How to Negotiate Your Way to a Lower Cable Bill

by Emily Guy Birken · 69 comments

high cable bill

Several months ago, my cable/internet bill went up suddenly. After over a year of paying about $120 per month for cable, internet, and our home phone, I discovered that our cable bill was suddenly $30 more expensive. It only took a little digging for me to realize that our introductory bundle price had expired.

Even though we should’ve expected the price hike, we still couldn’t afford it. I knew I would have to call our cable provider.

To be honest, I hate getting in touch with our cable company. While all the customer service representatives are friendly, I still find it nerve-wracking to deal with what seems to be a pretty slippery industry. Add to that the fact that our provider is the only game in town, and it often seems like a productive negotiation is out of my reach.

However, I discovered that it’s possible for just about anyone to negotiate a lower cable bill — even me. Here’s what you need to know to ensure that negotiating with your cable provider goes the way you want it to:

how to negotiate a cable bill

1. Keep your expectations reasonable

When asking for an improvement on your bill, you need to have an idea what a reasonable discount is. For instance, there was no way I could reduce my $150 bill to a $75 one, no matter how much I may have wanted it that way.

A good way to know what’s reasonable is to research the rates for competing companies, and to know the promo amounts they are running for new customers. Not only will you have an idea of what to pay for your services, but you’ll also have an excellent bargaining chip: “Company X only charges $99 per month for this bundle. I’d prefer to stay with you, but I really need my cable bill to fit within my budget. What can you do for me?” To get a handle on new customer promotions for companies such as Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse, try here and here.

2. Put down your dukes

A common mistake in negotiation is to start off too aggressively. Many newbie negotiators think that they need to be inflexible and insistent in order to get their way. In addition, it’s very easy to feel outraged about whatever it is you’re planning to negotiate. (I certainly had some choice words for our cable company when I saw the change in my bill.)

The problem with this is that the customer service representative on the other end is also a person — a person who will not react well to being barked at. A better strategy is to be friendly and calm and ask your service representative to help you in fixing your issue. They’re much more likely to go the extra mile for a nice, friendly customer than they are for a snarling, angry one.

3. Don’t take no for an answer

It’s likely that the person answering the phone won’t have the authority to make any big changes to your bill. Even if they assure you that there’s nothing anyone can do, ask to speak to their supervisor. The higher up the chain you go, the more authority you’ll find, which means that eventually you should reach someone who does have the power to negotiate.

4. Threaten to leave

Even if you live in an area where there’s only one available cable company, like I do, you can still use the leverage of leaving as a negotiation tactic. For instance, when I spoke with our company, I told them that I wanted to drop cable altogether. We only really need the internet and phone, so cable is just an extra expense.

Our provider instead agreed to reduce our rate by $20 (which is what we’d save by only dropping cable) but still let us keep all three services.

The Bottom Line

Remember, by making you happy with a price drop, your cable company is ensuring that you remain a loyal customer. So let them make you happier with your bill — it’s in their best interests.

Have you ever had to negotiate with your cable company?

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current Verizon FiOS promotion codes and promos to see if you can save more money every month from now on.

{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Jacinta says:

    “Threaten to leave” Hahaha. That is one of the ways I use to get something from some service providers. But sometimes they may call your bluff. And you end up swallowing your pride and pay up the bill. Great tips.

  • Julie @TrulyInsurance says:

    I will need to share this with my dad! He has had many problems with multiple companies. These are great tips!

  • JBR says:

    You don’t negotiate you cancel your service. Many of these cable/internet providers will do nothing unless they lose you and your canceled account is sent to headquarters. That be the case you will be contacted, you make it clear you want the lowest price or you won’t come back. I you know they offer 44.99 to new customers that is the lowest price. If they quote you 54.99 or 59.99 it doesn’t meet the mark. They will say its the best they can do, let them stew and get back with them. Within three to four days your phone will ring, once again they will quote 54.99 say no, then they may quote 49.99, insist on 44.99 for one year. They slip up and try to raise the price even just a few dollars get on the phone call them and state you said 49.99 for one year. In other words don’t tolerate their crap.

