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.

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80 Responses to 50% Off Cable TV Bill

  1. Howtobewebsmart says:

    It’s not that easy – a lot of companies make it hard to actually call into their customer service numbers. The amount of time wading through the machine is a lot longer than you would think.

    The other major point: you need to be willing to hang up the phone and call back until you get an answer that satisfies you. People get fustrated after the first failed attempt (sort of like websites – if you don’t like it the first time, why would you go back?).

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  3. Ross says:

    To Cortez –

    Do NOT feel ashamed to call your cable/satellite and politely demand a better deal. Unless of course you (Cortez) work for a cable co. and are just here trying to convince people that this method (playing one off the other) is dishonest. Saying something like “most people would think less of someone who abuses competition in this manner” really does make me think you work for big cable.

    As someone who has worked for cable – PLEASE understand – your cable co. thinks of you as nothing more than revenue. None, and I mean NONE of the latest “technologies” like Video On Demand, Digital Video, Digital Video Recorders etc, would exist today if satellite hadn’t come along. Cable was a monopoly (and very much still is) for decades and it showed. No innovation during that period, just a steady increase in your bill. It wasn’t until ONE other player came (DirecTV) that cable came out of it’s rich daze and started to provide even moderately better service/services.

    By all means, use this technique (calling your cable/satellite/ISP/even cell co.) and immediately ask to cancel service. All of the large companies have specific agents on teams (usually called “retention”) dedicated to keeping you as a customer – and THEY are the ones that are ‘allowed’ to discount your bill. Do NOT feel guilty for using this approach – because your cable co. is far more dishonest than you’ll ever be.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I just cut $41 off my joint cable tv and internet bill. I don’t know why I didn’t try this sooner.

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  6. Chris says:

    I wanted to do this for awhile, and Monday I finally said I was going to. I called about an hour ago (I guess I too started feeling bad), but the rep was so unbelievably nice. I got an OK discount, nothing too much on the cable bill moneywise (although I did get a package upgrade for a few dollars less than what I pay now for standard, and that’s for 12 months) and I got 6 months of Internet at about $20 off. Between the cable bill savings and the Internet savings, that’s $150 right there. Not too shabby.

    Now I need to start looking at other bills and seeing what can be done. I would feel bad doing this with a local business because I am a local business and I know how hard it is to get by on your own, but a huge monopolistic company, I can see sending them less dollars a month 🙂

  7. Chris says:

    I meant to say feeling uneasy, that’s why it took me a day to call.

    If you haven’t done it, DO IT!

  8. Jason says:

    I tried this yesterday with Time Warner and was told by their rep, Tenisha, that they do not price match competitors, not even to keep a customer. She said they are getting ready to do bundled billing, which is odd because they already do that. Maybe I should call back and speak to another rep?

  9. pfadvice says:

    You never want to talk to a regular rep since they will always tell you this – go straight to the cancellation department. If you did that and the cancellation department said that, it can’t hurt to try again. If they Time Warner is running specials they will only give to new customers, you can also try cancelling and then calling back the next day and say you changed your mind – this has worked for a friend of mine to get the better rate when they said existing customers didn’t qualify.

  10. t. Wolfox says:

    Rental companies CAN ban dish & satellite installation on decks, balconies, patios, etc. IF it’s been proven to be damaging to said decks, balconies, patios, etc. Some people are idiots and drill holes through the apartment wall for the dish/sat wiring or right through the support brace for the balcony “for best reception.” The renter will receive quite a bill for the balcony replacement and damage to apartment for doing so (including fines in some areas for doing the work without informing the rental company).

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  12. Drew Sanchez says:

    I agree with most of what I have read regarding getting discounts or cheaper prices for Cable or Sattellite Tv, DSL, etc, I am a customer service representative for one of the largest Sattellite TV companies out there, and guess what? Yes we have offers, but not all of the customers qualify for them, In my particular case our system rates the customers from let’s say 1 through 5, let’s say customer rated 1 calls me and ask for a better deal, I cannot give anything to this customer, why? he/her may be a moron who calls every month to pay his bill as his service was disconnected bcz bill was not paid by due date and now there are 2 bills giving a higher balance which will be disputed, including late fee or disconnection fee, this type of custmer I can not give anything, I transfer rated 1 cust to cancellations department and this is what they get, $5.00 off for six months, which can be lost if service is interrupted for missing paymt, yes we have offers, will you get them? I don’t know until you call me. There are many other reasons on why customers get lower rated, maybe the package and services used, equipment on account, and the number of times you call us for a valid reason.

  13. Ben Lewis says:


    I have Charter and I always call the retention dept. Get 3meg at $30 per month. I don’t have a $40 telco line instead I have VOIP at $19 a month.

    I also beat the cell phone. Have Sprint with “Sprint 2 Home” and put my VOIP line as the “Home Number” (All calls to and from this HOME number are free for a $5 mo. charge)

    My VOIP has a CELL bridge so that when I call to my FREE “Home” number I instead get a dialout tone, I then call out using VOIP. In reverse I use free VOIP call forward and Sprint sees the incoming call as a FREE “Home” call. So I get unlimited incoming calls.

    So I get 3meg broadband ($30), a unlimited VOIP phone number/line ($19) and a Unlimited cell phone ($29 + $5 for Sptint 2 home)

    Total for ALL of this $83 per month.

    NOBODY here has a deal like that!

  14. Jared says:

    I just tried this with Charter. After 45 minutes on the phone they still refused to reduce my bill or upgrade my 1.5mb/256k connection, which i’m paying $61/month for.

