If you’re a cable subscriber, you’re likely surprised by the outrageous price of your cable bill every month. Even those who only get basic cable may be paying close to $100 for TV and Internet service – and if you’re looking to save, you might wonder how it’s possible to cut back any more than you already have.
Fortunately, you don’t have to lose your fast Internet or favorite TV channels to get a lower price on a cable package. Today, there are now more options to choose from and more opportunities to save.
Cable Costs Are Rising Quickly
According to Statista¹, only 14.5 percent of North American consumers pay less than $50 for their monthly cable bill. Almost 50 percent of consumers pay their cable company between $51 and $100 every month.
Plus, rates are on the rise, according to ABC News². From July 2016 to July 2017, average cable TV costs increased by 5.8 percent – yet the price of all other goods and services only jumped by about 3.7 percent.
Because cable prices are rising far faster than any other necessity, many people have cut the cord to their cable TV, according to the New York Post³. They’re only keeping their internet service so they can stream their favorite programming. And that’s making the cost of cable television increase even more, with companies like Comcast planning to raise rates even more in the months ahead, the Post writes⁴.
Use This One Tip to Save Significantly
Many people are used to these gradual price hikes every few months. It seems like a lot of work to call the cable company and try to save a few extra dollars on your bill. You might worry that changing your service will mean losing channels or having to switch providers.
But complacency isn’t putting extra cash in your bank account. The best way to save on your cable bill is to shop around.
Keep an eye on the most current rates for the packages you prefer. You can look at other providers, or you can check out what your current provider is offering. Search online to see the newest, lowest rates in your local region.
This requires you to do a little bit of homework. New customers often get the lowest rates. Therefore, you might want to use an incognito browser window to search on your cable company’s website to see what the introductory pricing is.
If your services are bundled, you might want to explore what you’d pay for internet alone. You can now stream just about any channel, from local news to premium cable, right on the channels’ websites. You can even check out the cost of purchasing an internet hot spot or getting satellite TV to get a comprehensive idea of how to put together the lowest TV and internet bill. Unless you search and compare the prices of these different options, you’ll never know how many affordable options are available to you.
Get a Better Price by Negotiating
Comparison shopping doesn’t require you to keep switching cable companies every time there’s a price increase. That would be impossible, especially if you’re locked into a contract. However, staying up-to-date on pricing from your cable company and others in your area means you can use that knowledge to give you leverage for negotiating a better rate with your provider.
Negotiating a lower price on cable TV and internet is free and easy to accomplish. Just follow these tips:
- Conduct your online comparison shopping. Gather different rates from a variety of companies and providers.
- Armed with the information you’ve gathered by comparison shopping, call your cable provider. Ask to speak to the cancellations department. This is usually where you’ll get the best offers.
- Tell the representative you want to cancel your plan. Reps in the cancellation or retention department are trained to offer you better rates in order to keep you as a customer.
- Be wary of the first deals they offer you. Many cable companies will offer you free upgrades instead of downgrading your bill. Explain that you want the same service at a lower price, not extras. You simply can’t afford to pay those high rates anymore.
- Then, tell the rep you’ve gotten better prices from other service providers. This will show you’re serious about ditching your current provider. It will also give the representative an idea of what you’re willing to pay.
If you’re looking to cut costs even more, remember that some features can affect your pricing. Options like modem and router rentals typically cost between $5 to $10 a month to rent from the cable company. Buy your own modem and router to eliminate these costs.
Also, even if you’re not locked into a contract, make sure you’re aware of the terms of your special pricing. It may not last forever. When the time frame is up, you might need to go through the negotiations process again.
When you’re trying to cut your cable and internet bill, it can take time to settle on a price with your current cable provider. Be patient and persistent. Giving up won’t net you a great deal – and imagine how significant the savings could be once you accomplish your goal!