If you are like me your internet & cable bill is out of control and roughly the GDP of a small country. In this day and age, Cable & Internet is an essential utility in most homes. Cable & Internet companies report average spending per subscriber of about $85 a month, while the average among satellite TV providers tops $100 a month.
Like all companies, Cable & Internet service providers want to make a profit. They may include hidden fees in your bill, not deliver the high speeds they promised, or simply overcharge you for their service. Fortunately, it’s possible to negotiate with your ISP to get a better deal and some easy tips will help you convince them to lower your bill. Let’s take a look at 6 tips to cut your cable and internet bill.
1. Analyze Your Use and Do Research
We pay for a lot of channels and features we never use. Make a quick list of the time and shows you watch and how you use your cable service. “Do you really need everything that’s on that list? Cutting premium channels and sports packages is an easy way to cut your bill and rack up savings. Make a list of the channels that are must-haves to help you narrow down what you really need or want. There’s a good chance you can drop down to a smaller, less expensive cable package and still get most of the channels you need.
Your next step in negotiating a better deal is to gather all the information you can on your history with your ISP. If you can explain your situation with specific facts, dates, and numbers, it will be much more difficult for the call center representative to deny you a lower rate. When you speak to your representative, make sure to mention anything that proves you’re a loyal customer. If you’ve always paid your bill on time, include that information in the conversation. Then, you should explain any issues you’ve experienced with your service. This includes lower speeds than promised, interruptions in your service, or mistakes on your bill. Any problems at all with your ISP can help back up your argument for a lower rate.
2 The Fees
The cable & internet companies have a lot of regulatory fees, they pass those down to us with a little inflated for themselves. Nothing we can do about that. However take a look at some of the other fees they have tacked on. Do you have one or several set-top boxes for watching TV throughout the house? Those rental fees for boxes can add up. If you have multiple DVRs in various rooms, do you need them in every room? There are always a few unnecessary luxuries you have added on you don’t use.
3. Lose The Premiums
It’s hard to say goodbye to HBO, but doing so can shave as much as $20 off your monthly bill with some providers. Let go of Showtime and you could save another $5 to $15 per month. But a farewell doesn’t have to be forever, though. If you can’t live without “Game of Thrones” or “Homeland,” remove the channel when the season wraps. Or ever just subscribe to their streaming channel.
4. The DVR. Kill IT
Miss your favorite show? There’s a good chance you can watch it on-demand the next day. Even local news segments live on via the stations’ websites. Trading in your DVR for a standard digital receiver could trim $10 or more off your monthly bill. With all the streaming service you can easily get around not having and paying for the expensive DRV system.
5. Negotiate a lower rate
Don’t be afraid to haggle with your cable provider. You may be able to negotiate a better deal by talking to customer service and asking for a discount. The way to do this is call your company and request to cancel service. They will transfer you to a save team. This team specializes in keeping customer and will bend over backwards to do so. Let them know you are paying to much and not getting enough bang for your buck. They will break out discounts and upgrades to create an attractive package to cut cable cost for you.
6. Know When to Negotiate
The best time to negotiate is typically when you’re near the end of your contract. Your representative knows that you can change providers if you’re unhappy with your service, so they’ll be more likely to accommodate you.
When you’re in the middle of your contract, you don’t have as much negotiating power. Your representative knows that you’ll have to pay a fee if you want to break the contract. This doesn’t mean that you have to wait until the end of your contract to negotiate, though. Even with the fee, you may save money by breaking your contract and switching to another provider.
If you don’t have a contract, the best time to contact your ISP is at the beginning of the month. Let them know that this will be your last month and that you plan to return your modem or other equipment. Then, they’ll have the rest of the month to contact you and offer you a better rate.
7. Shop a New Provider
If the negotiation doesn’t yield a big enough drop in cost, switch. Everyone has a few providers offered to them, A cable company, a phone company and satellite at least. Shop the competitors and let them through all the new customer incentives out to you. Once those expire you can always got back and get the new customer incentives from your current provider. Watch out for the contracts, they are easily avoided and keep switching back and forth, playing the companies promotions against themselves. This is an easy way to cut cable cost.
The Final Cut Cable Cost Thought
If you can find a solid internet speed at a good cost, get a TV plan together and build around your use. With a few inexpensive streaming options peppered in you can build a uncompletable array of new entertainment. Find a package that has the few channels you let run in the background, cut cable/internet cost, and take the savings to the bank.