Save Hundreds On Your Cable Bill With These Simple Tricks

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. 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.

Make Sure You Use What You Pay For

Do you have multiple cable boxes and 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. Of course, only keep them if you can afford it.

I don’t use many of those things. So, 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 be more expensive every month? Mine has tried a few times but it never ended up actually happening.

Instead, 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 offer already, ask for a credit on your bill.

If the first representative says no, you can 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 regional sports fee went up $1 a month. 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 the regional sports fee went up $1? I didn’t, but I’m glad I did! There is no way I could have expected that.

There is one final way to try to get a discount if they won’t give you a deal. If 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?

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. I totally agree. You have to haggle your cable bill. However it makes me dislike the service. I should get my cable at a reasonable price without having to dail down the customer service rep.

  2. Great tips. I haven’t thought about trying to haggle the cable bill, although I accidently received a huge rebate just by calling them about a question on my bill (the rep on the phone said “your package is outdated. We have faster internet for about a third less money. Would you like to switch?”

    Uhhh. “Okay.” That was my brilliant haggle move.

  3. We don’t have cable, but we have been totally unsuccessful in reducing our internet bill, even with the retention department. Thankfully they’re not raising our bill either, though.

  4. @JP – I totally agree with you but by us calling we let others pay for our discounts 🙂

    @Average Joe – They should automatically switch you but good luck with that. Glad you called and found out.

    @Emily – If you just have one service it can be harder to get a discount. Luckily it seems it is reasonably priced and they aren’t raising your prices!

  5. Wow, that was quite a great savings for them to give you $20 a month for six months. We have DirecTV and the only one who watches regularly is my son with Down Syndrome. The rest of us have become too busy or have other interests, or use Netflix. I actually did call DirecTV to find out about getting my bill lowered but it was so frustrating that I stopped looking into it. Your post reminds me I should log into my account and see if I can lower the bill myself, maybe there are some extra channels I can drop.

  6. @ Mrs. Accountability – Glad I could help. Hopefully you find something 🙂

  7. It’s amazing what just asking can do for you.
    A trick I’ve found useful is to set a reminder in Google Calendar for when promotions are expiring. This way I know when to call them back and re-nogotiate.

  8. thank you so much for your tips !i just saved $120 on my cable bill.:)

  9. My wife asked a few times and got promotional rates too for internet. I think $20 off a month for 6 months. She did this 2-3 times before we got free internet with her new job.

  10. I tried to haggle my bill but it didn’t seem like my cable company cared. I was about to cancel with them because I was so fed up but then my wife found this company called BillCutterz. I don’t know how they do it but they were able to lower my cable bill by $30 a month for the next year without me having to spend more than 5 minutes on the phone with them, instead of the almost hour I spend last time I called Comcast. Well worth checking out for my friends who are like me and can not haggle.

  11. Nice article. I called my satellite company and told them I was cancelling. Then they told me they would give me the lowest tier of programming for free for 3 months with no contract. Free is a pretty good deal.

  12. I am one of the lame people with no cable and an antenna. Sorry, I just cannot bring myself to pay that much to watch TV!!! =-)

  13. That’s really cool….sometimes you need just that little extra “push” to get something done, right? I hate how the cable companies have things structured…I wish all channels were “alacarte” so I could just pick what I really want to have…

  14. Makes perfect sense to me. We’ve done the same thing.

    We switched to FIOS for a savings of $50/ month for two years. You can bet at the 2 year mark, we’ll look at employing this strategy again.

  15. I don’t have to deal with the negotiations for cable, but I certainly do for internet. I just went through it this past month and I had to talk with 4 different people in order to get the bill back down. This game is kind of tiring!

  16. I loved having cable, but I recently got an Apple TV and signed up for Netflix and Huluplus. Most of my favorite shows are on there, and on my lazy days I can binge watch my favorite shows. Sure, there are some trade offs, but I like only having to pay around $8 a month for each.

  17. I also have cable although I probably don’t enjoy quite as much of it as I should considering the cost. We’ve constantly battled our cable provider and use roughly the same tactics. It’s always worth haggling.

  18. I do that too, but last time they told me I have all the discounts. I still managed to save a few dollars.

  19. I used to haggle, but Comcast refuses to anymore. I might get $5 off here and there, but nothing like I used to when my current promotion would always get extended just by asking.

  20. Lance,
    Always haggling and threatening to move your business is the key. You can also bundle with internet and phone for a discount.

  21. Calling up your cable company and internet providers are some of the best ways to save money. It never hurts to ask if they will offer a better price. Especially if you are a loyal customer. My wife was able to save us $10 a month on internet through a 10 minute call. I think the cable/internet companies are banking on people being lazy and not calling. I know because I was one of them for a long time. Thanks for sharing!!!

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