My parents hammered into me the value of being a good consumer. One of the principles I heard over and over was, “Be thrifty. Don’t pay for something you’re not really going to use.” So, when the following situation arose recently, I was a little befuddled. Last year, my wife and I “cut the cord.” In other words, we tried to cancel our cable TV subscription, just keeping the internet portion of the service. I say we tried, because after haggling with someone on the “customer retention team,” we ended up with a special deal that reduced our monthly bill by 60% and still included our local channels and HBO.

Twelve months later the deal expired, and we were facing a 60% increase. So back to the phone I went. This time, I was told that my deal was no longer available. If I just wanted internet service, the bill was still going to go up 50%. However . . . they did have a deal that would keep our bill at the present rate and include a service allowing us to watch local channels on Android mobile devices. I told the rep we are on the Apple platform, so we wouldn’t be able to use it.

But then I started thinking illogically. “Wait a minute,” I said. “Suppose I take this offer, which will keep my bill at the same rate and I just never use the Android-based service?” There was a bit of silence on the other end. Then the rep said, “Well, I guess you could do that. There’s no way we can force you to use something you’re paying for.” So, in spite of my parents’ voices, saying “Don’t buy something you’re not going to use,” I said, “Let’s do this!” Tune in this time next year and I’ll let know what happens when I have to repeat this process. Remember, sometimes thinking a little bit illogically does make sense.


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