Many people enjoying the luxury of having cable, want to know how to lower a cable bill. Most people realize that cheap cable might be a thing of the past particularly with cable companies now offering the bundling of internet phone, cable, internet and in some instances your cell phone.
With the bundling of these services many cable company's trick you into believing that you can't get a lower cost by pairing down or cutting back your cable services to get a cheaper bill. But luckily there are tons of options to get to a lower cable bill. Interestingly enough the industry average for a monthly bill is somewhere between $75 to $100 dollars a month according to CNN money, with many customers paying even more. Sadly, cable TV prices continue to rise at a rate of about 5% a year and this is causing many cable customers to see red, literally and figuratively.
So What Can You Do When Cable Is Too Expensive?
- Call your cable company and simply ask them to lower your cable bill. This may sound like the obvious, but it has worked many times for me. Start out by being nice. Nice is always a good thing and helps to get what you want. See what options there are. Sometimes, a cable customer service representative might even find errors on your bill to get you to a lower rate. Other times they will put you on a promotional plan that can take you down in your monthly payment. Remember to ask for all options there are to get a reduced rate.
- Threaten to leave your cable company if you don't get the reduced rate you want. This is after you've played the nice customer. At this point you want to be the firm but nice customer. But remember when you launch your threats you have to be ready to act on it too. At this point you want to know what your alternative cable options are if your threats still don't get you what you want and you have to leave your cable company. But typically threats do work and get you to the customer “win back department.” The "customer win back" or retention department in the cable company is where they BEG you to stay with reduced offers and rates. This department typically has more power than the average customer rep. You may have more bargaining power if you've experienced ANY service related issues in the past. These cable, internet, or cell phone related issues should be documented and on file with the cable company. This is not the time to remember the cable outage that happened last year that you never reported. You might have even more bargaining leverage if the issues are intermittent and continue to persist. This is also a good time to mention that you'll go to the FCC and formally enter in the complaint if your rates are NOT reduced. You are paying for consistent cable service.
- Request your cable company to take you down to internet service ONLY, if you do decide to stay with your cable company, especially if you aren't getting the rates you want. They'll typically tell you how it will be more expensive to unbundle your phone, internet, cable and mobile phone but this isn't always true.
- Invest in a digital receiver like apple TV or even your Xbox, most times you are able to stream the TV shows and movies you want for free or a reduced cost. Use skype, yahoo or google for your home phone options.
Answer your telephone when your cable company comes begging for you to return and reinstate your full cable services. Often times the “I'm sorry, we want you back” department can offer steeper cable bill discounts than the customer retention “win back” department. Since at this point, you no longer have cable, let them beg. Take the gift certificates, gift cards, coupons, rebates and the lowest rate they can offer. Make sure it's fixed over an agreed amount of time.
Enjoy your lower cable bill. And invite me over for popcorn.