    Any ideas on getting them to budge? I was put on hold for a while so they could talk with a supervisor. Apparently the supervisor wouldn’t approve the deal.

    I guess signing a service contract wasn’t a good idea.

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  16. MS says:

    LOL it worked!

    I just called Comcast and got my service discounted to $19.99/mo from $42.95/mo! It took a couple tries, with the first rep being very hostile and uncooperative; she even went on to say there was nobody available to cancel the account at that time! I called back a second time and she answered again. I even said “Wow, there really must not be anyone else there huh?” And I laughed. The third time I had better luck. A much friendlier rep took my call and I immediately changed tactics. I just flat out requested closing my account. She was very polite and asked the magic question: “Any particular reason you’re leaving us today, sir?” I said that AT&T had an ongoing promotion I was considering and wanted to give DSL a try. After reviewing my account (I’ve been with Comcast since ’99, which used to be MediaOne until it was acquired by AT&T -oh the irony- and finally became Comcast a few years back) she wasn’t about to let me go. She matched the promo and asked if that would change my mind and stay with Comcast, to which I answered yes because of the hassle of changing e-mails and such.

    Regrets?? Nah, I would’ve done it a lot sooner had I known it was possible.

  17. Mike says:

    Yea, I work in the “retention” department at comcast, and MOST of our reps can smell wanna be hustlers like you guys through the phone. I know when your just trying to fish a promo out of me. You think your slick, but your not, what you dont know is, when I do call your bluff and you squirm and ask me stuff like “dont you want to keep me as a customer?” then I know I got you, hook line and sinker and I get more commission because here is a little secret I thought I would let you know, we know your full of crap and your not really going to disconnect, more and more reps are figuring out this little game you guys are playing and next time you do it be carefull what you ask for, you just might get it, disconnected baby!!!!!!!!!! NO PROMO FOR YOU and you go to the competition because who wants to deal with a winey customer who cant afford the actual value of the service. Direct TV DISH and dsl can deal with you. Have fun in contractville cause this game will never work there.

  18. jim says:

    i do hate dealing with the cable company. i got the comcast triple play for 99 bucks a month. it expired after 1year and then i got a bill for 150 bucks. i called them and told them i want to cancel the comcast phone service because it sucks anyway. so now i’m getting only cable and broadband for about 90 bucks a month. i hate paying so much for this. i wish i was the ceo of comcast, i would be a billion air because every one is paying for this stuff

  19. Complex Search says:

    How can I save money on my cable bill? I think that people who actively seek out better deals, or haggle with their service providers, can save money. If it takes you just 20 minutes to save 50%, than it is like earning the money you would have otherwised paid.

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  21. Simon says:

    Thanks for the article. It inspired me to call up the cable company and get a reduction. Saved $13 on my total bill and got my internet speed upgraded. It was worth the 15 minutes it took. Thanks!

  22. Paul Weary says:

    Last year I had a bundle service with Bellsouth (now At&T) for home phone and satelite service with DishNetwork at a discounted rate. After the year was up the DishNetwork cost went up and I tried to get it discounted again and failed, so I got service with a bundle package with Directv. Now the year is up and I tried to cancel and switch to a lower cost and they tell me I am on contract for 24 months and if I cancel I will be charged a big cancellation fee. I asked them to send me a copy of the agreement where I signed for 24 months and they told me it was in storage and they could not get it it but they could send me a fresh copy of the agreement that is unsigned. I have downgraded my service to the same monthly amount I paid for the past 12 months. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks, Paul

  23. pfadvice says:

    Did you keep your copy of the contract? Do a thorough search and hope that you did (one reason to always keep these papers in a safe place). If not, insist that they send you a copy of the contract you signed (it’s in storage is not an excuse) If they refuse, take it to the local media and see if a consumer action person can help you.

  24. Adam says:

    Don’t try this with Cox. If you threaten to cancel, they’ll start the process immediately, no questions asked. I tried it before, and they don’t negotiate or budge an inch for anything.

  25. sean says:

    Called my cable company Time Warner and asked for a discount or any promotions told them i thinking a about switching to dish network it’s half the price i’m paying know. time Warner said no promotions right know and they can’t lower my bill there rates are fixed

  26. karen says:

    I tried this with Comcast and they

  27. C Just says:

    Why dont you just pay for the services you get instead of calling in and lying? Can you go to the gas station and haggle with them? Can you go to Kroger and haggle about the price of milk? What makes you think that you deserve a deal? Don’t worry. After awhile the CSRS in Retention will catch on!!!!!!

  28. ronne teselsky says:

    I do not wish to leave comcast as I a a long time customer and am very happy with their service; however the movie channels have gone to hellnand I dont feel Im getting anywhere near what Im paying for 230.12 a month is very expensive for someone on social sececurity disability but its the only entertainmentI have.I dont want to change companies but it is getting far more that what I can afford. You must have some plan that i would be able to deal with rather than swith companies. Please reply

  29. SHANNON says:

    I have read all of your comments and would like to say that I enjoy all of them.But each month Ipaid almost $350.00 for cable and this is not one month but every month.And the last time I try something like that the cable company said they never heard of anthing that .So you say this really work.Well I would like to thank all of for your tips on how to lower my cable bill.

  30. Jim says:

    As you suggest I was able to reduce my plan to $100 for triplePay for one year (Used to pay $180), I have called Comcast and mentioned that my current monthly fees are over my budget and asked to check if there is any promotion she can look at.

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