Yes, there was a change of plans for the March Cheapskate Change when TWC gave me a kissoff on a lower priced package since I was already a prisoner… um… customer.  Time Warner Cable – they love you as a new customer, hate you as a customer and harass you forever when you leave.  I should know that, when I called them about cancelling, they had a ton of offers and reasons and low cost choices for me.  That said, we’re outta here.  Just the facts, ma’am:
 
Time Warner Package – $100/mo.
Direct TV Package – $35/mo.
Dish – (Windstream Service)
 
Direct TV includes 2 boxes and remotes wired to two locations and free DVR (no HD required until the current TV dies).  We’ve had Direct TV before so dish location isn’t an issue and the only reason we left before was Time Warner was offering a "come with us and we’ll completely screw you the minute the deal ends" package.  I call, I get a very helpful gentleman named Leon who not only walks  me through everything, but calls back later in the day to confirm the details.  The installer will be here on a specific day in a four hour window – last TWC "appointment" I got was "We’ll be there Wednesday" which got "rescheduled" at the last minute (meaning 3 PM on Wed) to "sometime on Thursday".  Did I mention that Direct TV is installing on a Saturday? 
 
For those of you wondering why Dish wasn’t an option – Windstream is the Dish provider in the area and our DSL service has gone to hell since they bought out our local phone company/DSL provider.  Not a chance we even considered giving them more money.  Your local provider of Dish may be different, so don’t toss them out of hand.
 
How we selected – the heir had a budgeting section in one of his Boy Scout badges where he was supposed to evaluate and budget for a major purchase.  We put a bit of a twist on that and had him analyze the various services.  The first thing he did was ask each of us for our favorite "can’t live without" TV shows (in my case that was Bones, Psych and The Closer), he then made a list of the corresponding channels and comparable packages.  He then charted the costs and features of the packages (which are almost identical), penalties, contract requirements and such and the end result was Direct TV beating the living crap out of TWC.
 

March Savings Total – $780/year (first year), $540/yr (second year), 2 year contract required
Cumulative Savings Total – $1650/year ($150 ahead of $500/mo goal)
Remaing Savings Towards Goal – $4350
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