I bet you are sick of the favorite method of personal finance gurus to lower your cable bill – simply cancel it. Are you going to get that advice from me? HECK NO! I enjoy my cable and no personal finance blogger is going to come between me and my cable TV!
I imagine there are a lot of other people that share my sentiment so now that we decided we’re not getting rid of cable let’s discuss saving money on the bill. These money saving tactics can also work on your internet or many other types of bills too.
Make Sure You Use What You Pay For
Do you have multiple cable boxes and have to pay for each one? A DVR? HBO? Other premium add-ons? Do you use all of these things? If you do use them then by all means keep your extra channels and add-ons but only if you can afford it.
I don’t use many of those things and that is why I don’t have them. If you have subscribed to premium channels or any other add-ons and have found out you don’t really watch the channels or use the add-ons then get on the phone and get rid of them! However, before you get on the phone keep reading so you can employ another tactic.
How I Saved $120 on My Cable Bill and You Can Too
Did you ever notice your cable bill always seems to creep up and be more expensive every month? Mine has tried a few times but it never ended up actually happening. What I do is I call the cable company whenever I see my bill go up and ask about why it went up. They give you the typical explanation that their costs have gone up or your current promotion has expired.
So what do you have to do to get it back down? I always call them and tell them the following. “I appreciate the fact that [what they said] but times have been tough and I have been a customer of yours for [insert time period here]. What can we do to lower my bill while keeping my services at the same level.” I’m not lying, times are tough (even though they may not be for me) and I want my bill lowered.
It really is as simple as that. You can ask for the most recent promotional offer you see on TV or if you have that ask for a credit on your bill. If the first representative says no you could ask to talk to the retention department who has the most power to give you discounts in order to keep you as a customer.
Most recently I called because my cable modem rental fee for my internet went up $1 a month and I asked if they could give me a credit to make up for it. After the representative spoke to her supervisor she came back on the phone and offered me $20 off a month for SIX MONTHS.
Can you believe I got $120 just because I noticed my cable modem rental fee went up $1? I didn’t, but I’m glad I did! There is no way I could have expected that. I have since found out that I can buy a refurbished modem that would pay for itself in six months so I plan to do this soon to save even more money. (I have since done so and you can read about it here)
One final way to try to get a discount if they won’t give you a deal and you know of another company offering a better deal you could always threaten to switch companies. Just make sure you’re willing to follow through if they call your bluff and allow you to cancel.
So… have you ever tried to get your cable or internet bill lowered? How did it go? Do you have any other tips?
This post was originally published on June 8, 2012 and was updated on November 25, 2013.