Yesterday I called up Verizon to see about lowering my cable bill.
I kind of chickened out and didn't give the woman a hard time. I didn't threaten to cancel my service, mostly because I had no intention of following through and I'm a bad liar. And the woman I talked to was nice and walked me through the examples I asked her about, which included different combinations of lowering the service level of internet and cable.
The best savings I found was in keeping Triple Play, and reducing internet and cable to the second-lowest tiers. It turns out Verizon's internet-only option is still like $55/month on a yearly contract, and $70/month on a monthly basis. So it doesn't look like pushing to turn off cable is going to save much money, and it's definitely not worth the pain at this stage in the game. In the future I'll need to look up other internet options to see if dropping cable could ever be a reasonable cost-saving measure.
With my girlfriend's company discount, we're taking our monthly bill from $95/mo (after tax) to $70/mo (after tax). The door is still open later to call up and threaten to cancel my service. I need a better game plan for that though. Like knowing what Comcast is offering. Maybe calling Comcast up first and ask them what they'll offer me to switch. Many possibilities. But $25/month savings for basically the same thing is good enough for now.
Just to make me feel better, here's some numbers:
$25 monthly is $300 yearly. At a SWR of 4%, you would need a 'stash of $7500 to finance that difference forever. At a SWR of 3%, it's a $10k 'stash. So with one phone call I reduced the necessary size of my 'stash by somewhere in the ballpark of $10k. Not bad.
Everything in perspective.