Entertainment, Saving Money

50% Off Cable TV Bill

save money on cable TVI don’t know why people don’t like to call the different companies that give them services to try and get a better price, but there are a lot of people out there. My mom is one of them. I wrote last September that we shaved my mom’s cable bill from $65 to $39.95 a month last September. After doing so, I specifically told her that she needed to call back every 3 months to get a better rate, which she promptly failed to do. Even worse, she decided to upgrade her account to a silver level to get some of the premium movie channels and I found she was paying $79.20 a month for cable.

That was ridiculous when there were other competing firms, such as dish network bundles, offering a free month and $29.95 a month after that for similar service. So I gave a call to the cable company today to see if we could get a better deal for her. I simply called like I always had done in the past and went directly to the cancel service option. I explained I had a better deal from one of their competitors (they asked which offer and I gave the company name and the offer), but really didn’t want to go through all the hassle of changing if they could give me a similar deal. While they didn’t match the deal, they did drop the rates significantly over what she had been paying.

They actually came back with a number of different options and I ended up taking the one that offered the exact same service (including the premium channels my mom likes) for $39.95 a month rather than the $79.20 which is good for 6 months – that’s a nearly a 50% savings a month and a total savings of $235.50 over the 6 months of the offer. Certainly not bad for a 15 minute phone call.

This goes back to my philosophy that most people can save a significant amount of money by following through on painless saving – my mother has the exact same service that she had yesterday, but is paying half the price for it for it. And that money can go straight into an investment account instead of into the pocket of the cable company.

It also is a great illustration that saving money is the best investment that you can make. 15 minutes earned me the same amount that $4,500 in a 5% account would have earned in a full year. This is the reason I don’t understand why people are not willing to make the calls – the worst that can happen is they service says “no” and you pay exactly what you have always been paying – or more likely you can save hundreds like I just did for my mom.

80 thoughts on “50% Off Cable TV Bill

  1. I have been playing the retention game with Comcast for the last 8 months or so. It has certainly paid off. I just wish I could do the same with my electric and gas bill. Unfortunately while those services have been deregulated, the promised competition that was suppose to lower prices never appeared…

    So I guess I should be grateful I can at least push back on my cable provider…

  2. This is a great tip. I agree with Jeff, I don’t know why more people don’t take the time to seek out savings. The fact that the majority of our populations don’t explains how our government deficit can continue to grow without outcries from the people it serves.

  3. I agree with everyone’s comments. I would like to add that doing this with your ISP is also very feasable. I went through the exact same steps, except with cable internet vs. DSL and my cable company bought it. After they got tired of giving me a discount, I convinced my DSL company (Alltel) to give me the top service for lower than the “lite” tier price. How you might ask yourselft? Just keep calling the sales line until you get a sales person that is willing to make a deal. Mine told me of a VERY unpublished deal that she could give me since I was as I put it, “leary of DSL performance as compaired to cable.” Here I am 6 months later, paying 19.95/month for 35.99 and up dsl!!!!! 🙂 Good luck price hunting!

  4. I have had the exact same experience. I beat up the satellite and phone companies religiously. The biggest hassle is waiting on hold for 5 minutes before you get to talk to one of their drones. It’s worth it though.

  5. I tried this with my cable bill as well as my internet that was through my cable provider. I was able to get a 1 year discount on my internet but they did not let me get anything on my cable bill. Of course you should try this first but at the end of the day if there is not any or very little competition this is only going to work probably one time and you will only get a 1 year discount in most cases. You will probably have better luck with your internet provider since there are usually a phone and cable provider in most towns now.

  6. Same issue as Jeffe here. In Charlottesville, VA, Adelphia is the only cable provider. What are some strategies in this case? 🙂

  7. That would be a great idea… but unfortunately my rental company decided to sign an exclusive deal with Time Warner, and ban satellite dishes from being installed. So much for market competition.

  8. If you live in a ‘monopolised’ area, you can cancel and move to a satellite provider (DirecTV, Dish, etc.). They all have introductory offers that you can use as leverage on your cable companies. It worked for me.

  9. You are my personal savior. I can’t believe I haven’t tried this sooner. I just called and they knocked my cable bill down from $129/mo to $85/mo plus I got to choose to free premium channels. And I was just griping about bills this morning…

  10. I think the reason that most people are not taking advantage of this method of saving money is that they would be ashamed to. I would feel like I was begging or lying to get a deal I didn’t rightfully deserve. Most people would think less of someone who abuses competition in this manner.

