The Water Cooler – What Cable Television Company Do You Have – Are You Happy With It?

September 12, 2017 12:00 pm · 61 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we will ask you a question or provide a topic, and you will talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

What cable television company do you have, and are you happy with the service?

Talk about it….

TIFOKCIS September 12, 2017 at 12:07 PM

Just switched to Wave after nothing but poor connectivity and worse CS from AT&T.

No opinion as of yet. We don’t watch cable TV. We haven’t since MTV went GHETTO. I am not missing the subliminal indoctrination of cable TV one bit.

Maybe September 12, 2017 at 12:12 PM

DIRECTV good but pricy. Att internet slow and expensive.

Kentucky Derby September 12, 2017 at 12:13 PM

AT&T – U Verse, we couldn’t be happier. My husband gets every sports channel he’s ever wanted, faster internet speed – you get the picture.

Strad September 12, 2017 at 12:24 PM

Cable is now TV, internet, phone, home security, home management and what else they can charge you every month.

Concord74 September 12, 2017 at 12:25 PM

We have DirecTV. Trying to save money and when the promotion period expired, it was not any cheaper than COMCAST. The service is excellent and the CS is good. Have not had to really press CS support as the reception and reliability is very good.
Dread that AT&T bought them out a few years back!!

chuckie the troll September 12, 2017 at 12:29 PM

We cut the cord back in 1992 when it was still Concord TV Cable. We wanted our son to concentrate on learning to read and do his homework. Still happy, and judging by what I see and read online, I’m not missing much. We do use Netflix.

Retailslave September 12, 2017 at 12:39 PM

Att, for everything, love it. Super fast and reliable. Great customer service when you’ve forgotten all kinds of passwords lol

Dorothy September 12, 2017 at 12:41 PM

Switched from Comcast to DirectTV years ago. I’ve been happy with them. Every time they want to raise my rate, I call and remind them I can go back to Comcast. That takes care of them trying to raise the rate. Don’t know if that will work now that ATT owns them.

The Mamba September 12, 2017 at 12:47 PM

DirectTV. I just cancelled the Sunday Ticket because it was so damn expensive, now it’s slightly less so. No wonder everyone is cutting the cord.

Roz September 12, 2017 at 12:51 PM

Been on Wave (Astound) for years. Doesn’t seem to be as good as it uses to be. The price keep going up, even though we try to get adjustments on the account every year. Like some of the HD channels. Computer seems slower.
Since I’m not a computer geek, maybe we need to find someone to help fine tune our set up at home.

Ricardoh September 12, 2017 at 12:59 PM

Wave and just converted to Tivo. Tivo has been a problem.

Fred September 12, 2017 at 12:59 PM

I have Comcast Xfinity TV and internet, about $130 a month with discounts, Don’t have any trouble with it, except for the price.

anontwo September 12, 2017 at 1:09 PM

We have had Astound/Wave since they started (early 2000’s) Cable & internet. I have stayed loyal because they gave us “high” speed internet when Ma Bell only had dial up. Had some signal quality problems (Cable & Internet) over the years but it has improved over the last year. Good to excellent CS. 105MBS on Ethernet, 50-75 Mbps on WiFi Main complaint is TV content. Boring, repetitive, dumb, violent, politically biased, Pay for WAY to many channels I don’t watch. The movies on pay for view are AWFUL!!. I cringe at the cost ($180/month total without movies). Thinking about an Internet subscription but I don’t want to pay more money.

KAD September 12, 2017 at 1:22 PM

We have WAVE, formerly Astound, and have for years now. They provide senior discounts. It is very reliable. I had a problem one time accessing the City of Concord’s web site. It took a few days but they fixed it. The cost is going up but I guess you get what you pay for.

Captain Bebops September 12, 2017 at 1:23 PM

I cut the cable back in 2013. I currently have AT&T for broadband. They raise the rates I’ll switch to Sonic for the same service at a lower price. It will be riding on AT&T’s lines though and AT&T even does the installs for them. But, if Wave will come into the neighborhood I would try them. But they seem to have all kinds of excuses for not moving into more neighborhoods in Martinez.