  • Islegitorscam says:

    Great post. But Cable bill is not negotiable in my country. It is either you take it or leave,

  • Jane says:

    Great post. I will try this out in my country. Cable bill is one of the bills that gives me more expenses.

  • Phill @ Incomepreneur says:

    You can definitely negotiate a better cost than that. The price for that bundle is a bit too much I believe – you could definitely invest that in something better. Suddenlink is my choice and I’ve never had any issue with them.

  • Rita Mitchum says:

    I will make the call to negotiate for a better
    cost on the bundle. Do you think $160 a month
    for a bundle is too much? I thought so!
    I have been with Suddenlink for nine years
    and always pay my bills on time. RM

    • JBR says:

      Same provider I have and I don’t have a choice its a monopoly your time with them doesn’t mean a hill of beans. The new customer to them is where the money is at which they hope one day they will be like you. Tell them to pound sand and cancel the service all of it let them think about that 160.00 not coming in pretty soon an unknown number will be pounding your phone. They will try and get you back, cut the cable, go Hulu etc. Your’ll be amazed at what you find on Youtube. Find out what new internet service is for your area via Suddenlink, if there are others use it to leverage providers against one another. Stand your ground, don’t be afraid to be without, and don’t be afraid to hang up on them if they dig in too high. They will call back. There is no such thing as they won’t negotiate, they will if the alternative is 0.00

  • Sara says:

    My phone, cable, TV renewal went up $45 (AT&T U-verse). Last year it went up $20 and was told I could call back this year and ask for another year at the same rate. Didn’t call the number on my bill because that goes overseas, from past follow up phone calls to me by ATT I used the number they gave me which is in the US. Asked for the retention dept (now called Loyalty). Offered me a 2 yr contract for $10 more than currently paying, sounds good until the bomb is dropped that it’s switching to Direct TV. NO! Played around with what ifs: dropping home phone, dropping to lower package; realize now I didn’t get a price quote for doing both. Did say I might have to go to Time Warner, not much of an impact. They’d moved me to 18mb Internet, and was told that it’s all the same price now for 12-24mb speed so no reduction there. Did give me a $50 credit on this month’s bill and told to call next month for promos. I can cut my current bill in half by switching to TW. My advice if you’re still reading is to take detailed notes of your conversation – after last year’s call they raised my bill; I called back and they tried to tell me I got a one month promo rate, my notes of who I talked to, $$ mentioned, packages was detailed enough to convince them it was a 12 month rate.

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  • Jethro says:

    The problem with this advice is that the person didn’t actually negotiate a lower price. He simply dropped a service. Of course dropping a service is going to be cheaper. That’s not news.

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  • Anne says:

    So I have a unique perspective. I work for a small town Cable/Internet company and have personally battled with Charter and AT&T over my personal bill. While DirectTV & DISH have both been sued for unethical marketing, and bait and switch tactics, my employer successfully competes with them by offering a consistent price.

    Sure the small company won’t advertise your first year for $20(really closer to $40) like DirectTV, but then they don’t add extra charges throughout the year and then double the price while you are still under contract like DirectTV and DISH. This small company offers consistent price for the comparable service at around $60. Sure it sounds expensive compared to $20, but it is actually what you pay consistently (with a small increase around $5 once a year to cover network increases).

    Our profit margins are small, so I know that $20/month is a scam. No wasted time on the phone negotiating for an honest price & the same few people who live near you answer the phones. So there are honest companies out there. You just have to be lucky enough to live in their area, since the honest companies are also the small ones.

  • Troy says:

    I hate every six months I have to call ATT and wait on line to negotiate my bill to be at the market rate. The reasons I believe they do it this way is:

    1. Make it where you have to call them so they can up sell you for more ATT products.

    2. You forget when your promotion is over and you are paying higher rates than normal Market Pricing.

    3. They raise your Bill $20.00 and then give you a $15.00 Promotion. Why can’t they just raise your bill $5.00 and be done with it.

    4. Keep you on hold for 20 minutes to an hour waiting to make you more susceptible to buying more than you want. (car sales tactic)

    In Summary I don’t have to negotiate with Electric Company, Water Company, Walmart or Gas Stations. So why do I have to waste my time negotiating with an ATT representative (from a cheaper labor market) that I can barely understand to haggle one of my Utility Bills. Other than ATT have a better bottom line.

