The Perks of Free Agency – Don’t Be a Contract Sucker!

By | February 22, 2012

As anyone who is aware of the millions of dollars made every off-season by mediocre free agents in the sports arena, you have to wonder what good is commitment? Sure there are benefits to a steady job, marriage (up for debate) and buying vs. renting or leasing; but our society is always intrigued by the prospect of independence and freedom. This concept is hammered in by commercials and ads daily (while the fine print sings a conflicting tune). If you are a free agent, sign a contract with this phone company (long-term), this cable provider (exorbitant fees for leaving) or even gym membership (we know you won’t use it) and you will get an amazing deal…until you see the deal for the next wave of suckers.
As a customer of Direct TV, if I want the NFL Sunday Ticket I have to pay $334.95. If a free agent wants the Sunday Ticket, they can sign up for a normal Direct TV package and get it for free. Loyalty comes with a price-tag? Granted, you can search for games online but once you go HD it’s like watching a game in black and white. Once you add up all the bar tabs, you coulda bought the Sunday Ticket a couple of times over by the end of the season but still, the question remains, what’s the point of loyalty? Companies offer so many perks to attract new customers, where are the perks for staying!

While Dish and DirecTV nearly require unilateral contracts with the promise of a first-born child in repayment if broken, there is often an option to go contract-less if you ask the right questions. This usually means having to pay some install and equipment fees up front for flexibility down the line. If you’re not in a contract currently, don’t let the salesperson on the phone get you back on the hook for 2 years just to save a couple of bucks a month for a year or to upgrade your package! This usually counts as a new activation for the sales rep and makes you a sucker. If you do want to negotiate price/package and are willing to go all-in for another 2 years, make sure to shop the sales rep. Don’t take the initial offer because 9 times out of 10 you can get something better just by asking for it!

If you’re all about staying away from contracts altogether, most of the time a bundle through your phone provider (Centurylink, AT&T U-Verse, or Verizon FIOS) can provide you a good deal without a long-term contract (less than 1 year, no outrageous disconnect fees). Also, your local cable company will most likely involve a similar offer as well without a contract for 6-12 months just beware the price hikes when these offers expire. As is true in any situation, make sure to do your homework, read your fine print, and if an offer sounds too good to be true (free Ipod, $300 gift card), it almost always involves a long-term contract!

What do you have to say about your current contract or past cable/satellite contracts? We’d love to know!

Is Fiber Optic Broadband Available in My Area?

By | April 29, 2011

Fiber Optic Broadband Internet is, in almost all respects, the premiere option for those who want a fast, dedicated, and secure internet connection to their house.  For those customers who are high up on the technology food chain and want the most speed possible, they understand the need for a high-quality fiber optic connection.  However, even for basic and more casual internet users, fiber optic broadband provides reliability and security that other traditional DSL and cable broadband cannot offer.

If you’re looking for fiber-optic broadband internet at your house, chances are becoming more and more likely that there are options available to you.  The largest telecommunications companies, Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink and Qwest all have fiber optic offerings available to the general public in their respective service areas.  Many of these providers also have high-quality fiber-optic television and telephone services available as well.  Check and see below what fiber optic broadband offerings are available at your house.

Fast, Low-Cost Internet Plans From AT&T, Verizon, Qwest & More


(Make sure you select the Fiber Optic Branded Service!  Eg. Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-Verse)

If you don’t have one of the major fiber optic providers or a local fiber optic company in your area fret not.  In areas that are under served by traditional fiber optic companies, many cable companies are running hybrid fiber-optic/coaxial services to their customers.  While having a dedicated fiber optic signal to your house is always preferable, internet speeds available on these hybrid networks can, in many cases, rival fiber optics providers offerings.

What is my internet speed?

By | April 28, 2011

It may happen at work, on the bus, or at a gaming convention. People will ask you: Just what is your internet speed? To SOME people, having a blazingly fast connection is the 2011 version of having the latest and greatest sports car. However to most people, as long as it works for what they need, they could care less what their internet speed is.

To appease the merely curious or information hungry who need to know the answer to “Just what is my internet speed?”, check out this free internet speed test at www.internetspeedtester.net. There you’ll be able to test your internet speed as well as see suggestions on how to improve your computer’s speed and options for what high speed internet providers are in my area.

How to find Cable Internet Deals

By | April 2, 2011

Cable Broadband Internet is very desirable, especially in situations when you need a lot of bandwidth and need it relatively cheaply.  However, when ordered as a standalone product from most cable companies, it can be rather pricey.  In addition, in almost all localities in the United States, there’s only a single cable provider to provide cable Internet and television service ( e.g. no competition).

if you’re looking for the best cable Internet deal, it’s advisable to be familiar with the competition from both DSL and fiber-optic providers in your area.  Fiber-optic Internet service is unfortunately still only available to less than half of households nationwide, but DSL is extremely common.  User experience with Internet DSL connections can vary greatly depending on line quality and signal strength.  Based on your local provider quality, neighborhood service saturation (lesser is better), and personal telephone line quality, your DSL internet options may even be better than your cable internet options.  Your best bet is to check to see what options you have for providers on the website below, and then ask your neighbors to see what their experience has been with these Internet providers.

