Cable and internet providers routinely rank among America’s least-favorite companies. People feel the packages offered are bloated and overpriced, customer service is poor, and the product itself is glitchy.
For this reason, many people are furious about how much they’re paying for this service, which costs some people $170 a month or more. Well, it doesn’t have to cost that much. If you follow these simple steps, you can save money on your cable bill and enjoy the knowledge that you have stuck it to the man.
Ask for a Discount
Seriously. Find the phone number for customer service and call it. Once a live human person gets on the phone with you, tell that person you’re trying to reduce your bill and you were wondering if there were any discounts available. Most cable companies have some room for negotiation built into their billing structure. A lot of people find this out by calling to cancel, and then getting offered discounts of free services to keep them around. You can try that if you want, but you might have to follow through. If you don’t really want to do that, just ask for a discount. They’ll probably offer you a discount, but they might also offer things like upgraded WiFi or free premium channels like HBO.
The thing is, cable companies pretty much expect people to do this. You’re not asking them to do something they don’t do every day. And if you don’t like talking on the phone, try the online chat feature on the company’s website. It will probably connect you faster, anyway.
Replace a Tier with a Streaming Service
If you’re like a lot of people these days, you find yourself watching as much “TV” on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime as you do watching through your cable box. It’s pretty tough to get local channels in HD without going through a cable provider, though, so maybe dropping cable altogether isn’t an attractive option for you. What might make sense, though, is to drop down to your provider’s most basic cable package and continue using Netflix, et al, just like you had. If that runs a little dry, you can add something like Hulu Plus or HBO Now for $10-15, instead of paying $50 or more for a bunch of channels you don’t even watch.
This is the most cumbersome tip on this list, because choosing a new cable provider means new hardware, scheduling a technician, putting a leash on the dog while he works. It’s a mess. But desperate times call for desperate measures. When you call up a new company, tell them what you’re paying for what you’re already getting, and ask if they can do better than that. Most likely they can, one way or another.
And there you go. Give it a try, and let us know how much money you saved!