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How to Negotiate a Cheaper Cable Rate

written by: •edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 6/5/2010

Is your cable bill getting a little out of hand? If so, you should call your cable company and negotiate a cheaper cable rate. There are several tactics you can use to try to get a cheaper cable rate.

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    Lower Your Cable Bill

    A cable bill can add up quickly. While the plan you have may not seem like a lot of money, the things you add to your plan can double your overall bill. For example, if you upgraded to an HDTV, you probably added an HD cable box and pay an additional amount to subscribe to HD cable channels. You may also subscribe to premium cable channels, and you may even have a DVR. If you want to reduce the price of your cable company without giving up any of the extras, you should call your cable company and try to negotiate a lower payment.

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    Research Cable Rates

    Before you call your cable company, you need to do your homework. You increase your chances of getting a reduced rate if you check out the rates or discounts your cable company and their competitors are offering.

    • Find out if your current cable company has any introductory rates. You can call and ask or look in the newspaper or check their website. Usually, these rates are for first-time customers, but if you have been with your cable company for a long time, you may be able to get them to give you the discounted rate for a set amount of time to reward your loyalty.
    • Call the competition and ask what their prices are for the same or similar services you have on your cable plan. Make sure to get the prices for the extras--DVR, HD channels, and premium channels.
    • Ask the cable companies you call if they have any introductory rates. Sometimes cable companies will give you a discount on your cable bill for anywhere from 6 to 24 months if you sign a contract with them.
    • Search for deals from satellite providers. This is particularly useful if you live in a rural area where there is only one cable provider. You probably get emails or flyers in the mail advertising different satellite companies. You may not want to change to a satellite service, but if you have an idea of what their introductory rates are or what they charge for a similar cable package, you can use this to help negotiate a cheaper cable rate.
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    Call Your Cable Company

    Now that you have researched other company's rates, you are ready to call your cable company and negotiate a cheaper cable rate.

    1. After you get a customer service representative on the line, give the representative your personal information and then tell them you are calling because you want to find out how you can reduce your cable bill. If the customer service representative offers you a special that would lower your bill, you may want to take it. If you are told there is no way to reduce your bill without dropping services, then it's time to mention the competition.
    2. If you are told there is no way to reduce your bill, tell the customer service representative that you found out a competitor is offering a lower rate or a special introductory price. Mention how long you have been with the company and ask if your cable company will match this price to keep you as a customer.
    3. Ask to speak with a supervisor or manager if the customer service representative you speak with won't help you. When you get on the line with a supervisor or manager, explain that you are a loyal customer and that a competitor (a local cable company or satellite provider) has a better rate. Give them all of the details for each package or service you have so they know you have done your research. If the cable company won't budge, inform them that you plan to leave them for a different provider. You don't have to leave them if they won't lower your rate, but they may call you back later with a special offer so they don't lose you as a customer.
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    When you call to negotiate a cheaper cable rate, there are a few things you may want to take into consideration.

    • Don't lose your patience or use rude or vulgar language if you are unable to get a lower rate. If you do, you may jeopardize any chance of getting a discount.
    • Ask about bundling certain services. Some companies, such as AT&T, offer bundle discounts if you have two or more services with their company. If your company offers more than cable TV, you may be able to transfer your Internet, cell phone, or home security service to receive a discount.
    • If your cable company refuses to budge on lowering your cable plan, ask if they can offer you premium channels for free for a certain amount of time (some companies offer 3 months free). If you can get free premium channels, this may make your call worthwhile.
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    Photo Credit

    Author: Jackl / HD Televison /