Negotiating Your Cable TV Bill

how to negotiate your cable tv bill reduce television expenses

Since the time I moved out of my parents’ house and got my first cable connection, I have noticed a consistent rise in my monthly bill which has had me contemplating cutting the cord for years now. However, I just love watching live television and have not been able to let it go. Browsing through channels on a Friday night or listening to breaking news on an early Sunday morning somehow have a therapeutic effect on me and have been the main hindrance for me having a long term relationship with streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. 

Trust me, I know these services cost a tiny portion of the bill I cough out every month for my cable connection. But for now, I think I will pay the extra buck. However, that does not mean I am willing to pay anything and everything my cable service provider asks of me. They say, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” Since I am willing to keep my cable connection, but not willing to pay the ridiculous amount my bill has reached, I researched and found out that I can get my cable provider to lower my monthly bill. 

If you are in the same bandwagon of cutting the bill and not the cord, then keep reading. The following tips will help you smooth talk your cable provider in to lowering your bill and possibly throwing in a few ad-on features to sweeten the deal for you. Although, if you think you are not much of a smooth talker even after going through the below-mentioned tips then I would suggest you hire a bill negotiating company who are experts at doing this. 

Alright so let’s get started on our journey of negotiating a lower bill. 

Scrutinize Your Bill 

Never assume that your bill must be correct because a big company like your cable TV provider cannot make a mistake. We are all humans and with even the largest organizations run by humans, there is always room for error. Therefore, go through your billing statement very carefully to make sure you understand each item charged on your account. If there is anything you do not understand, mark it so you’ll remember to confirm with the representative when you make the call. 

Some fees may sound like they’re government fees even when they’re the farthest from it. So any taxes or fees you do not understand or know about should be checked with the representative. Sometimes you could even be charged for services you never ordered or used without the company even realizing it. So yes I will say it again, check your bill very carefully for any sort of discrepancy. 

Research Competitors 

You must understand one thing before making that call to negotiate with your cable provider, they do not want you to leave and will do whatever they possibly can to entice you into staying with them. Competition is high and all the providers available in your area are gunning for the same customers, and they know that customers will easily switch to a new provider if they are not satisfied anymore. This is the one point you can cash on. 

Check out which providers are available in your area and the promotional deals they are offering to new customers. You can do this by going to localcabledeals.com and searching for available providers according to your zip code. I benefited from the website when I moved into my new apartment and needed a cable connection. I was able to search all the providers covering my area and their promotional deals running at the time. Through this comparison, I found out that Spectrum cable at the time offered the best value for my money with their vast channel line up along with outstanding internet plans and other exciting bundled offers. 

Alternatively, you can check each provider’s website for whatever they’re offering in your area and then compare your notes for each. However, that is such an arduous and time-consuming task that I would not want to do it. You can decide your course of action for yourself though. 

Plan Before Calling 

Once you have done your research, create a plan of action. You need to be clear on how far you are willing to go to lower your bill. Do you only want to try to negotiate a lower bill? Or are you willing to switch to a new provider if your current provider does not budge? 

Once you have made up your mind, make the call. You should call during off-peak hours so that there are higher chances of the representative being in a better mood and has enough time to listen to you. You can start the conversation by asking about offers for new customers and then moving on to mentioning that you have been a long term customer with them. It will be a good idea to mention your good standing with the company and then asking for lower rates if possible. 

The representatives usually do not have a lot of leverage when it comes to offering discounts to existing customers, so you will probably be offered something of the sorts of a free ad on a channel. However, don’t be fooled, free HBO may get you excited but does not lower your bill. You may need to speak to a supervisor/ manager for the cut in your bill.

Avoid threatening to cancel your service right away. This should be your last resort. Although, when all else fails and you are left with this one last card then make sure your bluff sounds genuine. Unless you are willing to switch to a new provider, you do not want the representative to call your bluff and cancel your services when you just wanted a lower bill. 

Check Your Tone 

You may be familiar with the saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” This applies to every aspect of our lives including haggling. Freaking out with a representative or his manager will get you nowhere. However, if you build a good rapport with him from the moment your call lands on his station you may have better chances of succeeding in your endeavor. 

If you feel the representative is uncooperative it’s better to call back later and try your luck with another representative who may be friendlier and might as well get you exactly what you’re looking for. 

Never Stop Negotiating 

There is no shame in haggling. If you can't get the price down, just buy a digital TV antenna and cut the cord of cable.

We spend the entire day working so hard to earn the money that we spend on cable TV services each month. It is only fair that they give us a little relief for our loyalty to cable television and all the TV commercials we watch.

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