  • Marcus says:

    Betty all you have to do is tell dish you can’t afford these prices anymore and you were thinking to go either directv who gave you a better price or might Go the Netflix route because it is a lot cheaper. Tell them you might leave dish and either ask for the retention dept or say goodbye and they will go down on price. Get your price don’t say yes on little amount off in your price. You will end up getting a lot off that monthly bill. Good luck.

  • Betty Hendrix says:

    I tried to lower my bill too I have been with Dish network for 12 yrs and called to ask if they could lower my bill it has risen to $95 a month.. they wouldn’t take off but $5.00 for 3 months.. they are just like the power companies they won’t budge.. just crazy makes me so mad but what can we do to fight this

  • Rebecca says:

    Honestly, I worked in the retention department for a cable company. To be frank I wouldn’t recommend just threatening to cancel. If you get a representative that’s had a rough day they may not want to deal with your shenanigans and just cancel it. It’s a loose, loose for everyone. I’d recommend to just be honest, we don’t make a lot of money so we understand cutting cost everywhere we can. If you let us know the price you want and the channels you need anyone you speak with will be will to help.

  • TheHagglinHag says:

    Yes, Virginia…. there is a Santa Claus. Or, if you prefer…. Ask not, have not.
    Negotiation works. My bill went from $45 to $80. I called and of course discovered it was due to my promotional rate expiring. I explained that the service truly wasn’t that valuable to me since I have a large data plan on my phone and tablet. They graciously offer me about 5 bucks off. I wasn’t impressed yet. I asked to speak to a supervisor, 10 minutes and 2 more reductions later, with the gentleman on the other end sounded as though he had just run a marathon all the while swearing that was really the very best that he could do, I agreed to stay for $58.00 for 12 months. I’ll be sharpening my clasws for the next round in October 2015

    • Don Adams says:

      Comcast is a rip off! I cut the cord on my cable a long time ago. I purchased the HDS TV Media Center streaming device for $150 and I am able to stream all of the channels, TV shows and sports that I was paying comcast almost $200/month for directly to my television and no monthly charge. I just paid the $150 for the device, I received it in 3 days and I plugged it right into the HDMI port on the back of my TV and I was pleasantly surprised. The device comes pre configured so I didn’t have to do a thing but plug it in and enjoy. It was by far the best $150 that I ever spent. I am able to stream live TV shows, all of the latest movies, sports and even premium channels directly to my television without the pop ups and viruses that I would get if I’m streaming to my computer.

      I should add that the HDS TV Media Center streaming device needs to connect to your WiFi in order for it to stream all of the content to your TV set, so you do need the internet for it to function. The device is $150. So now, I just have an internet bill and my media center from HDS, and NO monthly cable bill. I am happy with the device AND DEFINITELY happy with my savings since I completely did away with my cable bill..

  • Timothy B says:

    When I tried this tactic with comcast, they tried to get me to go for a triple play package. When I threatened to leave the said ok, and started sending me surveys why I left before actually leaving. I can’t wait to cut my trees down to get satelite.

  • Carolyn Hodges says:

    Just called my satelite company. Mainly because needed faster internet that was coming from another company that only does that. Could save us $25 a month but another family member got better price on both from Suddenlink. But would lose some channels I always watch. Due to illness, I often spend 2-3 days a week in bed watching tv while on my tablet or Iphone. Still working on this decision. No longer under contract and get 22 channels on antenna, 2 Spanish, one religious only daytime. TV has gotten to be too much a part of my life in the last year due to health so will probably keep paying big. Due to the roka, netflix,etc I’m hoping for the day you can chose each channel to get and not have to pay for the ones you will NEVER watch!

  • free says:

    Cut the cable, we get many more than 24 channels all free with indoor antenna and never miss that bill!

