When looking for ways to decrease monthly spending, it is easy to assume that nothing can be done to reduce the cost of the monthly cable bill. Cable is required for both entertainment purposes, and modern methods of electronic communication—meaning that convenient access is needed for both work and play. There are many methods which can be used to help bargain for a better cable package, a few of which are detailed below.
Inquire About All Packages
An excellent place to begin is by calling the current cable provider and inquiring about all available packages, according to industry experts. Before calling, do a little bit of research about cable TV and Internet speeds to ensure an understanding of the different levels of services. For example, dial-up is obviously not as convenient—but that is not to say that the highest Internet speeds available are required to quickly and easily access the Internet. Also consider if all channels currently ordered for TV are essential. In many cases, the ability to stream and watch TV and movies online negates the need for so many channels. Also keep in mind that customer service agents goal is to secure a higher packaging, so ask for the lowest price point—then once it is explained, ask if their is anything less expensive than that.
While on the phone inquiring about all packages available, also ask about the cost-saving benefits of bundling services such as landline phones, cell phones, internet, and cable. In many cases bundling services is an excellent way to access some of the most in demand services—while paying a price that is highly competitive.
Coupons and Promotions
When searching for ways to reduce the monthly cable bill, keep an eye out for coupons and promotions. Many coupons and promotions will come directly in the mail. Instead of thinking of them as junk mail, take a few minutes to see what the cable company has to offer. Also search for coupons and promotions, online and on TV. Make a habit to call the cable company once or twice a year to inquire about any promotions that could decrease the monthly bill.
Comparison Shopping & Negotiating
Whether speaking of cable or any other purchased item or service, comparison-shopping is always an effective way of saving money. Call around to inquire about what other cable providers have to offer, making sure to write out the details of their promotions, packages, and bundles. While price is not always the deciding factor, finding a competitor with a lower price can be used to negotiate a lower price point with the current cable company. In many cases, the current cable company would prefer to offer you a more competitive price, than to lose you to a competitor. Just remember that before making a switch to a new cable company, to do some homework regarding the quality of their cable and Internet services—as well as the company’s overall customer satisfaction, according to the U.S. News & World Report Money blog.
Call When Prices Go Up
Cable companies will periodically increase their pricing, and will notify their customers by either email or letter. Many consumers don’t even think twice about their ability to contest the increased pricing. Even if the increase is minimal, an increase of even $10 a month adds up to $120 per year. Not to mention, an increase of even $10 every couple years can drastically increase monthly expenses. The Hartford Courant suggests that instead of sitting silently when prices rise, call the company directly and inquire about pricing alternatives which will negate the increase, or even lower the monthly bill.
Following the tips above is an excellent way to access great cost-savings, without sacrificing quality of service. The techniques can also be applied to many other monthly bills.