Obviously I'm trying to avoid the above scenario, so I'm in desperate need of advice over something really critical:
Which Internet provider/phone company/technology to use?
Here is our current scenario:
We have two cell phones with unlimited in-network calling and some number of minutes that I can never keep track of. $80.
We have cable through Comcast (mostly for Plantboy) as well as high speed cable Internet (mostly for STM). $90. I've called frequently to negotiate pricing and they usually bite for a few months but then jack the price back up.
Because I was overshooting my minutes when we initially moved here, I picked up a landline through Vonage. My initial price there was about $15. Currently, $25. I tried to cancel a while ago, but I hadn't been with them long enough and was going to have to pay a hefty-ish cancellation fee. I have now been with them long enough to avoid said fee if and when I cancel.
In other words, it is costing me around $200/month to stay in contact with the outside world, which seems ridiculously expensive. Some things have recently shifted for us--we are moving our computer to another room and need the cable dude to come anyway to hook it up in the new spot, though wireless is seeming more appealing all the time; our phone contract is up for renewal and Verizon has a new and improved family plan; and I'm thinking about DVR.
1--Chuck everything and just buy a bunch of stamps. (You remember stamps, don't you?) And a rotary phone.
2--Ditch Vonage and go to cell phone only with the increased minutes plan (pros and cons for those of you who have tried this?)
3--Write a nasty letter to Comcast telling them where they can stuff all the money I've sent their company over the last few years. But then I'm left looking for somebody else to do Internet and Cable.
4--Don't succumb to the DVR, or do. (Movie trivia: "Technologically speaking, the world is out of hand; I mean, take the VCR, for example, the whole idea behind the VCR is that it makes it possible for you to tape what's on television when you leave the house. Of course, the whole idea behind leaving the house is so you can miss what's on television.")
So how do you manage all of this vitally important stuff? How have you found the best deals? Who are your providers? Does ANYBODY out there feel like they are getting their money's worth? Or, if you have nothing to add, just throw out random bits of your favorite movies from the nineties.
But mostly, be quick. I'm probably going off-line for a few days starting tomorrow. (Yes, yes, I'm hoping to survive it.)