As for TV, I get all I need streaming with Netflix and Hulu (Showtime included). Anything else I buy the season or wait for it to come to either the above. Amazon, I might rent a month of their streaming now that it is offered that way without having Prime to catch up on a few shows there.

I also have a 4K TV so that is part of the equation nowadays. Netflix has a number of shows 4K including “Better Call Saul” which I didn’t buy this year as it will shortly arrive on Netflix in 4K.

Sally September 12, 2017 at 1:26 PM

Fred, what discounts?

ConcordMike September 12, 2017 at 1:32 PM

Comcast here as well for Cable, Internet and Home. I have had nothing but spectacular CS with them. Service has been outstanding for the past ten years until I added Home Security which I use mostly to monitor when family members arrive or leave. We had some cable issues the first few months of this year, but they respnded by teams to rectify the problem. One time we had four techs here checking it out.Internet speeds are definitely faster than AT&T.

Incognito September 12, 2017 at 1:42 PM

I’ve been with Astound (now Wave) for years.
I’ve been very happy with it, although I’d be happier if it were a little cheaper. Also use Netflix rather than subscribing to any of the “movie channels” via cable.

SmileWC September 12, 2017 at 1:51 PM

AT&T UVerse – seems decent. We don’t walk much TV and go for the lowest very basic TV plan- good internet – good phone & good customer service – about $80 per month the way it is now – should go up in Feb – I’ll probably try Wave then, rather than face a price increase.

Elwood September 12, 2017 at 1:57 PM

Comcast. Price is outrageous but quality is excellent.

Currently my beef with them is they bill me for a different amount every month, all higher than I’ve been paying with no explanation.

If I call I am connected to Rajneesh in Mumbai and we are unable to communicate.

I protest to my credit card company every month and they take the overage off. Just a pain in the keister.

Tim September 12, 2017 at 2:02 PM

AT&T U-verse, I couldn’t be happier

Nutcreek Frontier September 12, 2017 at 2:05 PM

Have Wave/Astound, and for the most part have been happy with them over the years. Avoid Comcast if at all possible, unless you like monthly price hikes and constant channel deletions.

My one knock on Wave, is that their pay per view movies, are usually second tier movies for some reason.

Dawg September 12, 2017 at 2:26 PM

I’ve been using Dish for the past four or five years and I am still paying the introductory price. Every year when they want to increase the price I call and tell them I will cancel and they say I can keep the same price for another year. I do the same with my internet AT&T U-Verse, still paying $19.99 a month.

Pyrrhus September 12, 2017 at 2:45 PM

Cut the cord recently, and only have comcast for internet. Once Sonic offers gigabit I’ll switch over in an instant. We use netflix,hbo, and hulu for shows. anything we can’t find we use Kodi. I also pay less than $20 a month for IPTV and get all the sports I want.

Cowellian September 12, 2017 at 2:46 PM

Back when AT&T was the only cable company in Concord, I saw a story in the Times that a company called Astound from St. Cloud MN was considering starting to provide service in Contra Costa. Since I am a big fan of competition, I sent their president a note saying that I hoped they would do business in Contra Costa. As luck would have it, the Crossings was one of their first markets. I wasn’t their first customer, but I was close (Cowellian’s first!) We were very happy with Astound.

When we moved to Nashville, I tried U-Verse, but the TV and Internet were competing for the same bandwidth. I switched to DirecTV, plus Comcast for Internet. Once I found a Comcast plan with enough bandwidth without the data caps, I’ve been pretty happy with them. I used to love DirecTV, but they’re losing their luster for me. I lose shows and recordings when it rains, and lately, I spend more time managing my account than watching TV. I am actively checking other options.

Google fiber is nowhere near my neighborhood, but their presence in Nashville is keeping the pressure on AT&T and Comcast. I’ve told AT&T and Comcast that whoever shows up on my street with fiber will get all my business.

