Cable TV best deals

Be shrewd or get screwed: How to haggle your way to a lower cable or Internet bill
September 29, 2015 – 12:09 pm
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Do you have a big monthly bill for broadband? Is your cable or satellite TV costing you a fortune? Everyone would like to pay less right? What if I told you that there’s a relatively easy way to get upgraded service, or discounts, or both?

Ask friends, family, and neighbors what kind of deals they are getting.

The best public deals on broadband and TV packages are typically offered to entice new customers. If you are a loyal customer and you pay your bill without complaint month after month, year after year, then there’s a high chance you’re paying more than everyone else. These service providers do not reward loyalty unless you take action. There’s a whole range of secret deals that they can offer you behind the scenes, but you’ll need to work for them.

If you’re prepared to call your provider and haggle, then you have a decent chance of getting a better deal. You may have to threaten to leave and it won’t work 100 percent of the time, but retention departments are there to keep your business, and they’ll often conjure up enticements if they think you might seriously switch provider away from them.

You can significantly boost your chances of success with a little groundwork.

Step 1 – Assess your situation

First of all, you should make sure that you understand exactly what you are paying each month and what you get in return. Check if you signed up to a minimum-term contract that will include penalties if you try to leave. You are in a much stronger bargaining position at the end of a contract.

Are you currently paying full price? Bear in mind that if you want to cancel your service after a promotion period end, do it early. You may get stuck with a one month bill at full price if you wait until the end of the contract to cancel because there’s often a notice period. Make sure that you review your account information, billing information, and your contract.

Step 2 – Research what’s out there

You need some leverage. There are two ways to get it.

  1. You take a look at what your provider is offering new customers.
  2. You take a look at what competing service providers are offering.
Don’t just look at one service, try to research as many as possible and write down the prices for the packages or deals you like the look of. Ask friends, family, and neighbors what kind of deals they are getting. If you’re in the UK you can cut down the research time by using a price comparison service like uSwitch. U.S. folks aren’t so lucky. You need to write down the full details of any deals you can find that offer what you want for less than you’re currently paying.

Related: How to save money on your electric bill

You should also phone up if you have any unreasonable or strange charges, like overage charges on your bill, and if your service isn’t consistently up to scratch, for example you’re not getting the broadband speeds stated in your contract.

Step 3 – Have the information handy

This is going to go better if you know exactly what you want to say and you have it written down in front of you. The customer service person you talk to is going to ask why you want to leave. There are various different ways to go.

  • You might say the service is too expensive and you don’t feel you’re getting the best deal.
  • You might tell them that you’ve been offered a better deal by another provider.
  • You might tell them that you’re unhappy with the standard of service.
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