Monday, August 6, 2012

Is That a Roku In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Usually when I write a blog post I try to either say something witty and insightful (hopefully with a generous dose of sarcasm in there) or – even better – have an ‘aha moment’ while writing so that readers can experience my personal growth right along with me.

But today I have a ‘thank you’ gift for my few but loyal fans: I’m going to tell you how you can save close to 50% on your phone/cable/internet.
And no, this post is not sponsored. I don’t do that (yet).
I think there are a ton of people who have that infamous phone/cable/internet bundle, the one that has an ‘introductory rate’ of $100, and then the next year the cable company tries to raise the price to some unthinkable amount, but you give them the ol’ fake out: “Oh, well in that case, I think I’m just going to switch to satellite,” and they’re all “NO! WAIT! Okay, let me talk to my manager,” and you totally end up getting to keep your bundle for $100 for one more year.
Then the third year comes. You go through the same drill and get to keep the bundle for $100 per month. You and your spouse high-five each other and make snarky jokes about being ‘in the top five percent,’ because you’re pretty sure everyone else you know just took it in the nuts (figurative, if you’re female) and is ponying up the $160 per month to keep their bundle. But not you smarty-pants’s. You’re good negotiators. You’re like those people who go to a flea market and buy a highly valuable antique tea set for eight bucks. You’re just that awesome.
Then year four rolls around and the cable company’s now eye-balling you suspiciously, like Clint Eastwood, except dorky. Yeah… your little fake-out isn’t gonna work this year. By this point, the cable company’s charity has been completely depleted and they figure that after three years of having the bundle you’ve come to consider it a necessary expense. They’re so not budging.
When our fourth year rolled around, the cable company called our bluff, and we totally caved. We paid that shit for like four months. What else were we supposed to do? How could I possibly live without So You Think You Can Dance, Cougar Town, and Modern Family? How could the Hubs live without Ancient Aliens? And don’t we need to have a phone line in case a hurricane hits? And the internet… ah, my sweet darling, the internet; she is a necessity. Prior to the ubiquitous purveyor of wisdom that is Google, I’m pretty sure I bumbled around like a stoned wookiee, gesticulating wildly and warbling incomprehensibly.
So we couldn’t live without our precious bundle. (Geez, like it’s a baby!) But every time I paid that damn cable bill a little piece of my insides shriveled up and died. (Those greedy corporate bastards won. ARGH!)
Enter the hot yet nerdy ray of sunshine known as the Hubs, who is one of those smart guys who can fix anything and always finds innovative ways of accomplishing every-day chores. He bought us a Roku for $50. Have you heard of it? It’s this thingy (‘thingy’ is about as technical as I get – sorry) that looks like a little tiny black blox (it’s sleek and glossy!) that connects to the internet, but not the regular internet like with search engines and stuff. Instead you have a bunch of different options for streaming (I think it’s called streaming??) shows and movies.
For example, we have Netflix and Hulu, which each cost $8 per month. So for a one-time expense of $50, plus $16 per month, we get more TV than we could ever possibly watch (Hulu), and tons of movies (Netflix). Okay, not new releases, but we don’t care; we mainly use the Netflix as a babysitter for our psycho kids who get up at dawn when we want to sleep in. (Don’t hate.) And the TV shows on Hulu are usually behind by a month or two, because I guess the TV-land people have to do something to the shows to make them Hulu-ready or whatever. Again, I don’t care. I’ll tell ya why in a minute.
Then my brilliant hubs purchased a Vonage international phone line for our household. It’s only $25 per month and we can call Peru (the hubs’ mother-land).
And then my sweet nerd cancelled our phone/cable/internet bundle. (SACRELIGE!!!) We kept our internet, because, like I said, it’s a necessity. Seriously I’m feeding every sentence I write into a grammar-checking website just so it reads somewhat intelligibly. This whole post might even be plagiarized, but I wouldn’t be aware of it because I’m barely capable of putting two thoughts together without the assistance of the internet.  
So here’s the break-down in cash-flow:
Pre-Awesome Husband Intervention:

- Cable/Phone/Internet bundle: $160
Post-Awesome Husband Intervention:

- Internet: $50
- Phone: $25
- Roku: $16

And guess what else? This is so cool; my husband knows stuff that other husbands don’t know: We STILL GET TO KEEP OUR CABLE! (This is why I don't care about Hulu being behind a couple of months.) Apparently there’s some rule or law or something that says the cable line still has to be connected (for the internet, maybe?), so we still have all the same channels we had before, just not the high-def versions, and without the fancy cable box and guide menu. 
But isn’t everything high-def now? And who cares about the guide, I can always look up show times on the internet. The only thing we don’t have is the DVR, but here again; we could always buy one outright for a one-time fee, instead of renting it like we were doing before with the bundle. So, yeah, let’s do that math again:

- Internet: $50
- Phone: $25
- Cable: FREE
- Roku: $16
So we basically have everything we had before, for about half the price.
You’re welcome.
Don’t be stingy; share this post with anyone you think could use the info.
If you have additional ideas to contribute on this topic (I know there are other husbands out there who are nearly as smart and awesome as mine), please leave them in the comments below.
If you have questions about the technology or set-up of our intricate arrangement, you’re screwed. I don’t know shit about this stuff, it’s all my husband’s doing.
Just kidding; ask away! I will forward any questions you have to the Hubs and get back to you when His Highness responds.


  1. That's exactly what we do for tv, for a little over a year now and love it. You really don't miss 'real' cable. I think the cable line to the house might be for emergency broadcast system stuff.

  2. How did I miss this post?! You are awesome and oh, so multi-talented! I don't even know what questions to ask, but I will. And then I'll bombard you. My husband will love you for this - he keeps asking me to look into something to bring our costs down. I've ignored and humored him so far ... now I'm screwed. Thank you!