Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Keeping it Simple - Getting Rid of the Big Boys

 
 
In a couple of years when our master plan comes to fruition we will have to keep all expenditure to the absolute minimum, no regular monthly outgoings for anything but the absolute essentials and it is with this in mind that we are starting now to pare back the things we are setting up for the house.
 
 
 
One of the first things that was crossed off our list and banished from our lives was BT. 
 
We have had years and years of shoddy service, of lies over the phone and being made to wait in for engineers that turned up late or not at all.  Now I'm not saying it is the ground workers that are to blame, if you ask my opinion the company has just got too big for it's own boots and thinks it has everyone over a barrel because they need their service.
 
Well ..... not us. 
 
We have set up Satellite Broadband for our internet use and we have brilliant reception on our mobile phones for telephone calls.  It's all we need.
 
 
The next big boy to leave our company is Sky TV.  The price has crept up steadily over the years even for our most basic of packages, usually only by 25p or so, they obviously think you're not going to notice if they keep it small.  I got it back down a couple of years ago by phoning and threatening to leave then, so simple to do and even if it only saves you that 25p a month for a couple of years, well worth doing.  But now we have decided why continue paying the £48.75 a month that it has been costing us when for an initial payment for FreeSat box and dish installation it can all be ours with no monthly fees. 
 
So we bit the bullet and organised the installation for this weekend and we will be free of the second Big Boy that has been sharing our lives and costing us money.  For a one off payment to install the dish and squirrel proof cabling to the house, and the purchase of the FreeSat box, (which in total comes to less than £1,000) we will have television for just the cost of the TV licence.  As Sky was costing us £585 a year, this is less than the cost of two years Sky viewing and it will be ours for good, with a reasonable selection of channels and recording and pausing etc capabilities.
 
The reason for the sheep picture at the top of the post?
 
Well firstly I didn't want this to look like a BT or Sky advertisement on anyone's sidebar for the day, and secondly, we had the sad job of ringing the farmer who has his sheep in our field on Sunday morning to let him know that one of his lovely ladies had died during the night and two of the others were coughing.  Sadly he reckons she died of pneumonia, such a shame she as was only into her second year.  We pointed out the other two that were coughing "that nice looking one over there and the great big one" we said ..... "that great big one there is the Ram" said Will the farmer with a grin on his face.
 
 Ooops ..... shows how much we noticed .... in our defence it had no horns or anything visible (at first glance) to show us it was a boy!!
 
 
It's lucky no big animal sees our little Suky as a threat because she was in with them the other day, she pushed her way under the fence and went and stood next to her favourite .... the great big one!!
 
Sue xx

21 comments:

  1. I bought a freestat box some years ago, its brilliant. I do however still have sky for our broadband and phone, although I think I am thinking of junking them too. The last bill was almost £40. Not sure who to go to just for the broadband though.

    I am going to post a parcel to your new home next Tuesday in the hope that it will arrive whilst you are there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Anne I look forward to getting it :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. You've inspired me to look into alternate internet suppiers. At the moment we are with BT and I definitely agree with their rubbish service! When we move house they won't be coming with us.
    x

    ReplyDelete
  4. We have had BT since moving here 27 years ago and so far, touch wood, haven't had any problems, apart from the first time we paid line rental for the year and they took it out twice! Don't think our Freesat dish and box was that much but we did change over around 7 years ago. Our old tv went, so we got a new one with it built in. The only problem we have encountered is when it snows, the picture can disappear until we hose the snow off. Very rare but it did happen once!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The FreeSat box is costing us just over £250 from Curry's (our installer was very good and admitted that he would not be able to get it any cheaper than the price online there) and the rest of the cost is the installation of the dish and cabling which has to run from the top of our hillside, through the woods and into the house, replacing old wiring. We also thought it worth paying a little extra for squirrel proof cabling so that is factored into the cost.

      Delete
  5. We've never been interested in paying for extra TV progs via sky so have always had Freesat. Going by your costings we have saved nearly £6000! we're not daft are we!