Muddhen September 12, 2017 at 2:52 PM

We used to have Wave for cable and the Internet, but we cut the cord a couple of years ago and use Wave for internet only now.

We are happy with Wave’s service. Few outages, quick service, great customer service and as for price, It’s always too much.

WC resident September 12, 2017 at 3:09 PM

Like chuckie #6 we cut the cord and I believe it was also in 1992.

We subscribed to Blockbuster and then Netflix for a while but after going through the list of movies we really wanted to watch discovered we were wasting time on movies just because we had a subscription and so stopped those many years ago.

Recently we switched from AT&T DSL to AT&T u-verse which is still DSL but a faster version though it’s Internet only with no phone/TV bundled in. I’m happy with that. They sure tried hard to cross-sell me on getting TV and/or phone.

I don’t see why anyone would subscribe to TV these days when the Internet is available. I suspect that’s why TV rates keep going up and up as they are loosing subscribers and so compensate by raising rates.

ClayDen September 12, 2017 at 3:18 PM

We switched from Comcast to Direct TV over 5 years ago due to the horrible customer service; Direct TV has been great. We have had AT&T for internet since it was a dial-up with Pac Bell and converted to DSL as soon as we could. I wish AT&T would get fiber in my neighborhood, especially now that I’m uploading almost a TB of photos to DropBox and I upgraded my camera to a DSLR with large photo sizes. I still won’t go to Comcast though, even just for internet.

Foonman September 12, 2017 at 3:36 PM

I had Astound/Wave for years and years. When they went Wave and my monthly would go from 128 to 156 to 182, I went ATT Dish. Didn’t think it would be great but found otherwise. Works great at 124 a month. It did take four months to get the 100 dollar rebate though. But all in all the installer was great and made it fun……….no complaints yet…..

anon September 12, 2017 at 3:38 PM

I just tried to cancel a Dish account for my deceased Mother and they said because she had a contract that I have to send a bunch of paperwork and a death certificate. I will never do business with Dish again.

chuckie the troll September 12, 2017 at 4:14 PM


When my father died I tried to pay the last water bill when the house sold. Pittsburg water wanted proof he was dead. I asked who would pay someone elses water bill and then close the account without permission. It took me months to clear it up and at one point I told them to go to Mt Diablo and speak to his ashes.

Bad Nombre September 12, 2017 at 4:35 PM

I don’t watch television and am immensely happy with the low rates and services.

Mika September 12, 2017 at 4:44 PM

Comcast. Very happy.

Mimi (original) September 12, 2017 at 4:49 PM

Currently have Comcast – have been through all of the companies since 1995, and tho the price is high, I really like the remote that I can talk to! Hated Astound when I had it. Everything else is just same-old same-old!

GenXer September 12, 2017 at 5:18 PM

Comcast is the worst in customer service, and I’ve had experience with Time Warner, Cox and now have Wave for just basic broadcast TV and internet. Comcast could care less if you are happy with their service, and good service is hard when you are speaking to a heavily accented person in another country. Wave service is US based and has been good so far.

We pay for the fastest internet and I’m happy with it so far. We mostly stream TV through Amazon Prime and Netflix and enjoy HBO Now through our AppleTV. Adding HBO though Wave was $18/month. Purchasing the streaming only app is $15 a month.

America September 12, 2017 at 5:46 PM

Nature is the cheapest thing to watch.

L.ellis September 12, 2017 at 5:50 PM

Why do you people with Comcast call people that you can’t understand, they have a very nice office in the middle of Concord on Salvio open every day

Lambie September 12, 2017 at 5:52 PM

Comcast cable TV, internet & landline: Love the service, but hate the price.
Also use Netflix & Amazon Prime.

