I have been meaning to add HBO to my digital cable package for awhile now. If you live in downtown Philadelphia you get your cable from Comcast, which I don't have a problem with... for the most part. My cable modem is great, and the while I wouldn't mind spending less on my cable it is luxury. No one is making me subscribe to cable, so I really can't complain.
The reason I wanted HBO? I managed to watch a few episodes of John from Cincinnati, on the recommendation from Joe, and I really enjoyed it. The writing is top notch and very stylized. The situations are odd, and Al Bundy is in it (Ed O'Neill is his real name, and he is really great in this series)! What's not to like?
This is how I found myself on the phone with a very nice employee of Comcast. Somehow I got it into my head that adding HBO to my cable package would cost $10 a month. I was willing to pay this because John from Cincinnati isn't available by any other legal means and it is a more enjoyable experience watching shows on my TV with its nice sound system. The dude on the phone told me that adding HBO was a snap, and he went ahead and did it. I was happy as a clam until he said, 'Okay, so that'll add $18.95 to your bill every month.'
What the heck?! That didn't make the entirely made up amount I had in my head. How dare Comcast!
I said that seemed like an awful lot of money just to add one channel to my package. I thought that since I had Silver Digital I could add a premium channel for less, but the dude on the phone explained that wasn't so. I asked about any specials Comcast might be running and he told me that there weren't any special offers that included HBO.
Okay, Comcast, I can play your game!
I asked him if there were any way for me to get HBO for a little cheaper. What would happen if I upgraded my entire package to the Gold level? He asked me to hold, and then came back to me and said, 'Well, if you upgrade to Gold you'll get HBO, Showtime (which means I can watch Big Brother: After Dark. Bonus!), and Starz for $5 a month more than you're paying now.'
That's more like it! Though, I do wonder why he didn't tell me about that option in the first place. I imagine Comcast doesn't really want people to save money if they are hot to get a premium channel.
The moral of the story is to ask lots of questions when adding something to your cable package, it might save you some serious dough!