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Tomorrow is April 9th, and my game of chicken with Comcast's billing department will have come to an end.

For the past 4 years, I've been paying between $19.95 and $21.99 for Comcast Xfinity economy Internet service -- its not super fast (especially when trying to upload videos to youtube), but it's good enough for SSH connections, Netflix streaming, and the occasional XBox Live gaming sessions.

For $20/month, it was a good deal. For the "non-promotion" pricing of $45/month, I'd want a better connection.

I've always been able to get the "promotional" pricing by being as nice as I possibly can to the service representative (or, failing that, switching names on the account). Rarely negotiations would make their way to the "retention department," but I'd be as reasonable and accommodating as I could and we'd work something out.

Comcast hasn't been offering the $20 promotional rate in their TV commercials for quite a while -- the best rate I've seen in these spots is $24.95/month for 6 months. Inflation? When I saw my $19.95/month promotion was ending, I was thinking it was an "end of an era" for the $20/month internet bill.

I tried my best to go for the $24.95 rate -- but no dice: "That's only for new customers. I can't offer you that."

I got forwarded right from first-level customer service through to the "disconnection" department, and we scheduled the service to be terminated at the end of the current billing period: April 9th. They've called back twice to confirm (making no effort to improve on the $45/month pricing) so I'm feeling they're serious.

I'll be looking into AT&T DSL ($14.95/month if you bundle it with an AT&T Wireless Plan and are willing to endure their onerous webstore). Either that or move the computer closer to the window to get some of that free Mountain View Google WiFi.