Beloved wife and I have survived 3 years of marriage without cable. For 1.5 of those, we paid for access to local stations, but when we figured out that we didn’t watch those enough to justify the cost, we opted to just pay for internet (through TimeWarner) and Netflix. Now, when we watch TV, we watch it through Netflix.
The blessing of watching TV through Netflix is that (at least for the time being) you watch without commercials. We don’t have to sit through 5-10 minute periods of advertisements that try to convince us to buy things that we really don’t need. The downside is that when someone asks, “Hey, have you seen the newest episode of ____,” or “Hey, have you seen the previews for the new movie, _____,” we almost always have to say no. But I can say with certainty that neither of us is bothered by this. We don’t really get too excited about new TV series or movies…lame, I know.
As much as I like to brag about being virtually unexposed to advertising, about once every 3 months or so an AT&T representative knocks on our door to try and get us to switch from TimeWarner. Last night, one of them came by, and I can only conclude that he had received about 10 minutes worth of training before they sent him out. Here is how the conversation went (I paraphrase a bit here and there).
ATT: Hi, I’m going door to door to let people know that they could save money by switching to AT&T.
Me: Sorry, not interested.
ATT: But you haven’t even heard the deal yet.
Me: OK, go ahead, but I’ve had this conversation before.
ATT: Are you satisfied with your current TV/internet package? Who is it through? How much do you pay, if you don’t mind my asking?
Me: Yes. TimeWarner. $60.
ATT: (slightly stunned) For cable AND internet?
Me: No, just for internet…we don’t do cable…just Netflix for $10 per month.
ATT: I see. And do you have a home phone?
Me: No, we use our cell phones. (seriously, why do people still have home phones?)
ATT: OK (fumbling through paperwork detailing new and exciting packages). So you don’t have cable?
ATT: At ALL?!
ATT: Are you interested in getting it?
Me: No. I like my $10 per month Netflix. (AT&T, THIS is where you should train your employees to say, “Thanks for your time and have a great day!”)
ATT: Well, I think we can still save you money.
Me: Great! Let’s hear it!
ATT: (still fumbling through papers) Ah, here we go. Here we’ve got a package that will give you internet, cable, and a home phone.
Me: How much is it?
ATT: $120 per month.
Me: And how is that cheaper than what I pay now?
ATT: Well, it’s not cheaper, but it’s a better deal.
ATT: Because you get all three from us at a lower price than you can get them through TimeWarner.
Me: But I don’t want all three…all I want is internet, and I have that.
ATT: But you already said that you WANT TV, but that you’re just getting it through Netflix.
Me: No, I said I have TV through Netflix because it is $10 per month.
ATT: So can I sign you up for the $120 per month package? (These were the EXACT words out of his mouth).
Me: Unless you can give me exactly what I’ve got right now for cheaper, then no.
ATT: Ok (looking sad). Thanks.
Me: No problem.
ATT: Oh, I forgot to mention…the $120 package comes with a FREE DVR!
Me: I’m shutting the door now.
Thank you, AT&T rep, for making me feel like I was in an SNL sketch. That alone made our conversation worthwhile.