  11. The reason most people don’t do it is because of the cable monopoly.. this is not a novel idea.. In fact you’d be categorized as borderline stupid if you had the option of competition and didn’t try it till now!

  12. If you’re stuck with a single provider, esp. as an ISP, you can try ‘degraded service’ complaints and demand full or partial refunds of your rate for that month or the next. Mediacom notoriously oversold the capacities of their routers…charging for ‘high speed’, but delivering downloads almost as slow as dial up. For 18 months I ‘complained’ my way into 9 months of refunds. They did finally improve the service by restructuring and upgrading their router hubs.

  13. this will eventually stop working. newer customer service software is being used to identify customers that cost companies money or are otherwise a problem for them. these patterns are recognized and sooner or later they’ll just let you go.

  14. I’ve done it with comcast and saved myself a bunch of money. They gave me the service I wanted at the intro cable service price of $19.95 for 6 months and a discount on my ISP fees. You have to be crazy not to try it. They don’t think twice about raising your fees.

  15. Try this on your credit cards. I recently noticed we had cards we didn’t use and I called to cancel. Was able to obtain a 1.00 decrease on a fixed account and 2.3 on one of those “we change the rates whenever we like” accounts.
    Credit history on the cards was good so that helped. Call to cancel, drone will transfer you the cancel expert who has the job of saving the account. He/she’s the one with the deals. Be polite but stubborn…..

  16. While these tips sound helpful in most markets, I’m not sure how it would play here in NYC where the primary holder is Time Warner Cable.

    Has anyone tried this in an area where there is a behometh company and pockets of smaller companies?

  17. everyone was bitching not that long ago about the AOL agent who wouldnt cancel. Well this is the same idea people except that now you are benefiting from it…. make up your minds.

  18. My experience has been that if you have cable, satellite, Direct or any combination of these competing services, it works. It helps if one of them is running an introductory offer that you can play off one of another, but I have also done this by simply saying that I was considering cancelling the service (they would rather have you as a customer at a discounted price than have you leave all together).

    To be honest, I’ve had times when this strategy didn’t work and I simply kept paying what I had been paying (this happened once), but as soon as a new promotion came available from another company, I tried again and got the discount.

    If you don’t have a competing offer, simply call and say that you are considering cancelling because the price is currently above you budget – at that point they will either offer to lower the price or jot and you can say you need to think about it a bit more (no reason to cancel if you don’t want to). Good luck – it does work most of the time.

  19. I tried this with Earthlink a while ago. Verizon offers (and I now subscribe to) 3.0 Mbps/768 kbps DSL for $25/month ($30 – $5 off for having phone and DSL); Earthlink was giving me 768 kbps/128 kbps DSL for $50/month. There were two more problems: I could get 1.5 Mbps/384 kbps from Earthlink (for the same price), but they would require me to get my service reprovisioned (knocking it out for two to four weeks), and they offered the same service to new customers for only $40/month, but wouldn’t give me that price unless I signed up for a new 12-month contract (despite having been a customer for 5 years). So I called Earthlink and explained this, and they couldn’t give me 3.0 Mbps service at all, they couldn’t give me 1.5 Mbps service without reprovisioning, they wouldn’t match Verizon’s $25/month, and they wouldn’t even lower mine to $40/month without a new contract. So I switched to Verizon. It’s got better tech support, faster speeds, and less downtime. Sometimes actually switching is great.

  20. Although this is true that they do drop the price if you ask, and I have done similarly with my cable internet (comcast). But I was told that you can only get the current special if you have not had a special within the last 90 days. Either way you could easily do this two times a year and save a bundle!

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  22. For the couple of comments about satellite dishes being “banned,” it’s a Federal offense to ban the installation of a satellite dish, even on a rental property.

  23. Another quick tip for poor college students:

    Comcast has a “Local Channels Only” (non-digital) package that is unlisted on their website that costs $15.95/month. I subscribe to this service only because I use them for internet access and if you aren’t subscribed to a television service with them, the price of cable internet goes up significantly.

    A nice side effect is that they failed to block all the channels I am not supposed to get so I get the same as the “Basic Cable” service (60+ channels, non-digital).

