In my column today about shopping for Internet access, I mentioned that my wife and I were thinking about cancelling our Xfinity triple play from Comcast because we were “unimpressed” with the phone and TV services.
Prompted by an email from a reader, I thought I’d explain a little more.
Our main issue with the Comcast phone service is simply that I don’t think it’s worth what we’re paying for it. We have more complaints about Comcast TV service; in general, though we don’t think it stacks up well to what we’ve had in the past — or to our other options.
Comcast’s phone service, like its Internet access, has generally been reliable for us. The sound quality has been fine.
We get unlimited calling nationwide, so that’s not a problem. It also includes a nice set of features, including voice mail, caller ID and call waiting. If the phone rings while while we’re watching TV, the caller ID will flash on our TV screen. And I can get it to send me an email each time we receive a voice mail. I rarely use that service, but it can be helpful when you are away from home.
But for all that, it seems and unnecessary service these days. My wife and I each have cell phones and are likely to soon move to unlimited calling plans on them. I also have a Google Voice account tied to my office line that allows me to track my calls, notifies me when I get voice mail and even transcribes those messages.
Given that, paying an extra $40 a month (or thereabouts) to have a home phone seems a waste of money. At this point, it would be hard to live without my cell phone. But we could live without our home phone, especially if it’s going to cost us $40 a month to keep it.
Instead, it’s looking like we’ll either drop home service entirely or go with one of the VOIP options, such as Magic Jack
In terms of the TV service, we’ve never been super-satisfied with that. For the money, we get fewer channels on Comcast than we’d get on AT&T. We also have to pay extra for a DVR, which we wouldn’t on AT&T. And my wife hates the Comcast DVR.
Despite our best efforts, it’s constantly either cutting programs short or not recording them at all. In general, it just seems to be much less reliable than the Dish DVR that we had and enjoyed for years before we switched to the Comcast triple play.
For all that, we may end up sticking with Comcast, at least for our broadband access and maybe for TV too. I really do like the Internet access, even if I do find it pricier than I’d like.