Guys, I’m going to be honest with you for a minute – I don’t pay full price for cable. Actually, I don’t pay anything for cable, since I have satellite, but for the purpose of this post, we’re going to say satellite = cable. Are you still with me? Good. Forget about the whole satellite = cable thing for a minute and focus on the point of this post – lowering the cable bill. That got your attention? I thought so. It turns out, getting your bill lowered really isn’t all that hard. In fact, you can even get it lowered even if you’re under contract if you just know what to say. Follow along and soon you’ll be negotiating your cable prices like a pro. Step 1.) Know the competition. If you live in an area with more than one cable service available, know what the other guys are offering. If there’s any deals or promos going on, get those handy. I live in an area where cable companies are routinely offering gift cards for the amount of the early termination fee you’ll pay your current provider if you cancel your contract to switch cable companies. Knowledge is power, so see what’s out there before you begin? If you live in the boonies, you’re not out of luck! Satellite is cable’s competitor too and satellite is available pretty much anywhere. Look up the deals available in your town.
Step 2.) Name drop. When you call, tell the operator you’re thinking of switching to X company because they have a promotion going that can save you money. Ask if they can match the price for you so you don’t have to go through the hassle of switching. Often times, they will. If that works, you’re done. If it doesn’t work…
Step 3.) Threaten to quit. Tell them you want to speak with someone in the cancellation or retention department regarding terminating your services. Often, people in these departments have access to way better deals than the level 1 customer service reps. Don’t give up your quest for cheaper cable if your first attempt isn’t successful.
When you get on the phone with the person in the cancellation or retention department, tell them you’re thinking about canceling your cable if you can’t get a lower monthly bill. Make sure you tell them you don’t want to lower any of your services either. Usually, you’ll get a loyalty discount or something at this point.
Step 4.) Follow-Up. Ask the person when your discount ends and how you can renew it at that point. They’ll probably tell you to call back in 6 months or however long and ask for the ___ discount again. Write that down. Cable companies keep the names of these discounts under lock and key. Knowing that you want a “customer loyalty” discount versus a “$10 off discount” can make your next call go a lot smoother.
Step 5.) Cancel the cable. If you can’t get a lower bill, go ahead and cancel your service, as long as you’re not charged a fee. Most cable companies will call you within a week with a follow-up and try to get you to go back to their service. They usually offer you a good promotional discount to get you back as a customer.
Of course, if you’re just sick of getting jerked around, you can always switch providers at this point and take advantage of whatever other deals there are available to you.
You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for cable. Negotiating for a better rate isn’t difficult, but it does take time and a little bit of perseverance. Call your cable provider today and see if you can lower your bill $5, $10 or even more.