video calls. Can your landline do that?"

"What about you? Do you have a landline?"

"Seriously? Who calls it?"

"So if no one but your mother and telemarketers calls your landline, why even have one?"

"Can't your mother call you on your cell phone?"

"Change it in her phone. Then she can just speed dial you whenever she wants."

"Of course you get a great discount on your landline. You work for a company whose dying mission is to sell telephone service, but you don't actually use it. So you're spending, what, $360 a year? Just so you can talk to your mother once a month? For that much money, you could buy your mom an iPad and teach her how to use Facetime."

"You're welcome. Now about my cable bill?"

"Look, it's not you, it's me. I just want to see other programs. And you don't offer those without me nearly doubling my costs."

"Don't cry. There's some other customer out there for you. You'll see."

"Wait, really? When does the new Game of Thrones season start?"

Photo credit: Seattle Municipal Archives (Wikipedia, Creative Commons)

You can find my books Branding Yourself (affiliate link), No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, or for the Kindle or Nook.


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