Money-saving secret your cable and internet provider doesn’t want you to know

Money-saving secret your cable and internet provider doesn't want you to know thumbnail
Mother and daughter sitting on sofa watching tv, back view

Mother and daughter sitting on sofa watching tv, back view (iStock)

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When you’re driving, spotty cell coverage is a drag. It’s impossible to receive music, GPS, or calls. Here’s a quick guide to boosting your service no matter where the road takes you.

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If you’re heading off for a long trip, spending time in a seasonal home, or otherwise away, here’s a smart way to save money: Pause your cable and internet. You can cancel your service and still enjoy many of its perks.

Here’s why canceling isn’t your best option

When you’re going on an extended trip, there’s no reason to pay for internet service back home. You might think that cancelling and reactivating is the best option. This is a bad idea.

  • You’ll often face a cancellation fee.
  • Canceling your service is frustrating and takes time. You will likely be bombarded by questions about why your service is being cancelled and offers to keep it. After you’re done with all the questions, it’s time to return your equipment to your provider.
  • You’ll often pay an activation fee to reactivate your previous service or sign up with a new one.
  • Resuming service takes time, too. You will need to set up your plan and payment.

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

Below I gathered info on some of the biggest providers in the country. If you don’t find yours, visit their website or give them call.

Young friends relaxing on living room sofa and watching film on TV

Young friends relax on the living room sofa while watching a film on TV.

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Comcast Xfinity

Xfinity’s Seasonal Convenience Plan lets you put your TV, internet, and voice services on hold while you’re away. Your equipment, phone number and Comcast.net email address are kept safe. You can still access them during the hold.

If you upgrade to Seasonal Internet Access, you’ll still be able to control your smart devices at home while you’re away, too. There is no reconnection fee and you won’t be charged for a service call upon your return.

Xfinity charges $8 per month to pause your TV, internet, or voice services. If you want to keep your internet, it’s $29. 95 for Seasonal Internet Access. Seasonal Convenience Plans can be activated for up to nine months depending on where you live.

Travel pro tip: How to skip the line at the airport for free

Charter Spectrum

If you use Spectrum, use the Seasonal Status option to put TV, internet, and voice services on hold for a monthly fee. This can be done for up to nine months.

You keep your phone number, email address, voicemail, Spectrum receiver, and other TV, internet, or voice equipment. You can still access your Spectrum.net account online to pay your bill and check your account status. However, you won’t be able access the internet during your Seasonal Status. When you return home, your services will resume normally without the need for a technician visit.

You’ll need to either provide a forwarding address for billing purposes or enroll in AutoPay to sign up for Seasonal Status. You can place your account in Seasonal Status once every 12 months.

RELATED: 10 best travel apps to plan your next adventure

Cox

Cox’s Seasonal Program allows you to pause your services and keep all your equipment starting at $9. 99 a month. You don’t need to pay a reconnection fee or make a visit to the tech shop to get your services back up and running.

You can pause your services for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of nine consecutive months. You can plan up to two holds per year, with a 30-day break between pauses.

AT&T

AT&T’s Vacation Hold lets you pause your internet, phone, or U-verse TV service. You can still access your email IDs to use AT&T’s Wi-Fi network when you’re away if you have all three on hold. Your number will be kept and you can still receive calls and access voicemail.

AT&T charges $7 per month for each service you put on hold. Vacation Hold can be used twice per year, for up to nine months.

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2016, file photo, the AT&T logo is positioned above one of its retail stores in New York.

FILE – In this Oct. 24, 2016, file photo, the AT&T logo is positioned above one of its retail stores in New York.
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. )

An important security warning

If you have a home security camera or other connected monitoring devices at home, make sure you can still access them before putting your account on hold. Some plans offer this option, while others do not. To ensure that your home is protected while you are away, check with your ISP.

Hitting the road? Here are smart steps to protect your home from intruders.

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Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Search for “Komando” and you will find my last name.

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Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim answers calls and gives advice on digital life today, including smartphones and tablets, online privacy, and data hacking. For her daily tips, free newsletters, and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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