The Money Saving Secret Your Cable and Internet Service Provider Doesn’t Want You to Know

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When you’re driving, uneven cell coverage becomes a nuisance. Music, GPS and calls just won’t work. Here’s a quick guide to boosting your service wherever the road takes you.

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Whether you’re going on an extended trip, spending time in a seasonal home, or otherwise moving away, here’s a smart way to save money: Stop using your cable and internet. Yes, you can do this and keep many of the benefits of your service.

That’s why the cancellation not your best option

When you are going on a long trip, there is no reason to pay for internet at home. You might think that canceling and reactivating is the right way to go. It is a bad idea.

  • You will often face cancellation fees.
  • Cancellation of a service is frustrating and takes time. Chances are you’ll be bombarded with questions about why you’re canceling your booking and offers to keep you. And once you’re done with all that, it will take time for you to return the equipment to your ISP.
  • You will often pay an activation fee to reactivate your previous service or sign up for a new one.
  • Resuming service also takes time. You will need to set up a plan, payment, and equipment.

The good news is that many ISPs and cable/satellite providers allow you to pause your service, which is much more convenient.

Below I have compiled information on some of the largest ISPs in the country. If you don’t see yours, check their website or give them a call.

Young friends are relaxing on the sofa in the living room and watching a movie on TV

Young friends are relaxing on the sofa in the living room and watching a movie on TV

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Comcast Xfinity

xfinity Seasonal convenient plan allows you to suspend the use of TV, Internet and voice services while you are away. You retain your equipment, phone number, and Comcast.net email address, which you can access during the hold.

If you switch to seasonal Internet access, you will still be able to control your smart devices at home even when you are not at home. There is no reconnection fee and you do not need to call the service center upon your return.

Xfinity charges $8 per month to suspend your TV, Internet, or voice services. If you want to save your Internet, Seasonal Internet Access costs $29.95. The time period during which you can activate the Seasonal Convenient Plan varies by region and ranges from three to nine months.

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Charter Spectrum

If you are using Spectrum use Seasonal Status Possibility to suspend TV, Internet and voice communication services for a monthly fee. You can do this for two to nine months.

You retain your phone number, email address, voicemail, Spectrum receiver, and other television, Internet, or voice equipment. You will still be able to access your Spectrum.net account to pay your bills online and check your email, voicemail, and account status, but you will not have access to the Internet during your seasonal status. When you return home, your services will resume without a visit from a technician.

You will either need to provide a forwarding address for billing purposes or sign up for AutoPay to subscribe to seasonal status. You can upgrade your account to seasonal status once every 12 months.

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Coke

Cox Seasonal program allows you to pause your services and keep all your hardware, starting at $9.99 per month. There is no need for a reconnection fee or a visit from a technician to get started again as with other options.

You can suspend your services for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of nine consecutive months. You can schedule up to two holds per year with a 30-day break between breaks.

AT&T

AT&T Vacation allows you to pause your connection to the Internet, phone, or U-verse TV service. If you pause all three activities, you will still have access to your email IDs to use the AT&T Wi-Fi network while you are away. You will save your number and be able to receive calls and access your voice mail.

AT&T charges $7 per month for each delayed service. You can use Vacation Leave twice a year for two to nine months.

FILE - This October October 24, 2016 file photo shows the AT&T logo displayed above one of its New York City retail stores.

FILE – This October October 24, 2016 file photo shows the AT&T logo displayed above one of its New York City retail stores.
(Copyright 2016 Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Important Safety Warning

If you have a home security camera or other home surveillance devices connected, make sure you can still access them before you block your account. Some plans have this option and others do not. Check with your ISP to make sure your home is secure while you’re away.

Are you on your way? Here are smart steps to protect your home from intruders.

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Find out about all the latest technology at The The Kim Commando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and gives advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data breaches. For daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Commando.com.