I am going to change things up around here a little bit, or at least try to. I’m going to try to blog about some topics that are geared more towards the general public, and not always about me and things around me. While this might not seem to fit with the “Brian’s World” theme, the topics I will be focusing on are all areas that I do have lots of experience in… for example information technology in schools. The idea is to provide content that might do an even better job of helping a greater number of people based on my thoughts and experiences. I in no means plan to become one of those blogs that is entirely filled with technical stuff and nothing about me, but I would like to have a little variety. I’ve been wanting to share my views on some topics for quite some time, and instead of writing a book or whitepaper no one may ever read, I’ll blog about it in hopes a well crafted search engine may help direct someone here.
But before all that starts, there are some other things to talk about of course. I’ve been on this crusade lately to cut down on the cost of some technology related bills here in my family. For some time the Comcast Triple Play bundle for $99.99 has been advertised on TV. I always disregarded it, knowing it was likely for new customers only. The bundle includes digital TV, internet (they like to call it “High Speed Internet”), and digital voice (aka Voip). I’m on board with getting a discount for having both TV and internet from the same company, but switching to a voip based system isn’t something I’m completely comfortable with. I like knowing that if the power goes out, I have a landline phone that will probably still work. This mentality was thrown off when I added up the local and long distance bills (from different companies of course) and found we were spending close to $100 a month on phone service. It split down to around $30 for local, and $70 for long distance. This is outrageous. Sure, my mom uses the phone… but 500 long distance minutes shouldn’t be costing us $70! Time to bundle. Even if we can’t get the $99.99 deal, I hoped Comcast might be able to do something.
So I went online, because I like the internet, and tried to navigate the Comcast website. After placing an order for the bundle online I was thrown into a chatroom with the person who would be processing my order. He was very confused. I told him I choose the self installation kit, and he kept insisting that even though I was installing it myself, someone would need to come out anyways. I gave up on him and decided to call Comcast and see what the deal was. A few customer support reps later, I was told that I couldn’t get a bundle because I already had service.. and the web guy had messed everything up. I got them to delete it all, and I would call back later to figure out my plan.
I called back a day or two later, and was told my best option was a $129/month package for existing customers. It was the same bundle, with HBO & Stars… just not at that cheap price. $129 is much less than my $100 phone bill + $100 TV/Internet bill, so I went for it. They’ll be installing it in a little over a week, I wish it didn’t take them so long. I will definately updae on how this goes. I am confident there will be problems, as distribution point for phone and internet are very far apart.
I’m not wondering what bills I can look at next. With the rising price of fuel, reducing a monthly bill seems like a logical way to produce continued savings. There has been one cell phone bill which seems very high that I’d really like to look at, but its not the easiest to get. I will have to keep trying, and hoping to be brave or something.
Recently I’ve been making progress with my financial stuffs. I finally got Polish National Credit Union to activate my online banking… 3 weeks later. Of course it involved them wimping out and making me a new account, but whatever. Not I just have to entice my routing number out of them, so I can actually do something with it. What I’ll do I do not know. I might want to buy something, but I don’t know what. I know I need some stuff for my shoebox pc… but thats boring routine maintence. I would like to do something fun, but not something outrageous. I guess the question is where do I draw that line.
I’m gonna make lunch, and then do stuff… maybe assault a local Verizon Wireless store.