    • Donald says:

      I too got fed up with the cable company, And had it disconnected. I put up a A $100 antenna. and get about 20 channels for free. I do l he least expensive plan with Netflix. And saved a bundle. Like someone else said here on this forum. If enough people cancel their service. The company’s will lower their prices or be eaten up by the competition. They will continue to charge as much as the market will bear. We’ll folks, WE are that market. TV has too many offensive and stupid commercials anyway. And a lot of what is offered I won’t let my kids watch. In the ’70s there was much discussion about weather or not to let Jeannie. As in I dream of Jeannie. Show her belly button or not. Look at how far down we’ve gone. Now just about anything goes, and what doesn’t gets called “a wardrobe malfunction”

    • Nana says:

      This may work in some areas , but I live in a rural area with no close channel sources. I would be fortunate to get two channels even with a good outdoor antenna.

  • LAURIE says:

    Tried to go to just internet & bascic cable(cox) want to charge me $240.00 for early termination…Bill went up, can,t afford it…….said I have 2yr contract…..if I get copy of contract, Does it really say one year bundle expires?

    • Rebecca says:

      After working in the industry, yes it will. But, it will say it in the smallest print possible. Most companies will send an email confirming your appointment when you first install and that will also have the 24 month contract information. Which makes it difficult to get around but you can keep calling sometimes you’ll find someone who wants to help with the contract or go to the lowest package. Your best bet is to be as friendly as possible.

  • Pamela says:

    I just got my cable television lowered last night. We had upgraded and been told that we would have to start a new 2 year agreement. We were fine with that since we were told we were now locked in at the promotional rate. When the bill went up by $25, I called and was informed that the rate was only for first 12 months. They said to check the contract I signed. What contract? Turns out it was in very light print on the back of the installation paperwork which I signed as the technician left the house after install. I asked to talk to “their” supervisor with 3 different departments until I was finally connected to the legal dept. After explaining this is “bait and switch”, they agreed to give me the promo rate for 24 months. Buyer beware!

  • Hal Tanner says:

    In addition to all the crap on tv, is the never ending commercials that come on every four minutes or so, and last for minutes. I’ve counted 17 straight
    Commercials in one interruption. They get paid for showing them and we pay to watch them. Very annoying. The should be a law…..

  • Greg Williams says:

    I will have to re-negotiate my high speed Internet with ATT at the end of this coming March. Told the first rep who could not find me a deal for DSL to get me to the retention departure and I told him I had been with the Company as a customer for many years, landline all points, then 7 generations of cellphones and smartphones and had recently repud my smartphone to the Samsung S5. And paying the full price for the phone on their Next program. And I needed to keep my bill around $100 for my cell plan plus the high speed internet ( I use WiFi to get free data, so I only have the smallest dataplan, because I don’t use much data outside my home, except free data from places I go. So anyway he had a bunch if offers in his computer file and it took awhile, but he finally found one for DSL at 50% off for 6 months. I asked if he could do it for a year, but knew not to push it. Got my bill just a little over $101.00. Was about $96.00 before the changes so figure I am paying $5/mo extra. to own my S5, which isn’t a bad deal at all. Just have to haggle again in a few months. And I find if I do my homework by troubleshooting before I call on anything I usually can get what I need to get done, DONE!

  • dale says:

    People can change how cable providers do business. Simply unsubscribe from all cable providers, if no one is paying for a service, the cable providers must change how they conduct business. I disconected and save 200 a month. I watch my dvd collection. I will not be forced into a providers contract, if everyone did this simple act, by dissconecting from a cable provider, they would be forced to lower prices. I think a 50 dollar amont a month is more than adequate for any provider, for internet and full access to television. I remember as a child it cost nothing to watch tv. All you needed was a antenna. The cable providers know you the consumer will not disconnect, so dont complain about what you pay a month, you only have yourself to blame. Besides all childern want to do is play video games anyhow, and what rubbish they put on the TV isnt worth 200 a month with stupid reality shows, the corporations pay little and get huge profits in return. Laughing all the way to the bank, and CEOs make millions, laughing even harder to thier bank, with your hard erned dollar.

  • Shirley says:

    Thanks, Jim, Where do you go to purchase the Roku box & how difficult is it to connect? Does it sit on top of TV like the rabbit ears used to?
    I am anxious to get away from Windstream asap!!! They have gone ‘over the top’ with their charges!

    Do you really think Cable & Satellite companies will be out of business in a few years? Do you think this Roku box will replace them? People are looking at all aspects of cutting their expenses (due to ‘giving’ the illegals ‘everything’!!!)

