From the monthly archives:

January 2011

Regardless of where you live or which cable provider you choose to do business with, you probably feel like you’re paying too much and that your cable company is taking advantage of you.

You can find various ways to lower your monthly bill, such as by avoiding hidden fees or even canceling your cable service altogether! If that’s not an option, and you’ve already eliminated hidden fees, then there are three more ways to reduce your bill, just by asking.

Here are three discounts your cable company can give you, but won’t unless you ask:

1. Service Discount — No matter which cable company you work with, your biggest expense is going to be directly related to the service. For example, I used to pay about $75 per month for the basic package and a couple of sports upgrades.

After discussing my options with a customer service rep and asking for a discount, I learned that they could give me a service discount of $5.99 per month. Over the course of a year, this small discount goes a long way and helps make my cable bill more manageable.

Also keep in mind that your cable company will offer service promotions from time to time. This could be anything from small discounts to six months of a free channel package. Keep an eye out for these promotions and, of course, ask about them.

2. Equipment Discount — In addition to the service fees that you pay, you are also being charged for the equipment that you use on a monthly basis. This is the area in which you can potentially save the most money.

My cable bill includes charges for two cable boxes and an Internet modem. I recently realized that I was paying more than $30 per month for this equipment alone. By speaking with a Comcast supervisor, I was granted a $14.99 waiver for one of my cable boxes. This is only going to last one year, but for the time being it is saving me quite a bit.

Another tip for saving money on equipment: instead of calling your cable company, go to a local “hub” and speak with somebody in person. The last time I did this, a supervisor gave me the newest DVR box with all the bells and whistles.

3. Free Upgrades — This doesn’t actually lower your bill, but it will get you more for your money. I have found that this is the easiest of the three to receive since it’s free to your cable provider, and makes customers happy. Not to mention the fact that there is a good chance you will continue to pay for the upgrade after your trial period expires. Some of the free upgrades that I have received include: cable packages (sports channels and premium channels), higher internet speed, and free On-Demand movies.

Final Word
Don’t expect your cable company to give you discounts and free upgrades just for being a good, loyal customer. While this may happen once in a blue moon, you should not rely on it. If you want to receive the discounts and upgrades detailed above, you need to get on the phone, ask for a supervisor, and explain your situation. You may be surprised to find that you qualify for these discounts and many others. There’s no harm in asking!

(photo credit: JVCAmerica)

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