We’ve all watched in horror as our monthly bills continue to increase, and cable and internet are no exceptions. If you’re struggling with balancing your budget, negotiating your cable and internet bill can help you find the extra cash you need to pay for other necessities. Negotiating with your cable company is one of the best ways to lower your cost.
According to a poll by Pew Research Center, the share of Americans who say they watch television via cable or satellite has plunged from 76% in 2015 to 56% in 2021. 71% of those who responded they don’t use cable or satellite, said it is because they can access all the content they need online. 69% said the cost of cable and satellite services is too high. As cable subscribers fall, internet streaming services grow in popularity. Now more than ever, your cable company should be willing to negotiate.
If you’re among the many cable users who are tired of paying too much, read on to learn how to both lower your bills and negotiate lower cable & internet bills.
Evaluate your cable & internet needs
If you’re like many of us, your home internet is part of a cable TV bundle. Take a look at your last bill to see details of charges for each service. Are you under any type of contract? If not, it may be time to negotiate to lower your prices. Although you may currently have 50+ channels, you may only watch a limited number.
Research advertised pricing
After you see what you are paying, look at the cheapest advertised pricing for your current provider. Now, research the cost of services provided by the competitors. If you find lower prices, use that in your negotiations.
Cut down to a cheaper cable/internet package
We discussed evaluating your cable and internet needs above. Are you only watching a few of the many channels you are getting? Unless you live in a household of heavy internet users who download or upload large files or are video conferencing, you may be paying for a higher internet speed than you need as well. It may be smart to consider a cheaper cable package with fewer channels and a lower internet speed and then ask for an additional discount.
Call your cable company to negotiate a lower price
Once you’ve determined your cable and internet needs, it’s time to make a call to your cable provider. First and foremost, be friendly and professional. While you may be tempted to come off as an angry customer, remember that a polite and friendly demeanor can go a long way with a customer service rep who has been listening to complaints all day. You can be firm and friendly at the same time.
When you make the call, be prepared with knowledge of your current cable/internet package and your research on what you actually use/need. Be honest about feeling you are paying too much for service and are looking to cut down your cost. Ask what they can do to reduce your monthly bill. The rep you are speaking to may have some ideas by just looking at your monthly statement. There may be other perks that can save you money as well, such as free Netflix or other streaming services you currently pay for.
While you’re negotiating, it’s important to be persistent. Have a pen and paper handy to take notes, so you have a record of your conversation. Also, be ready to leave your provider. While you don’t have to cancel your services, if you are prepared to leave and take your business elsewhere, you will have more bargaining power. If you are prepared to leave if they can’t help, you can state that upfront. Tell them you are prepared to cancel your service if you can’t negotiate a cheaper price.
Points to use in your negotiation include how long you’ve been a loyal customer, that you’ve never missed a payment, and that you’ve found better options out there while researching that will provide a high level of service for a lower monthly fee.
Install a TV antenna for local channels
If you’re not happy with your negotiations, you may decide to cut the cable cord. If you’re a fan of local news and other local programming, you can save on the high cost of cable, by using an antenna. TV antennas typically let you pick up channels in your area, such as ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and PBS, among other local independent stations. There are three basic types of TV antennas: indoor, outdoor, and attic. Roof antennas typically outperform indoor models. Your cost depends on the type you pick. If you like local channels and use streaming services for other entertainment, this might be a good option for you.
We hope this provides you with some useful tips on how to negotiate lower cable & internet bills. You may be surprised at how many providers are willing to negotiate pricing. It’s important to keep your expectations reasonable. You may be able to come to a very happy compromise that enables you to stay a loyal customer.
Learn more cost-saving tips in our blog post “6 Money Hacks to Combat Inflation.”