Between 1995 and 2012, the average price of a cable subscription in America increased at a compound annual rate of more than 6%.
I’ve noticed our cable bill increasing steadily over the past few years and finally decided to do something about it. I’ll admit, I just got lazy over time and kept putting it off.
Related: How I Multiplied My Savings
I pay about $150 per month for phone/cable/internet and save about $25 per month (or so I’m told) by bundling our services.
Here is how a 30 minute phone call saved me $684 per year on our cable and internet bill – and how you can do the same.
Have a Gameplan
I have found the cable companies to be experts at defusing an upset customer or even distracting a customer from their original purpose of calling.
When I called to ask about our monthly rates I was asked about the programming I watch, how often I make long distance calls, and what I normally use the internet for. These are all things you should consider before calling so you can get right to the details (the monthly total) when you do call.
I already knew which channels we would like to keep so I didn’t need to discuss this and was able to stick to my original purpose for calling – lowering our monthly rate.
I used to work in customer service, so I know the most basic rule of asking for something from a company – rudeness will get you nowhere.
There’s no point in calling to rant about your bill (you can do that before calling!).
I believe being polite has played a huge factor in me being able to get what I want – and this particular call was no different.
After initially speaking to a customer service agent for a few minutes I was put on hold for 10 minutes to be transferred to a rep from the customer loyalty department – exactly who I needed to speak to in order to lower my bill.
Know Your Numbers
I’ve asked my cable company questions about my monthly bill in the past so I’m aware how important it is to know your numbers.
Before you call to negotiate a lower rate, you need to understand exactly how much you are paying for each service.
When I called my cable company I took a few minutes beforehand to review what services we are getting, how much we’re paying and which services I need to cut to decrease our monthly bill.
The rep from the customer loyalty department had tons of different rates, and if I didn’t know what I was already paying I could have easily got confused into thinking something was a good deal when it actually wasn’t.
If you’re calling to mention an incentive a competitor has (always a good idea), knowing your numbers is even more important. You’ll need to show that the competitor is offering a better deal and that you’re willing to switch because of it.
Make Your Case Known
It’s no secret that loyal cable customers hardly ever get incentives and all new incentives are geared towards gaining new subscribers.
With this in mind – I mentioned to the rep that I have been a customer for years and have noticed the company has lots of incentives – but I didn’t think it was fair I didn’t qualify for them because I am a long-time customer.
Be Willing to Follow Through
I haven’t worked for a cable company but I’m willing to bet they get calls from people looking for lower rates plenty of times a day.
If you’re going to call about cutting off your cable because your rates are too high – be willing to follow through with it.
In my case I was very willing to cut the cable and stated it to the customer loyalty department rep. Because of this he offered a $15/month discount as a loyal customer.
After being offered a $15/month discount I politely declined, repeating we could no longer afford it. The customer service rep knew I was serious about cutting the cable and came up with a unique monthly package of $93 per month – saving us $684 per year.
The entire process took about 30 minutes but it was definitely worth it.
Have you been able to save big on cable & internet? Any tips you can add?