    • J. C. says:

      Roflmao @Shirley. Sounds like you need to cancel Faux Noise (Fox News)! That last comment is straight out of their talking points.

    • Gramma says:

      Roku (or Apple TV or Chromecast or others) can be bought at places like Best Buy. Very easy to use and set up. I live in the country, had a satellite service for years. Cost kept going up; after going up the ladder they would cut my bill for a year; then it would go back up. I got tired of fighting and not being shown customer loyalty. Bought an indoor antennae for each TV (about $100 each), a Roku for each TV (about $100 each), and don’t do Netflix or Hulu so I pay nothing per month. We get 24 air channels, plus what is on Roku. I miss some things at times like HGTV, Hallmark Channel, etc but not enough to go back paying $140 or more per month just to watch TV! I wish I had done it years ago!

    • LAURIE says:

      Amazon has Roku specials!!

  • Shirley says:

    Can anyone tell me how to go about cutting the charge for the features that I am now getting?
    I have phn/dsl & cable tv thru Windstream Communications at a total of $ 150. for just the two. Then my cell thru Verizon is $ 46. more dollars ..
    Total almost $ 200.00 /mo & I hardly ever watch tv.
    Windstream pressures employees to sell on ‘every’ call so they aren’t about to help you in cutting back on your bill. They want to ‘add’ instead..
    I am on a fixed income & can’t afford to continue these ‘ridiculous’ charges.. Can anyone offer advise? Thanks so much…

    • Jim says:

      Cancel the bundle with Windstream and buy a $100 Roku box…if you do not watch much TV, you can probably get away with a Netflix subscription for $11.99/month and have a lot of movies and TV to watch…

      Cable and Satellite companies will be out of business in a matter of a few years anyway

  • Lee says:

    We got rid of satilite and went to roku, so our only cost is $7.99 a month for Netflix. Have alot of movies and shows commercial free.

  • Ronald J Morowitz says:

    I had just 1 box, no movie channels got a bundle with phone (which I don’t even use but they insisted was cheaper). First year was $117. Next year went to $137. I called to see if cancelling phone would make it cheaper. It wouldn’t and they told me next year it’s going to $178. I got Chromcast. Only needed it for 2 sets (had XBox on 3rd set). Got a deal on Amazon, free shipping plus only $32.50 each. Total of $65, bought my own modem. Cut cable to just internet got basic cable for free. Got Hulu Plus (free for the first 2 months) $7.99 month after. Netflix for $11.99 per month (up to 4 screens, first month free). So the cable is now $63 per month plus $7.99 for Hulu Plus and $11.99 for Netflix for a total of $82.98 per month. Saving $55 per month until July then $95 per month. I get so much more tv. I spent the first 2 weeks just watching Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy. Still have Discovery, History, Comedy channels plus all of the major networks. Best decision I ever made. Oh when you cut the cable you have to ask for the cheapest package deal with cable and it’s the same price as internet by itself (of course they won’t tell you this, you have to ask). If you have a blu-ray player or an internet tv you don’t need the Chromcast.

  • karen says:

    i worked for comcast for 11 years and i was in the call center then front counter and i will say unless its a sale we don’t want to deal with you. in fact we would get a ding on our name if we didn’t sell, it’s all about money. i hated the company when i left they actually took 2.00 away an hour from us. said if you want to make more then sell more not good

    • Madeleine Baier says:

      I’m sorry you had to deal with that BS, and glad you got out! Not surprised at all. I haven’t had cable now for almost 2 years and I don’t miss it one bit. GOOD RIDDANCE, COMCAST.

  • Karen Montgomery says:

    I have never tried that before, maybe I will try.

  • Leah says:

    Wow! It worked! I called AT&T U-Verse today and they lowered my bill to an introductory rate. The first person I talked to didn’t have the authority to lower my bill by much, so I asked to speak with a supervisor and was sent to the “escalation department.” That person was very helpful and found me a great deal. It was awesome customer service! I am very impressed, and grateful for the more reasonable bill.

