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I was tired of my high bills from Time Warner. Here's how I lowered the cost for my Internet service without sacrificing anything.

I had several people email me with their tales of woe regarding how poorly they were treated as long-time customers and how companies are offering new customers better rates. Several of them found that when they cancelled their service they were almost immediately offered a better price.

As I stated in my previous article, Time Warner offered me a rate reduction just for asking. I also found that it was somewhat difficult to cancel my Time Warner service. When I called and they found that I wanted to cancel, several times I was forced to wait and wait for help. One time I even called and pressed the button to indicate that I wanted new service. I got a representative immediately. Going back to the "cancel my service" option again, put me into the "we'll get to you eventually" queue. I was transferred from person to person and each one offered me a better rate. As a matter of fact, by the time I actually got the cancellation done,  the rate they were offering was reduced by about one-third of my original bill. So if you want to take that route, it is surely a way to save some money. Just be sure you have a lot of patience as it may take several calls and a considerable amount of time on hold.

After I explained in my last article how I saved money on my television service, I also got a lot of email asking me what I did to save money on my Internet. So here's the scoop.

Both my husband and I are heavy Internet users and I was very happy with the Time Warner service. I hated to change, but after I cancelled my Time Warner television service, their best offer for the Internet service that I was using was more than $60 a month. I thought I could do better than that. Yet, I knew that this was going to be problematic since I am in an area of Pinehurst that doesn't get good DSL service. Satellite Internet was not an option for me. Although I could use cellular Internet service, as a heavy Internet user, that option was too expensive. So my only available option was cable. And Time Warner is main cable provider in my area.

That is when I had my AH-HA moment. Several of my computer consulting customers were happily using EarthLink as their Internet provider. I checked the Internet and EarthLink's rates looked very good.  Their offer was standard cable service with download speeds of up to 7 Mbps (which is what I was getting from Time Warner) at $29.95 a month for the first six months and $41.95 after that.  (They also have a lite service that costs $29.95 with no increase). After the $62 a month quote from Time Warner, these prices looked pretty good.

It turns out that here in our area EarthLink uses Time Warner cable lines. So I didn't have to change anything except my billing. It took less than 15 minutes on the phone with EarthLink. Since everything was essentially provided by Time Warner, there was no need to change my equipment. No need for a service call. No interruption in service. Everything was switched over automatically. For someone with a Road Runner address, there would be a change of email address. However since I use Gmail and an email address at Compukiss.com, I didn't even have to change my email.

In essence, I changed my Internet service, but I didn't have to change anything. My service is exactly the same. The billing still comes from Time Warner. Yet my monthly savings is considerable.

After everything was in place with EarthLink, I called Time Warner to cancel my Internet service. They said they would have to come out and turn off my service at the junction box outside my home. That seemed a little illogical to me since my Time Warner service was on and would remain on. Yet, Time Warner insisted that they would have to do this. They couldn't come out until the following Monday. That meant that I had to pay double for four days until Time Warner confirmed that my account was closed. I guess if they can charge thousands of customers for a few extra days, it means a big profit to them. For me, however, it was another "gotcha".

After a month with EarthLink, I can honestly say that I am very happy with EarthLink. Over the course of the change over, I made three calls to EarthLink to ask questions. Although two of the representatives had thick East Indian accents, they were knowledgeable and polite. EarthLink offers 24-7 phone support. So I am getting exactly the same service I had before with little effort and a big savings.