Silly Utility Blog

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Why I'm Doing This

Posted Tuesday August 15, 2017 — by William Entriken

FACT: The only way to reduce your utility bill (without reducing service) is to call the provider on the phone. They are very experienced in making you give up and get off the phone. But we are experienced in beating them and reducing the rate.

This article applies for local monopoly internet/TV/phone service, it does not apply for regulated energy, water and gas service. This article regards service in the United States but may be applicable in other regions, let us know how it goes.

Preparing for the call

Last year in 2016, Comcast, Verizon and AT&T earned a combined $352 billion in revenue. That is an average of $2,800 for every household in the United States. You can halve the amount your household pays by being one of the few families that correctly renegotiate their rate. Here's what you can expect:

When you actually sit down to get it done, have these things in front of you:

Dialing the call

Here is the phone number and phone tree options to reach the "cancellation" department. This is the only way to reach a person with authority to negotiate. You can only reach this department on the phone and usually you cannot cancel any service online.

Why I'm Doing This

Posted October 7, 2016 — by William Entriken

Thanks everyone for checking out this experiment. This humble website hopes to help the millions of people in Philadelphia better understand and negotiate their utility bills.

The utility markets today (mostly cable TV, internet, phone) are a complete joke. For hundreds of years there has been only one or two choices of service provider anywhere. And this is certainly true in the Philadelphia market. This problem persists because of politics and because the companies and politicians don't give you the information you need to fix it. In the next local election, would you know who to vote for that supports telecom competition? And if you voted for them could you be sure they will deliver?

There is a company that runs a popular search engine but sometimes they also offer telecom service in select cities (I'm sure you know what company I'm talking about). Every time this company introduces services in a new town, the other incumbent companies immediately halve their price and double their service levels. This is the same "F.U." attitude I am looking to accomplish with this modest website.

All you need to do is share your utility bills (after redacting sensitive information) and compare with neighbors. Then you can use this new information to renegotiate your rate. You're going to save a lot of money, it might make a difference in your life.

HELP WANTED. If you are able to help in any way, please contact volunteers@sillyutility.net. Specifically, we are looking for detailed instructions of how to download various utility bill. Also, we need complete transcripts or recordings (again, redacted) of your conversations negotiating the utility bill. ("This call may be recorded!") This will be REALLY helpful.