One current complaint: The new remote control isn’t compatible with our TV, so we need to use the old remote control to adjust the volume & turn off/on TV 🙁

Vasquez September 12, 2017 at 5:57 PM

Comcast. Very good but also very. $$$$$

Anon September 12, 2017 at 5:58 PM

I have Comcast Xfinity. They are con artists and they are constantly charging me for things I don’t have. Their idea of customer service is to have me pull out the TV, crawl around on the floor with a flashlight in one hand and the phone in the other, which I have to put down every now and then to use a magnifying glass. If I ask for a service call, I am always threatened with extra charges. They arbitrarily switch out boxes, and they require you to return the old box to the Comcast store. You have so many days to return it, or they start charging you double. The Comcast stores are few and far between, and you aren’t allowed to just drop things off. You have to take a number and wait. I waited 45 minutes. It was like the DMV in there. The store is across from Pete’s Coffee downtown. Parking is miserable. I pay $142 per month and I get no premium channels like Showtime and HBO. A few years ago they said that none of modern HD TVs would work anymore unless you got this little box, which was free for two tvs. Now they charge $5.99 per month for each box. I had box go bad. I returned it to the store and got a new one, but they kept charging me for the old one too. By the time I noticed it on my bill, I had over paid about $50.00. They wouldn’t credit my bill without a huge run around. Coupons that had to be called in each month, and how about six months of HBO for free? No worries, when the six monhs are up, we automatically discontine the access. Yeah right. The customer service phone center is in the Phillipines, I think. “No worries, I will send a signal to your device. What is the tiny little serial number in the back? No worries, I can wait while you crawl around to find it.”

I remember the old days when you weren’t required to be your own technician to fix something you are paying through the nose the lease each month, but that was when the garbage man would come all the way into your backyard, pick up your garbage can, empty it into the truck, then put it back in the backyard. Yes, Virginia, there was such a time.

Original G September 12, 2017 at 6:37 PM

Was down at comcast Concord last month, stood for a good 2 minutes before an employee acknowledged my presence. Conversation with a co-worker took priority and they had both looked at me as I entered. An for some reason that back room must really be something for it seems after each customer there is some irresistible lure for employees.

Foonman September 12, 2017 at 7:50 PM

Had the same experience when my mother passed. But with many different companies. Best advice: get about 10 or 15 “certified copies” of the death certificate as everyone seems to need one. It was good advice……for what its worth.

Mika September 12, 2017 at 8:11 PM

I was at Comcast today to exchange my cable boxes as I, too, took advantage of their discount! I was in and out of there in ten minutes.

And please people, get over the accents of the phone reps, be patient and they will do their best to help you. I don’t care where they are from as long as they help me when I have any problems.

Mika September 12, 2017 at 8:19 PM

P.s. what Forman said– get extra death certificates if you lose your spouse. If your utilities are in your spouse’s name, you won’t be able to even talk to utility companies customer services about your accounts until you provide a death cèrtificate. Including Comcast!

Fred September 12, 2017 at 8:46 PM

@Sally #16 New subscribers get discounts, otherwise my bill would be $190. I hear if you call them they will discount to keep you on. I sure hope that true.

meemo September 12, 2017 at 9:00 PM

I have Comcast for the wifi only. AND if they keep raising the price for the same services, I will drop that too. I use the wifi for Sling and Netflix.

Big Rob September 13, 2017 at 7:27 AM

I have Wave. And I must say it sucks. Watching the previous NBA playoffs, I can’t even tell you just how many times it froze while buffering. Always in the middle of an important play. Looking into switching.

Rob September 13, 2017 at 8:31 AM

Comcast The service has certainly been getting better over the years both phone and service techs. But still far too expensive in my opinion.

jen September 13, 2017 at 9:07 AM



It is over priced, you watch like a robot – when they have shows programmed at certain hours, yes of course you have the option to record, but again WHY?

One word – ROKU or two words – SMART TV
carry the internet, you can even buy your own router so not to ‘rent’ one and use the internet. SO many more options. So at your OWN pace.
Plus everyone has a cell phone, as long as you have the internet for WIFI – you can watch the news on your phone or computer.