  • Sam says:

    I have been getting large increases every year, over 10%, from time warner cable. However I have found if I ask to speak to a retention specialist I usual dont have to pay more, or just a buck or to increas. This year I got a new permotional deal for 12 mounths if I added The Movie Channel it would save me $15 on my bill, plus if I upgraded equipment to whole house dvr from indivial dvr boxes I saved $21. I lost the ablity to re cord as many shows at on time from 8 (2/box) to 4 ( 2/ whole house dvr boxes) but to save $240 a year seemed well worth it.

  • Benjamin James says:

    One other option is to, cut the cable all together. I know that seems drastic to many people (and it did to me at one time as well.) But I’ve been without cable/satellite for almost six years now, which is surprising given that I grew up always having cable. The benefit isn’t just monetary (although that was my initial purpose.) After six years I am so used to not having cable, that it doesn’t phase me and I don’t miss it. Sure, friends and family think it is a little strange of us, but I’ve actually learned to enjoy not spending hours watching television. I tend to do more reading or we play more games now, which are things that I always enjoyed and intended on doing more of, but watching t.v. seemed to get in the way.

    • karen says:

      so true james so true good for you

    • Bob says:

      Best answer! I cut the cable. Soooo glad. An antenna and Roku3 is all YA need.

      • Kathy says:

        I cut to just internet 4 years ago, I also have a Roku and love it with Netflix, lots of movies. If something is on TV like Downton Abby I stream and watch it on my computer. Easy Peasy! Yes, I do have to call every 6 mos and this last time she gave me a year at a discounted price. I’m a senior on very limited income. My rent and heating take up most of my money and it doesn’t leave much left for extras.

  • Amazonite says:

    Chuckled when I read this article… I do this every.single.year. It’s like a game… every year I call up and tell the rep I’ve decided to go with Verizon FIOS and they do some sort of jiggering around with the bill and lop off about $40.

  • Canadian Budget Binder says:

    I call our company every year, in fact they tell me to call a month or so before my contract for the year is up to re-negotiate. I’ve been with the same company since I moved into our home and each year they give me a stellar deal. I get everything for $147.00 a month right now home phone, wife’s cell, VIP cable, Free PVR, Internet… that’s they cheapest in 4 years. It’s worth it to negotiate but don’t jump down their throats, be reasonable, and they may just work with you to retain you as a customer.

  • Lee says:

    Used to call, get nowhere until I answered survey and was called back by the rep with an offer. The process is considerably shorter now that Comcast has twitter customer service. Last week, I requested extension of my promo rate by tweeting @comcastcares and within a few hours, corporate emailed me the details of my extension.

    (I’ve heard another tip is to downgrade Internet speed, try it a day or so, then call back for a better rate or new promo for upgraded speed.)

  • Dr. Renee says:

    I used to call every time my promotion ended and threaten to leave. I recently got a new company. But with the old company I think I might have paid for my DVR for maybe a few months. I always received a promotion that saved me anywhere between 30-50% a month.

  • Diane says:

    These tactics are exactly what is needed for it to work like a dream! I love the tip about being realistic about the discount. We typically keep the mailers we receive from the competitors (dish, etc…) so we have it right in front of us when we call. They also know we are being honest.

    The only downfall is that typically they will also throw in the movie channels for FREE in hopes that we will add it. This then means that nothing gets done around the house since we are spending hours eating popcorn and watching free movies!

    • Rose B says:

      You mean they throw in the soft porn channels. The so-called movie channels are nearly non-stop soft porn. Not worth getting even for free, and if you accept them, after the promo, you will be charged full price for them. It is complicated to get them canceled, expensive to forget.

  • Emily says:

    I have done this, it does work!

  • Tushar @ Everything Finance says:

    I completely agree with the first point. People are much more likely to want to negotiate with you if you are being pleasant. Why would anybody want to bend over backward for somebody who is being rude?

  • Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle says:

    Negotiating does work and I do it regularily.

    The individual sales reps have a lot of bargaining room and sometimes it is best to tell the person you are speaking to that you need to think about it and call back the next day and speak to another. I spoke to a bored young man before Christmas and he was not happy about being stuck at work on a Friday night when all his buddies were probably out at a bar meeting young ladies (he had an annoying, nasaly voice so he probably would of struck out at the bar) so I told him I needed to think about it.

