A couple months ago my cable bill increased. We have a newborn and life has been busy, so I put off calling them to doing anything about it. The other day I finally got around to calling the cable company and negotiated a reduced cable bill. The result? I saved over $7.50 per month over the next 12 months, and I didn’t need to agree to a new contract. That’s $90 a year in savings for 10 minutes of work. Not a bad ROI!
How to lower you cable bill
Research pricing. Negotiating a lower cable bill shouldn’t be very difficult. The first thing you want to do is gather information. Find out how much you are paying for your service, then find comparable service levels from your cable company’s competitors. Visit the competitor’s website, watch for commercials on TV, look in your mail for fliers, or simply call them for pricing information. Just note that you will have more leverage if the competitor’s offer is advertised.
Find competitive deals. Direct TV is currently offering great deals, like this Special DirecTV offer.
Call your cable company. When you call, ask for the retentions office and be nice to them. Being courteous will go much further than being demanding or threatening to cancel right away unless they lower your bill. When the customer service rep comes on the line, be up front and let them know you would like to negotiate a lower cable bill and give them factual information about the other service plans in your area. They will know all the advertised rates in the area, so don’t try to pull a fast one; you likely won’t get anywhere.
Be prepared to walk. If the cable company declines your request, express your disappointment and mention that you would like to cancel your cable service at the end of the billing cycle (even if you have no intention of leaving). This gives them a chance to come back with a lower “final offer” to try and retain your service. If the end of your billing cycle is several days or weeks out, they may call back before disconnecting your service with another offer lower than you are currently paying. If they don’t give you the offer you like, you can go ahead with your disconnection, or cancel the disconnection and maintain your service.
Doesn’t work? Try again later. You may not have as much success with this tactic if you have done it multiple times with the same cable company. They can always check their records for your billing history. If this method doesn’t work, try again in a couple months. The cable company may need to make certain quotas or have a different policy in place. If they say no again, you are out nothing but a few minutes time. If they agree to lower your bill, you can save a nice chunk of change.
This applies to multiple services. This tactic also works for satellite, DirecTV, internet service, telephone service, or other recurring services where you are not already in a contract.