It’s no secret that internet and cable TV costs are constantly increasing year over year. What most people don’t know is that by just threatening to leave their current provider and proving that there are lower cost options out there, they’re able to lower their monthly bill, sometimes by as much as half. The first step is to research the competition in your area.
Thankfully, there are definitely a few tips and tricks that you can employ to try to save a few bucks. This way, you can keep the channels that you are used while paying a fraction of the cost.
Truth in Numbers
Studies have shown that the average consumer who lives in North America pays somewhere between $51 to $100 to their cable company every month. Only around a 15% of people pay less than $50, while 35% pay more than an eye-watering $100.
Those numbers aren’t getting any better either. The cost of cable TV is increasing at a higher rate than most other services. In a study performed in 2017, the average cost of a cable TV plan rose by almost 6% in a 12-month cycle. Meanwhile, everything else that was taken into consideration only averaged about 3.7%.
This is a big reason why people have been flocking to the growing number of streaming services. After all, companies like Netflix and Hulu definitely offer way more bang for your buck, especially considering how much content they have. That leaves the rest of us who want to watch certain channels in a bind. In order to keep the service that we are used to, we have to pay more and more to cable companies.
Be Willing to Shop Around
If you are wondering how your bill got so out of control without you noticing, it’s because it didn’t just happen overnight. Many cable companies have been slowly rising prices over the course of years, so it’s hard to notice the difference. They understand that increasing too much at once means customers will be more likely to jump ship.
If you are willing to do a little bit of homework, you could easily save a bit of money by swapping plans. That doesn’t necessarily mean changing providers either. Your company might already offer a package that has all the channels that you want for a lower price. Keep that in mind when you start browsing for deals online.
Another thing you might want to do is use your browser’s incognito mode. This is actually a tip that can be beneficial to you no matter what you are shopping for. Many online stores and services will price based on your digital habits, like how many times you’ve checked out their website. Using incognito mode will basically undo some of that, and potentially show you lower prices than you would otherwise see.
This article is mostly about saving without cutting out cable entirely, but it might be more feasible than you imagined. It’s possible that some channels you want access to are available to be viewed directly from their site. If you only subscribe to cable because you want watch to local news, those channels might already stream their content. In that case, you could just drop cable entirely and pay for the internet by itself. Also, see if you will save money if you only pay for internet from your cable provider and then get TV from a satellite company.
Be Willing to Negotiate
Shopping around will actually be beneficial to you even if you don’t plan on cancelling your cable service. As long as you aren’t locked into a contract, you’ll be able to use that information to your advantage by negotiating with the cable company. Once you are armed with up-to-date information from other cable companies, you can take these steps to negotiate for a lower price.
• Once you have the information you need, call your cable company. You can follow their automated phone system to cancel your service, but this will work better if you speak with an actual person. Once you get connected to an operator, tell them you want to speak to the cancellations department. The reason you want to do this is because they can usually get you the best deals.
• You want to tell the cable company that you want to cancel your service. Certain cable employees are trained in how to keep people from leaving, and one of the tactics they use is to offer lowered rates.
• Remember to keep your eyes on the prize. You want to lower your bill, and sometimes the cancellations department will try to offer you extras or upgrades in order to keep you as a customer. These may be worth it to you, but you should decline them if your ultimate goal is to save money. Let the rep know that you just can’t afford to keep paying those prices.
• Once you’ve gotten the point across that you want to save money, tell the agent that you’ve been offered lower prices from other providers. Having that knowledge on hand will be seen as a sign that you are serious about leaving, and they’ll be more likely to offer you a better deal.
Other Tips and Conclusion
It might be obvious, but double check to see if you are paying monthly for features that you don’t need. One thing many people pay for monthly is a modem or a router. $5 or $10 bucks a month for each might not seem a lot, but these are cheaper than you might think. Purchase one online for one price and stop paying over and over.
Also be aware of any special pricing plans you signed up with. These are designed only to last a certain amount of time, at which time the discount goes away. Be ready ahead of time to renegotiate, or to jump to a different company.
If you take anything away from this article, it’s that you need to be patient. Researching online can be a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the end, especially if you intend on paying for cable a long time. Remember, saving ten bucks off your plan might not sound like a lot, but that’s something you pay every month. Just keep your eyes open for the best deals, and you’ll be on your way to saving big bucks.