    Several days later I encountered a sales rep who was so happy that I was not angry about the wait time and she told me that I was the first customer of the day who hadn’t snapped at her. Polite and friendly but firm in my resolve to bargain got me a deep discount and my bill is less than the goal I had set for myself.

    My monthly communications now costs me 7 hours of work each month.

    • Rose B says:

      Myhusband has worked in customer service for a sattelite company. If you use obscenties or abusive language, your call can legally be “released” aka hung up. So, don’t go there. Do ask for what you want, reasonably. Do offer to do without the service you can’t afford; you may be transfered to a department with more tools for customer retention. Do ask for a supervisor; supervisors have more authority to negotiate. Ask for a number to the corporate headquarters if your complaint is more than just the price. CS reps cannot take detailed complaints to pass up the line to the decisionmakers; most of this work is subcontracted out. Do complete any surveys you get, because this is the best way to communicate about your experience with the rep, but make sure you report on the way the rep treated you, not on how much of your wish list you got; the rep has to follow rules or risk his/her job. Again, a supervisor has more wasy to solve your problem, and for the big complaints, if you don’t like the service or the rules, you need to tell the top of the authority structure, which is at corporate headquarters. If you want more room to comparison shop, speak to you local politicians: there is no logical reason to grant a monopoly to any one cable or sattelite provider.

  • Jon @ MoneySmartGuides says:

    I used to do this all the time with Comcast by rolling over my promotional rate for another 6 months at a time. But now they claim that they aren’t doing this anymore. No matter when I call or who I talk to, I get nowhere – even when I finally pull the cancel my service card. It’s frustrating.

    So, I just keep calling every month, asking for a discount or a new promotion. So far no dice.

    • Pappion says:

      Comcast is a no go and a stay away from company. IMO.
      google Comcast unfair practices. Very bad and I wish they didn’t have the market share cornered,,only one wi-fi carrier available in my area-Comcast. Why? That in-itself is a flag. They continue with ludicrous charges after you sign and unfair practices. They will continue to do so as long as they remain unchecked. (I see they’ve already been investigated in lawsuit.)

      • Madeleine Baier says:

        Completely agree!! After a long period of steadily increasing rates, and NOT being able to get anything that sounded like a reasonable explanation, I called Comcast to cancel my service. The person on the other end tried(Lord how he tried!!!!!)to talk me out of it. Finally losing patience, I simply said okay you obviously haven’t listened to a single G**D*** word I’ve said so tell you what, I will simply not pay my next bill when it comes in and get rid of Comcast that way. He replied that in that case it could go to collections with the resulting damage to my credit rating(I’m real scared). I told him that he could spare us all that by Respecting My Feelings and Turning off My Service. I then hung up. Enough is Enough! Apparently some part of what I was saying penetrated the fog because my service was turned off 2 days later. That was almost 2 years ago. GOOD RIDDANCE.

    • Benjamin James says:

      Jon, they pretty much have the market now outside of Satellite, so I expect expect that negotiating with them will become more and more difficult.

    • Anon E Mous says:

      Go to Wal-Mart (or other local discount store) and buy an antenna ($13-$50) and see how many channels you can get free.

      Then you can negotiate even of there is a cable monopoly in your area OR you may just decide to cut the cable completely, like I did!

    • Diane says:

      I have comcast and I have no problem getting the promotional rate when my rates go up. You need to find out the number or tell them you want to speak to disconnects. They have their own number. Good luck!

  • Deacon @ Well Kept Wallet says:

    It is so true, it does work. I called our satellite provider recently because our monthly bill just went up $10 because the promotional period ended. I asked them if they had any cheaper plans and when he said no. I asked him if there was anything else he could think of and paused. He said, well I can give you $3 off for the next 6 months. I told him that would be great since we only pay $38/month.

  • LTC (RET) Tony says:

    This does work. I would like to know more about your bundle package. Does it also include a home phone? Do you just have basic cable without any additional movie channels? What State do you live in because $120.00 is a very competitive price? When I called my provider, which provides a 1 year lock in, they took $35.00 off the new bill . I also threatened to leave. This offset the rate hike. Mind you my call also involved a general receptionist and did not get elevated to a manager. I had reached the point in the call where I was about to hang up, the individual caved, an then agreed to lower the bill to its original price.

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