    ReplyDelete
  6. There's no way I would pay for extra tv channels that I wouldn't (probably) watch anyway! I have a freeview box and that is more than enough!
    Regarding Suki and the Big Boy, I wonder if he thinks she is a lamb? just a thought......

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes, it's the insidious monthly payments that add up at the end of the year, they don't seem very much individually, but collectively knock a huge hole in the annual budget.

    Not sure what we've got, we moved in about 30 months ago, there is a small dish on the gable and a connection point in the lounge, we didn't have a TV but bought one, plugged it in and it receives an awful lot of channels, never counted them but probably 90-100, we only pay the TV licencing fee.

    BT provide our phone and broadband on a package, it averages £35 pcm for unlimited internet and UK land-line calls, plus line rental paid annually. Seems worth it to us, 2 computers very well used on line every day. To be fair, I've never had a problem with BT, despite 5 moves in 7 years. They recently converted us to fibre optic (whatever that is, but it sounds good and is a lot faster) for £30 to install a new router and re-connect phone sockets then an extra £1 pcm.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think to set the record straight personally I don't think anyone is 'daft' for paying out for a television subscription of any kind if that is what they either want or need. We have had no choice BUT to have Sky during our time in our rented properties, there were no television aerials or permission to erect them so Sky TV with the already erected dishes was our only choice.

    We are simply getting rid of it now to cut our costs back to the bare minimum for the future and because we can. At the level we were paying some folk would still think it is a good deal if that was their only entertainment. One trip to the cinema could easily cost you a month's Sky subscription!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds excellent Sue, we only ever had Sky when they bought up our previous satellite provider and we very quickly got rid (due to Sky ethics rather than costs, if I am honest)

    We had Freeview and then got a Freesat dish and OH ( being an engineer) plumbed it all in :) Cost us a few hundred pounds in total for the kit

    We also left BT and would NEVER go back - the lies and excuses we have had over the years were unbelievable!

    So, TalkTalk for internet and phones (the best broadband we can get, and unlimited data on the computer, free landline calls and a generous multi mobile phone package) and FreeSat/Freeview for the TVs - our whole spending is about £ 360 for the whole year ( plus the initial cost of the Free Sat stuff, several years ago)

    Am nterested in your satellite phone deal - could you provide some details please?

    S xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The satellite is for the broadband only, we are with Orange for our mobile phones.

      Delete
  10. only this morning we have recieved a letter to say that virgin are putting our service up by £4.50 pcm from February but they are , kindly, giving us 12 extra (crappy ) tv channels . this is a big boy I think we need to get rid of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are in the same boat with Virgin Miss Piggy Bank. We have been with them since the days of Blue Yonder, but when Virgin bought them out the service has gone downhill all the way. I think we dont fit their target demographic anymore and they are really bothered about keeping us happy. Not sure how much longer we will bwe with them tbh.

      Delete
  11. Hi Sue, Glad all your plans are going well. Yes would be interested to hear which satellite broadband you have chosen - we will be moving back to the UK next year so will be starting up all these connections again and having now retired need to be careful with our budget.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have signed up with Avonline for our satellite broadband. We got a discount because we are CLA members.

      See here for more information about them. http://www.avonlinebroadband.co.uk/

      Delete
    2. thank you for that though I don't know what CLA stands for

      Delete
    3. Sorry ...... Country Land and Business Association :-)

      Delete
  12. I saw the title, saw the sheep, and thought the worst!
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well it was the worst for one of them.... although she was a girl, really a girl :-)

      Delete
  13. I hope the other sheep & ram get better. I admire your cutting out these providers.

    ReplyDelete
  14. We love Freesat - it gives plenty of choice...Sky is a con - we have never had it but my husband hankers after all the sport but as I say to him he's managed without it for 58 years he can manage without it for the next 58!

    ReplyDelete

Sorry but I have added word verification to try and curtail the unprecedented amount of spammers recently posting comments. I will try this rather than stop Anonymous Users commenting for the time being to see if this will solve the problem. Thank you for your patience.