The relationship between cable providers — many of which also offer phone and Internet service — and their customers can be tumultuous. While a family may enjoy the entertainment that quality programming can bring to their lives, actually dealing with a cable TV company can make even the most patient of consumers want to pull their hair out. Unannounced billing increases, missed appointments, and less-than-helpful customer service are just a few scenarios that drive cable customers to new levels of frustration.
The good news is making a switch may be easier than it seems.
If you’re currently a Cox TV customer looking for an alternative service provider, we’ve got you covered. This article will outline your options, including Cox TV’s direct competitors, fiber-optic substitutes, and satellite providers. Keep in mind, however, that these selections may not be available in certain areas, and rural communities may have access to only a select few.
Other Cable Companies
XFINITY by Comcast
XFINITY® is one of the nation’s largest cable companies and is widely available. If you’re hoping to bundle your services, XFINITY is also one of the largest providers of home Internet service, as well as the nation’s third-largest home telephone service provider, offering plenty of options to fit your needs.
Pros: XFINITY offers a wide range of channels, robust on-demand offerings, and plenty of sports channels and pay-per-view options, all at a decent monthly rate. The company offers bundles for TV, Internet, and Voice products — which helps save money — and provides a somewhat flexible contract.
Cons: The biggest drawback to XFINITY service is its low customer service rating. According to Consumer Affairs, XFINITY is ranked at the bottom of all TV cable companies with a 1 out of 5 overall rating. Don’t let the low score completely deter you, however; the company recently invested $300 million into improving customer service, which will hopefully result in more positive customer support interactions.
Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable® is one of the nation’s largest cable providers and is also available in most areas. This alternative to Cox TV recently merged with Charter Communications and Bright House Networks, which has further increased its offerings and geographical footprint.
Pros: TWC offers over 200 channels and a reasonably priced bundle that includes Internet and phone. Its Preferred TV package touts multiple DVR offerings, the ability to access programs online, and full feature on-demand capabilities. Its setup fee is also inexpensive, ranging anywhere from no charge to just under $20.
Cons: TWC’s customer service ratings are consistently low, frequently ranking at the very bottom of the list. Another drawback is the lack of availability in the southeastern United States, so subscribers in that area must look elsewhere for an alternative to Cox Cable.
FiOS from Frontier
Frontier was originally created to serve rural communities. It’s a smaller company, but its fiber product (FiOS® from Frontier) is rapidly gaining market share.
Pros: Frontier offers its customers top quality content, premium movies, local channels, and regional sporting events. It also offers thousands of on-demand options that are easily searchable by genre. FiOS from Frontier has a bundled option for TV, Internet, and voice services to help save customers money.
Cons: A binding 2-year contract is required to establish FiOS service, and the company charges a steep cancellation fee — up to $360. Frontier has also received 1 out of 5 stars by Consumer Affairs for its poor customer service, and many customers have posted complaints since the company acquired Verizon customers in three states.
Verizon Communications has long been a player in the cellular service arena and is now venturing into television service as well. Verizon Fios® services were the first to offer fiber to the home — meaning the connection is 100% fiber-optic.
Pros: If customer service is important to you, Verizon may be the provider you’ve been looking for. Fios consistently ranks first on the ACSI for subscription television services. Verizon offers a large library of On Demand content, and if you can’t wait until a service rep can make it to your home to install your Fios equipment, you can use the Verizon Fios app to watch programs on your laptop or tablet before the service is installed in your home.
Cons: Because of the expense of installing fiber-optics, Verizon Fios is still available in only nine states at this time. Verizon offers many attractive reduced-rate package deals to compensate for the relatively higher price of Fios® TV, but you will be subject to a hefty termination fee if you don’t meet the full contract term.
DISH® is a large satellite TV provider, making it an ideal choice for consumers in rural locations. Due to the way satellite transmissions are received, however, satellite TV can be prone to blackouts and poor picture quality during inclement weather.
Pros: Satellite is generally a cheaper option than cable or fiber, and DISH offers a variety of packages to fit any budget. Its most common basic package offers over 190 channels — more than most basic cable options — and the DISH Anywhere™ app lets customers watch live, recorded, or purchased programming on any device.
Cons: Satellite television requires a satellite dish, and some homeowners associations and apartment complexes may have regulations against the installation of such devices. The picture quality can also be affected by rain and storms, and its sports offerings are not as robust as many other providers’.
With so many alternatives to Cox Cable — all with varying pros and cons — it’s important to think about what you want out of your television provider. Looking for a lot of channels? The ability to record multiple shows at once? Strong customer support? Or a price that doesn’t break the bank? Knowing exactly what you want and what’s available will give you the power to break free from your frustrations and choose a provider capable of delivering the features that are most important to you.
Enter your ZIP code to see what cable providers are available in your area and make the switch today.
*Pricing and speeds are current as of writing. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.