Cut Your Expenses By Slashing Your Cable TV Bill

The following is a guest post.

Do you get a little angry every time you take a look at your cable bill?

Have you ever stopped and thought to yourself ” why am I paying this much just for television every month?”

If so then you are in the same boat with millions as millions of other Americans who are getting nickeled and dimmed to death by the cable industry.

Here is a secret that I think very few people realize: cable television is a luxury item and the industry as a whole keeps raising rates because as a whole Americans complain a lot but still end up paying it.

Any rational person’s path to cutting his expenses and getting out of debt should include finding a way to slash his monthly television bill.

If he has his cable, Internet and phone in a bundle package then he should look to cut that expense by a large percentage as well.

As a person who has worked for three cable and two satellite companies I am going to explain the easiest way to do it.

Negotiate A Better Deal With Retention Dept

The customer service department can do practically nothing for you. On the other hand the retention department can do wonders.

Ask specifically for them so you can be on the phone with someone who actually has the authority to help you.

Its crucial that you become a aware of the competing cable companies in your area.

Take a look at the deals you see them advertising online. Write them down on a piece of paper for further reference.

Should no other cable company exist in your area then you will need to look at the offers that the satellite companies are offering.

Either DISH or Direct TV will be fine. Take their medium package and use their online tool to add in any extra equipment you have (IE. extra HD boxes or DVRS).

The total price of the competing company’s promotional rate will usually be at least $4o cheaper than what you are paying now.

In most cases it will be a lot more.

When you are speaking with the customer retention specialist you need to make sure you sound very polite but firm at the same time.

Explain to them that “you like the service and want to stay with what you currently have but feel like the deal you are being offered by XYZ company is too good to pass up.”

Tell them that you and your family are trying to cut back on expenses and can no longer afford the package that you have at its standard rate.

Nine times out of ten you will get a significant discount on your total bill.

I gave one of my friends who was complaining about his cable bill last week these exact instructions.

He had Cox Communications and was paying approximately $110 a month just for cable television, one digital home recorder (DVR) and one additional high definition box.

I told him to call Cox and tell them that he could get the exact same cable package with the same equipment from Direct TV for $50.99.

He did what I told him and the retention department offered him his same cable package with free Showtime for three months for $65 for six months.

Not bad.

I was listening to the conversation and told him to ask for a longer promotional period. My friend did not think they would go for it but I urged him along.

Sure enough the retention rep did it.

She didn’t give any resistance whatsoever and with one push of a button gave him a year long promotion that will have him $45 a month. That translates into $540 a year!

While I was proud of my friend I was also disappointed in myself.

That was good but I felt that I should have pushed him more.

I should have got him to push them further to add one more premium movie channel with the deal and up his Internet speed.

Why not? These cable companies spend a lot of money getting you. You might not realize this but hundreds of dollars in advertising were spent so that you know they exist.

Additionally, they probably subsidized a large portion of your installation costs.

If they loose you as a customer then at some point in the future they will have to spend hundreds of dollars to get you back.

Giving you another promotion actually saves them money in the long run.

You have more “aces” to play the more competing companies there are in your local area.

Depending on what deals are currently being offered you might be able to get your cable company to discount your bill well beyond what you ever thought was possible.

I say shoot for the stars. You have nothing to loose and only a lot of money in savings to gain. Whenever you think you are asking for too much go ahead and ask for more. After all, they ask you for more money every single year.

9 thoughts on “Cut Your Expenses By Slashing Your Cable TV Bill”

  1. We gave up cable TV eight years ago. Yes, we do not have it and don’t miss TV one single bit. There used to be free television in this country! We watch movies from the library and trade ones we own with family and friends. The cable companies, with the help of a strong lobby on Congress, perpetrated one of the greatest scams in recent history on the American public. The best way to object to the high cost of cable is to drop it entirely.

  2. I’m way ahead of the curve on this one. I’ve 86’ed my cable TV service a long time ago and rely on my broadband service for all my TV viewing needs. There are so many options for watching TV shows online I can’t ever see myself going back to Cable or Satellite or any other form of broadcast television. The biggest thing I miss not having a cable TV service is watching live sports – but I usually hit the local sports bar or go to a friend’s house for those. Sports are always a lot more fun to watch in a crowd.

  3. Good advice regarding taking advantage of your position as a valuable customer that the cable company has spent a lot to acquire (advertising, etc.). This same post could be written with a focus on a lot of regular services. Negotiation is everyone’s friend.

  4. I have Netflix streaming for $8 per month. Everything else is free: network programming (NBC, Fox, ABC, CW, PBS, CBS, etc.) through a HD antenna, DVDs (movies and TV shows) from the library, and Hulu.

  5. Huh?

    How do you cut your expenses if you never had a cable bill?

    The pay-tv industry, long ago, read Uncle Remus, and figured out how to cleverly tie the average household up in knots with network programming and channel tiers. If you aren’t willing to quit cold-turkey, there is no point. Our nanny-state government isn’t going to ride to the rescue and force the industry to sell channels ala-carte at any price, and they aren’t going to quash caps and throttling so you can stream unlimited content from Netflix.

    The one place you can save in the near term, is on DVR and STB rental fees, which are now $10-20/month each. With the arrival of Ceton’s 4- and 6-channel DVR’s and the “Echo” STB, you’ll be able to tune/record six channels – the only rental fee you’ll pay will be for one CableCard.

  6. Just tried it with Cox Cable in Phoenix. The customer retention rep basically told me my only option to reduce my bill was to reduce my service. I did exactly as described above with detailed information about both DirectTV & Dish and I was polite but firm. He said there was nothing he could do and then (sarcastically) told me to “have a great life.” Taking the equipment in this afternoon. Goodbye Cox Cable.


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