Buffering stinks but....

Save $ with slow internet….sometimes

What is no fun is S-L-O-W internet and guests spending thousands of dollars to stay in Ocean City, NJ expect blazing internet. A good internet and TV plan are simply essential for a beach rental property. Unfortunately, there is no real competitor to Xfinity in the area, so I am at the mercy of Comcast and whatever the monopoly charges for the HD Preferred Double Play plan. Currently, $200 a month for this plan is just the cost of doing business.

 

What is REALLY no fun is paying this amount in the dead of winter, particularly when I have not been to the shore in months! I was aware Comcast offered a seasonal suspension option but I was under a few mistaken assumptions. One, that we might visit Ocean City anytime and with young kids who rely on their iPads and Disney Junior for entertainment, we did not want to ever be stranded without Internet and TV. Two, that taking advantage of a Comcast contract promotion with a Minimum Term Agreement (MTA) excluded me from this seasonal downgrade option. Three, that if I had a security system or smart home devices like a thermostat that required internet then I would be cut off.

I have since learned the error of my ways and share that with you.

There will very likely be 90+ days where you do not go to your seasonal vacation home.

It is cold, dark and most everything is closed in Ocean City between New Years and Easter. We just are not likely to be “down the shore” in January, February or March. Should a freakishly warm weekend occur during this period, however, I can use my phone as a decent hotspot and there are Xfinity hotspots accessible from the house (would use primary home credentials to access). In other words, there are options to get us by for a couple of days. Likely there are options for you too and if not, is it worth hundreds of dollars for the convenience? Seasonal spots are just that and if Comcast is willing to let you pay less for three months when you likely will not be there, you simply must take advantage. Remember we are trying to maximize the profits with this enterprise!

The only Comcast imposed restriction is WHERE.

I have also learned that while Comcast is somewhat stingy on choosing what LOCATIONS can opt for a seasonal downgrade (related news article here), a contract promotion is no such constraint. So it does not matter if you just joined.

Comcast offers a plan with a trickle of internet.

It probably helps that Comcast is in the home security/automation business now. It had been a complaint of the seasonal suspension in the past that there was absolutely zero internet. A lot of owners have smart thermostats, security cameras, and even smart refrigerators which are rendered “dumb” without internet. Comcast has accommodated the need to maintain a “lifeline” to these with a seasonal suspension option that includes a minimal amount of internet. 10mbps is frustrating slow for general web surfing and forget about Netflix, but it will be OK for your Nest!

BOTTOMLINE: I COULD HAVE SAVED OVER $500 AND LIKELY SO COULD YOU!

You will need to call Comcast and verify eligibility in your area (again Seasonal Suspension is only permitted in predetermined “vacation” areas) but below is the skinny:

As of 2018, Comcast offers a once a calendar year downgrade for a minimum of 90 days and maximum of 270 days to one of two options:

$8 for limited cable channels + $8 for no internet access
OR
$8 for limited cable channels + $29.99 for 10mbps internet

Benefits:

Obvious savings each month off the cost of your ordinary plan while you are not using the service anyway.

Avoid installation charges involved with the alternative of physically disconnecting/returning equipment and restoring service and picking up new equipment again.

Hassle-free suspension and restoration. It can all be done on the phone without the need for a technician to visit or the time involved with the “self-installs.” Customers in certain locations can even change their seasonal suspend end date online at https://xfinity.com/seasonal.

Negatives:

Below is a chart from Comcast that details what is and is not included during the suspension. Obviously the negative is that it is a pretty limited service.

If you are spending more than a few days at the house you should probably consider lifting the seasonal suspension. However, if Comcast offers this option in your area AND you spend months at a time not there to use Xfinity then this is an option you just need to take advantage of. Comcast does not promote or advertise the details of this much but I guess they are not looking to make it easy for you. Hopefully, this information compiled here helps you.

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