View All High-Speed Internet Plans Available To You & Get Connected!

 

When it comes to cable Internet deals, the link above will also show you what cable service you have available to your house, their current rates, and also any applicable promotions available.  if you’re a current cable Internet customer, the best promotions may not be available to you.  In this case, it never hurts to ask, but if your cable company is inflexible with price, my guess is that you’ll be able to find a reasonable DSL option that will give you the speed you need more sometimes less than half the cost and no contract.  It’s not always fun to switch, as with the promotions and incentives available to new customers often times make it worth the hassle.

Definitely do yourself a favor and check out the options below!


Is there a Bandwidth Cap on my Internet?

By | March 16, 2011

Bandwidth Caps (or Bandwidth Maximums) are becoming standard policy among large internet providers.  The reason for them is to not allow a majority of bandwidth capacity to be used by only a few customers.  Frankly, it underscores the point that even in this time of very fast Internet connections, bandwidth is still limited and occasionally needs to be allocated as such.

Cable Internet providers were the first types of ISPs to enforce a bandwidth cap.  The reason behind this is because of their shared neighborhood network.  if one person is inordinately hogging Internet bandwidth, it will slow everyone else in the neighborhood down.  This is a problem for these providers,because if one or two users are stealing all the bandwidth then they cannot provide the services promised to their other Internet customers and the whole network suffers.  Because of this, cable Internet providers have some pretty draconian measures when it comes to bandwidth cap Violations.

Just recently, fiber-optic bandwidth providers have also jumped on the bandwidth cap bandwagon.  typically on fiber-optic networks, bandwidth is much more readily available.  However, it seems that these bandwidth caps are more put in place to deter those who were violating their Internet cable bandwidth maximums and switch to the fiber-optic provider to get a free pass.  instead of blindly cutting a customer off, like most cable Internet providers, fiber-optic Internet providers are charging for bandwidth used above the cap (eg, $10 for every 50Gb).

if you’re concerned about a bandwidth cap in your Internet, the best thing to do is to contact your current provider or thoroughly read the terms of service you agree to when you signed up with them (you know, those check here if you agree statements).  If you find your current provider’s terms are unacceptable, then maybe it’s time to start looking for a new Internet service provider that doesn’t have a bandwidth cap.

Check out where to find the best deals on high-speed internet.

Which is the Best? Satellite, Cable, or Fiber-Optic?

By | March 1, 2011

For the last few decades, there’ve only been two options to get cable TV programming to your house – your local cable company or satellite.  It’s easy to distinguish consumers between these two options – ones that are willing to put a satellite dish on their house, and ones that are not.  Those who were willing to put up with the aesthetics of the dish, as well as weather-related issues, generally were able to experience better picture quality and more channels.  For everyone else there was the local cable company.

However, in past years, even this line has blurred.  Cable companies, with mergers and acquisitions, as well as a migration to digital cable, are able to offer more channels than ever before.  In addition, satellite dish providers have come down in price and moved up in reliability.  Then to add another stick to the fire, fiber-optic providers have grown exponentially in the last five years to be a more than viable third option to many consumers.

so which one is best for you between cable, satellite and fiber optic providers?  Unfortunately, unlike a product that works the same for everyone everywhere, cable, satellite and fiber-optic TV all operate differently with different features based on what locality you’re in.

First off, start with a search on the form to your right to find out exactly which services are available to your address.  the salty narrow the choices down him and him. Shoppers are happiest when they know they’re getting their best bang for the buck, so make sure all the features are available in the package you’re ordering.

Once you’ve got a good idea of the options, start asking your neighbors about their experience with their current provider, be it satellite, cable, or fiber-optic.  It’s a bit old school but this is by far the best way to get an accurate depiction of how the service will work for you at your house.  If you’re still uncertain about your selection, make sure to select a package or plan with no contract terms. This way, if you’re unhappy with your TV service, you still have an option to try another provider.  Most cable or fiber-optic providers offer six-month promotional prices with no contract.

While having more options than before can seem daunting at times, having options means that there is more price competition in the market which inevitably leads to better values for the consumer.  Enjoy your bargain hunting!

How to find Digital Cable Deals

By | March 1, 2011

If you’ve had cable TV for a long time, chances are you’ve experienced the slow and steady migration to digital cable.  The days of being able to plug in a TV with a simple analog cable are gone.  Even though some cable providers still offer limited analog cable channels, before too long, even those will be replaced with digital cable channels only.