  24. I also live in an area with a single cable company. It is VERY easy these days to get a better deal with them however, just tell them you are thinking on switching to Satelite TV service, as they offered you a better deal. The last thing a cable company wants to hear is that someone is switching to Satelite service! Good Luck, it worked for me 😉

  25. Maybe that is why all the companies now use annoying automated systems? So that by the time you get halfway through the automation you give up on trying to get a lower price?

  26. One strange thing in my area. I can get Earthlink internet for a few dollars less expensive than Time Warner. Thing is that Earthlink is simply reselling Time Warner internet. I don’t have cable tv and if I wanted to get internet only I was also going to have to pick up basic cable. Not so with Earthlink. I got a lower connection, no setup fee and no long term contract – just month to month.

    Check out Earthlink to see if they are in your area – A TW guy came to hook things up and I get billed by TW, but I also get the better Earthlink tech support. Kinda weird.

  27. its too bad the only cable company in my area is cablevision so im paying up the nose

  28. Yeah this is all good unless you live in an area like I do where Charter controls the cable industry and so you are stuck paying out the ass. The same package in the past 4 years I lived here has gone up from $85 to $150. And has less programming. Although you do get a DVR box now.

  29. This procedure works very well with your Credit Cards as well. I’ve been able to get my APR’s down 7%-12%.

  30. Yea!!! I tried it w/ Comcast and got $5 off what I’m paying now and a crap load more channels!

  31. I’ve done this a few times with our land line service. I think it works primarily because Verizon knows we’ve got somewhere else to go. This is especially true now that Vonage is in the picture. Phone companies seem to always have a lower plan in the works.

    Our problem is we live in a very small town and there just aren’t very many competitive businesses to play against each other.

    We’ve got two cable TV/Internet firms but one offers a considerably better TV line up than the other so it’s not really apples to apples. DSL is offered in the area now as well but I’m not entirely convinced its service is on par with cable. Jury is still out there.

    I’ve had very little success with this tactic with credit cards (though my credit score is great). It worked once, I think, but otherwise has failed to pan out. Zero balance is the way to go here, of course.

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  33. no1nos:
    Your rental co’s exclusive deal doesn’t mean diddly. Any renter can install a dish.
    The FCC ruled that landlords do not have the right to prevent installation or use of a dish to receive satellite TV.

    Under the FCC guidelines, renters are permitted to install a satellite dish in their own exclusive areas such as their balcony, patio, or other areas that they have exclusive right to use.


  34. Worked like a charm. Comcast, how I hate you for overcharging me.

    Got on the phone with Comcast. There was no wait as opposed to endless waits when you call in with service/billing problems; as soon as I punched the option for ‘Disconnect Service’, a CS rep came on the line. I told her I have the option of switching to Verizon DSL (which is indeed available in my area). She immediately offered a $19.99/mo rate for the next 6 months.

    I cut my bill from $59.98 to $35.01 (Cable Internet + Basic Cable).

  35. I don’t know about the US, but in the UK most home mortgages start with a super-low discounted rate and then go up to “extortionate” after a couple of years. But all you have to do is call to cancel, quote the better rate you’re getting elsewhere, and they give you their latest & greatest discount. I’ve been doing this for 10 years or more (i.e. 5 phone calls!) and it’s saved me about £30,000.

  36. YoungMangoes, are you serious? I’m curious, how do you “cancel” a mortgage. Do you mean, move out and sell? Or do you mean pay it off completely? In the US, a mortgage contract really isn’t negotiable after it’s signed.

  37. Great advice on the internet savings! I was very hesitant to do this at first and when I finally got the courage up to call Comcast I was a bit shaky on the phone. I lied and told them that I received a flyer in the mail from AT&T. The Rep got my account info and then told me he could lower my internet cost from $45 to $29 for 6 months. I am very excited.

    Question, after the 6 months can I call again and do the same thing?

  38. Question, after the 6 months can I call again and do the same thing?

    Yes, that is exactly what you do. I’ve heard from others (although I’ve never had this problem) they may not let you do back to back discounts – if not, simply call back a month later and you should be able to get a discount again.

  39. I did this with my credit card awhile back and ended up saving 30 bucks every month in interest. It took me 2 hrs to finally get a hold of someone who transferred me to someone who was ready to do business.

    Ended up taking my APR from 18% *gasp* to 7.99%


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