Lower Your Cable Bill: Save Money Pt 1
In this economy saving money is more important than ever because you never know what will happen next. The “Digital Landing Save Money Series” shows you how you can save money on your home digital services without cutting yourself off from the world. Every penny counts and we will help you save them with this five-part series, so you can stash those pennies away for a rainy day.
Save Money With a Cheaper Cable Bill!
|Digital Landing – Save Money Series|
|Pt 1: Lower Your Cable Bill|
|Pt 2: Fight Rate Increases|
|Pt 3: Alternatives to Cable and Satellite TV|
|Pt 4: Tips to Saving Money On Internet|
|Pt 5: 10 Money Saving Tips & Apps|
Face it, television can be expensive — it doesn’t matter who your provider is. First, there is your basic cable bill, and then there is the equipment costs, and then on top of that, you have the cost of premium channels. Odds are pretty good that when you signed up, it didn’t seem that expensive. Most companies offer a promotional rate for the first 6-12 months, then your bill increases and you find yourself locked into a contract. To top it off, you are now paying for channels and equipment that you aren’t even using.
Don’t despair, there is hope. You can usually negotiate with your provider to lower your bill. Sometimes it can be done with a simple phone call and a few minutes of your time. Before you make that phone call, though, there are a few basic things you need to do.
- Research the competitors to see what special promotions they have in your area and keep the information for reference. Having the competitor’s information is important when bargaining with the your provider, as it allows you to reference a specific deal and shows them how seriously you are considering switching over.
- Look at the deals available from your current provider and compare them to the competition. Look at the deals that are being offered to new customers, as well as existing customers. The promotional rates for new subscribers are usually much lower than the standard pricing and will give you an idea of how much bargaining room you may have.
- Analyze your account to know how much you are paying, know what each charge is and why it is there. If you don’t know why a charge is there then find out. On the top of your bill, jot a quick note with the date you first signed up for your service, loyalty can pay off.
Now that you have your basics, it is time to make the call. Pick an off-peak time, such as early morning or mid-afternoon, during the middle of the week, and set aside 30 minutes where you can be uninterrupted. You may not need the full time, but this way you won’t be rushed.
Be friendly to the customer service rep on the phone. Try to connect with them in some personal way, if you can make them laugh, then all the better. The odds are pretty good that they are sitting in a call center with a script in front of them. They probably had to deal with at least one angry customer today, don’t make them resent dealing with you. Let them know that you have been a reliable customer and how much you have enjoyed the service.
You can complain, but do it politely and respectfully. Yelling and screaming won’t get you anywhere and is likely to lose you any good will you might have garnered earlier. Claim that your bill is too high and it’s stretching your budget. Let them know that you really enjoy their service, but unless they can help you lower the bill, you will probably end up switching to the competition.
Mention promotional deals that the competition has and ask the customer service rep if they have anything comparable or if they are willing to offer you something different. On top of the standard offers, the service rep usually has some wiggle room on certain aspects, such as installation fees, length of time on an offer, or equipment rental. Try to negotiate on those points in order to further lower your bill.
Sometimes you get a rep that you can not negotiate with, if that is the case then give it up. At this point, you can decide to either calling some other time to negotiate with a different representative, or you can tell them you wish to cancel your service. You might want to call again before making the drastic move of cancellation.
If you decide to cancel, then odds are pretty good that you are going to be transferred to a cancellation department. Here is another chance to try to swing a deal, since they will probably ask you why you want to cancel. This is your chance to state that your bill is just too expensive and you are planning to switch to a cheaper alternative. Once again, state how much you like the company, but you just can’t afford to stay with them.
When they give you an offer, listen to it and if it is reasonable, consider taking it. Any improvement on your previous bill is still an improvement (and a victory for you!) The customer service representative has probably offered to lower your bill for a few months. Listen to the offer and take a few minutes to think about whether it is good enough. At this point you need to decide if you are going to take the offer or hold out for something better. Don’t be too greedy — you may not get anything better!
If you don’t like what they are offering, then carry through on your threat and schedule the cancellation a few weeks in advance. Scheduling your cancellation lets them know you are serious and within the next week, the odds are pretty good that you will receive additional offers in the mail. This will also give you time to schedule installation with your new cable provider.
If you do get a new offer that you like, then you can always tell them that you changed your mind when you sign up with what they have offered. After all, you have won and you managed to lower your cable bill.
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