So how do you find digital cable deals if you’re looking to take advantage of the benefits of digital cable?  Most likely, you already have some form of digital cable as indicated by the cable boxes and digital menus on your TVs.  Currently the majority of cable users are using a balance of analog cable for some their TVs (indicated by a simple coaxial plug-in and no box) and digital cable for their other TVs.  In almost all markets, the TVs with digital cable have seen a steady increase in channel count while the TVs with analog cable only have seen a steady decrease.

Eventually this analog channel count decrease is going to reach zero for a variety of reasons we won’t discuss here.  For the consumer, this will necessitate a need for transition to digital cable on all of their TVs.  With this transition, you have two options.  Have your current cable company come to your house and upgrade your other TVs to digital cable, and most likely have upgrade and service charges, or, use this as an opportunity to shop around for potentially better deals on digital cable.

Is it possible to get free cable TV?

By | March 1, 2011

At some point you’ve most likely seen advertisements or billboards on the internet advertising free cable TV.  Is this even possible?  Unfortunately for people who are looking for something for nothing, the answer is no.

The reason why the paid cable TV structure came into being was for programmers to receive payment for their programming.  Since Cable TV’s inception, its generally held more niche programming than its free over-the-air television counterpart.  Why is this?  The major over-the-air networks make money through advertising revenues, which most cable networks do as well.  However, since most cable only networks have a smaller viewing audience than the major networks, they also require subscriber fees to create high-quality programming for their viewers.

This method worked great for about 30 years – until the internet came along.  Now anybody with a hacked cable feed and a juiced internet connection can stream “free” cable TV over the internet.  This type of live-streaming to a mass audience is currently illegal in the United States.  Beware anyone making promises that they can give you cable television over the internet – free or otherwise!

The good news for the consumer is that the advance of technology has also enabled him or her to have more legitimate options on how to receive cable television programming.  Whereas a geographical area may have had only one option for cable programming in the past, there are now a myriad of options in satellite, cable, and fiber-optics providers.  While nothing in life is free, make sure to take advantage of the cable TV provider search tool on this page to make sure that you’re getting the best value!

How do I find cable service in my area?

By | March 1, 2011

If you’re moving to a new town, chances are you are not going to know what cable services are available in your area.  However, if you like to plan ahead and already know your future address, you can set up a cable service install for the date you move in. This will ensure that you won’t have to wait to get a future installation date for your cable after you move into your new place.

So how do you find what cable service is available in your area?  Click on the link on the sidebar and enter your future cable service address.  Since WhiteFence is a portal to all the major cable and satellite, DSL, and fiber-optic providers, you will be able to see exactly what cable, internet and telephone services are available in your area.

Save Time Finding the Best Rates on Cable TV. Visit WhiteFence Today!

When you know what cable services providers are available to you in your area, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision about what services to go with before you even move into your new place.  With all the normal stresses of moving, wouldn’t it be nice to know that there’s one less thing to worry about?

What are the Best Broadband Deals out there?

By | March 1, 2011

Not too long ago there weren’t too many options to get good broadband Internet.  Because of this, many people that were looking for steady, reliable broadband speed had to pay the going rate to their cable or DSL provider without too much wiggle room.  However, with the increase of private and fiber-optic providers, there are many more options for the average broadband consumer to get a great deal on their broadband service without sacrificing speed or reliability.

Unfortunately unless you have a lot of time on your hands to keep up with the comings and goings of telecom providers in your area, you might not be aware of the best broadband deal you can get.  In addition you might be paying a rate that seemed good for the speed, circa 2005, but feels more like highway robbery today.  Fortunately, with the right resources, It’s very easy to compare all of the broadband deals you can get in your area and choose the best one for you in less than a half an hour.

By going to the site, you can enter your zip code and immediately see all the best broadband deals that are available to you.  Most of the time, the initial promotional prices are going to have some great deals. Chances are you’re not going to get a great deal from your current provider, but since you most likely have a choice, you can get a great deal from another broadband competitor in the market.

Let’s play this out for a minute. Say you’re currently with your local telephone company for DSL broadband service. Over time, your bill has likely gone up while your service has stayed the same.  No worries. Cable broadband Internet is a great alternative and in most places in the country offers better speeds than DSL.

The same scenario can play out if you’re currently with your cable company for broadband Internet.  Nearly 50 million households in the US also have some sort of fiber-optic Internet broadband provider coming to their house.  Fiber-optic broadband services have in many ways proven themselves superior to cable broadband and for new customers, you can get a lot of great deals.

So that’s it!  Just enter your zip code on the next page to see all of the great broadband deals available to you.  Chances are you’ll be able to get an upgraded service while still saving money.