MONEY SAVINGS AT BEST! Not to mention freedom – CUT THE CORD!

macawlady September 13, 2017 at 9:19 AM

No cable TV here. Ditched it years ago. Currently pay too much for Internet from Comcast. Few choices here in the county. Sigh

Silva September 13, 2017 at 10:00 AM

jen #51, So I need a smart TV?

Aspirin September 13, 2017 at 10:03 AM

Wave is pretty good. We have all our stuff (phone, TV, Internet) on Wave.

Almost all of our TV watching is reruns on Netflix and Astound. We’re now binge-watching Cheers, if you care.

jen September 13, 2017 at 10:35 AM


No not at all, you can use ROKU – about $29 off of amazon. You plug it in the back of your TV and then download the APPS you want, as in Netflix, HULU, Amazon Prime, etc. TONS of free apps too.

I have all the above, with NO commercials! I went through the holidays last year without seeing the poor dog commercial, or hearing the Sarah McLachIan song! LOL

I keep up with my favorite shows whenever I want, even off my phone and it is a minimal cost that I do not even feel.

Hugh September 13, 2017 at 11:38 AM

Wish we had gigabit Internet in this area. Some providers claim they have it, but it seems to be poorly implemented and spotty. Comcast does not offer it here, they should. When are we getting Google Fiber?

WC resident September 13, 2017 at 12:09 PM

I am wondering if what Fred #47 wrote is true. Maybe it should be a separate Claycord column.

AT&T, Comcast, and Wave are all offering the first few months at a low rate. What happens if you call to keep that rate?

Something I don’t see in the comments above is if people are getting nickel and dimed. For example, when I switched from AT&T DSL to AT&T U-Verse DSL there was no installation charge and no charge for the new modem. I’m paying a flat $30/month for 45-mbit service.

It seems in the Wave fine print that they charge extra for the modem and that you are required to rent the modem from Wave. The Comcast fine print is harder to parse but it seems they also charge extra for the modem but allow you to use your own modem.

WC resident September 13, 2017 at 12:42 PM

@Hugh #56 – Gigabit service will always be spotty with today’s technology.

Comcast claims though that both 1-gig and 2-gig service are available when I spot checked various addresses. The cost is $109.99/mo for the first 12 months for 1-gig and $299.95/mo with 2-Year Agreement for 2-gig. makes it easy to plug in any street address to see what’s available. If the address you check already has Comcast service it says “An XFINITY account already exists at this address” but you can click “I am moving here as a new customer” to get a sense of what’s available at that address. Unchecking the “TV” box in the filter on the left tends to make the 1-gig or faster services visible.

mike favar September 13, 2017 at 1:43 PM

Dump the cable and switch to a dvd/blu ray collection. Cheaper in the long run & you control the schedule.

Tim September 13, 2017 at 1:47 PM

Cut cord with Comcast a year ago because Broadcast Fee and Local Sport Fee keeps increasing. Not a governmental fees, but price gouging. Comcast could not explain the reason. I think it’s for a retirement fund for company officers.Use Roku now.

Silva September 13, 2017 at 1:58 PM

jen, Awesome. Thank you! If I can figure this out (I have about a week, as COMCAST jacked up their already expensive price by $15.00 per mo for the next 12 months during our most recent negotiation), I can really use some extra money in my pocket right now. I get my TV and wifi there. I hate dealing with them, and throughout our loooong association, it’s been clear we’re meaningless to them, though they aren’t as rude as they’ve been in years past.

Barbie Girl September 13, 2017 at 4:30 PM

I have Comcast and are happy with them. Customer service in their Concord Office is good, and friendly. I only have basic because we are online a lot of the time. Although I do wish we had “boutique serivce” where you can pick which stations you receive.

AnonZ September 14, 2017 at 5:36 AM


We just switched back to Wave(Astound) after having ATT Uverse for 2-3 Yrs. We were happy with Uverse excep the price. We are now paying $100 less per month with Wave.

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