Cable TV Caller – Perfect Part-Time / Summer Job

save money on cable TVThis idea was a simple “add one and one together” and you have a creative job with little to no start-up costs where you can make quite a bit of money. In fact, this would be an excellent part-time job or a fantastic job for any high school / college students this summer. I’m really surprised that there aren’t a lot of people doing this considering how easy it was and someone could probably take this idea and turn it into a fairly large business if they wanted – don’t forget where you got the idea ;) .

As I mentioned before, my mom doesn’t like to call the cable TV people to negotiate her monthly payments so I had to do it for her. After I made the post

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5 Responses to Cable TV Caller – Perfect Part-Time / Summer Job

  1. Marco Arment says:

    It might be a reasonable job, but you’d probably get a pitiful sales volume.

    The problem is that most utility companies will ask for some personal information before making any changes to the account, such as a portion of the SSN. Considering your point about keeping the person out of the room, you’d essentially need to convince someone to give you (a stranger) their personal information and a lump of cash while you do something “secret” with it that *might* save them some money.

    Sounds fishy. Would you do it? I certainly wouldn’t.

    The only way you’re likely to get business is with direct friends and family members, so you’re not a stranger – but that’s an easily-exhausted client pool, and using it for profit is morally questionable for many (myself included). Most family members or friends will feel obligated to support you in your small business venture, so they’ll buy your service even if they don’t really need or want it. (The Cutco/Tupperware/Longaberger business model.)

    This business is a decent idea in theory, but the practical execution of it is too problematic to be successful.

  2. pfadvice says:

    I’d have to agree and disagree on your analysis.

    Disagree: Unlike MLM where the person is forced to purchase something they don’t need and spend extra money, you are saving the person money in this instance. In my case my friends will end up saving $99.75, $124.75, $181.25, $196.25, $212.50 and $212.50 over the next six months even after paying me. They are simply getting the exact same service they are already receiving for a less expensive price (which in this case they weren’t willing to get on their own)

    Agree (but with an easy solution) I may have been wrong in advising to go to another room. It was just when my friends saw how easy it was, they were in a bit of shock and one commented “I’m paying you for that?” with a laugh. In fact, now that I think about it, probably the best way to approach it is to encourage the person to watch you do it and explain how to do it step by step. While this may mean you’ll lose some repeat customers in the future because they will do it on their own in the future, my guess is that some still are not going to want to do it and you will get more referrals.

    While I have started a number of businesses, the “problematic” issues on this one seem far less than the others, but I guess that just means I’ll have to take a few days next week with this plan and see how well I can do with strangers :)

  3. Dawn says:

    Aren’t all business ideas a little risky? Atleast you are taking your creativity and making it work for you whether you do it only once or 10 times or make millions from it.

  4. mimi says:

    i listened to your advice and went from paying $79.99 to $39.99. I was so happy…this even included a premium channel! right now i am also trying out prosper as you had mentioned earlier this year….thanks for helpful information. i am spreading your wisdom.

  5. Champion Cheapsakte says:

    Why not extend this to other shopping areas, including grocery shopping and coupons? You could become known as “the” frugal negotiator :)

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