Seriously fed up with your sky-high TV bill, but aren’t ready to cut the cord yet? Let’s face it, streaming TV is cheaper. But what if you’re not ready to ditch cable? If you’re not tech-savvy, or you have a poor internet connection or you just simply enjoy channel surfing like you always have, then streaming really might not be right for you. It’s okay to want to hold onto TV the way you know and love it, but this doesn’t mean you have to keep paying through the nose for it though. The good news is you can still lower your monthly bill, all you have to do is negotiate for a better rate! Even if you’re not the haggling type, with these five tips you’ll be able to negotiate your way to a lower bill with a plan. Here is how to get started:
1. Know What Channel Package You Have Now & Any Add-Ons
Before you do anything, the first step to a successful negotiation is to know what channel package you have and any add-on channels you subscribe to. Knowing and understanding what you’re paying for now will help you negotiate in confidence and ensure that you’ll know what your TV provider is offering you is a good deal or not.
To get ready to negotiate with your TV provider, collect the following information about the services you have with them:
- What TV plan do you subscribe to? Number of channels, equipment used, etc.
- How many of those channels are you actually watching now?
- What other services do you subscribe to with them? Internet, home phone, whole home Wi-Fi, wireless, etc.
- How much is your bill every month?
- How much are you paying for TV service now compared to when you first signed up for service with them?
- Are you currently in contract, out of contract or near the end of your contract?
- How long have you been a customer with them?
- Do you always pay your bill on time?
- Have you had service issues? Channel blackouts, outages, equipment failures, etc.
To find out what TV package you’re subscribing to now and what it includes, go to where you login and pay your bill online. Your account will display what channel package you’re subscribed to and any other additional services you’ve agreed to. From there you can write all this information down to compare with what other TV plans your provider is offering.
2. Look Up What The Competition Is Offering
What other TV providers are available at your address? Look each one up and see what they have to offer that’s comparable to what you have now. Even take a second look at other channel packages that they offer that you would consider signing up for as a secondary option if your current TV provider won’t cut you a better deal after repeated attempts.
To get ready to use the best haggling tactic you have, switching to the competition, collect the following information about what’s available to you:
- What TV providers are available at your address?
- What TV packages do they have? Number of channels, monthly rates, contracts, equipment, picture quality, etc.
- What new customer deals, promotions and free upgrades do you qualify for?
- When could they install service if you were to switch to them today?
Even if you live in a rural or remote area with no other TV options, the customer service representative on the other end of the line probably doesn’t know that. Besides there’s always the option of no TV service. Even if you don’t want to do that, many people do in favor of streaming services, which your TV provider is very aware of.
3. Being Friendly & Respectful Will Increase Your Chances Of Success
While on the phone, be mindful of how you’re speaking to the customer service representative on the other end of the line. Being friendly and respectful will vastly increase your chances of a successful negotiation with your TV provider. They deal with angry and irate customers all day long, and treating them like a human being is well appreciated. This appreciation could definitely be extended to your bill. Conversely, any yelling, screaming, swearing, making demands or being an outright rude individual won’t cut you a better rate on TV service. If you call and you’re not getting anywhere, kindly hang up and try again later. There’s nothing wrong with trying a couple times to find that customer representative that genuinely wants to help you with your bill.
4. Ask Your TV Provider For A Discount
Getting a better rate on TV service really can be as easy as asking your TV provider for a discount. This isn’t an essential utility like electric or gas, it’s a luxury service. Many TV providers do offer discounts to military personnel, senior citizens, students, low income households and even healthcare workers since the start of the coronavirus.
5. Pick Up The Phone & Call, Skip Online Chat
You’ve gathered all your information to best prepare you to negotiate with your TV provider and you think you’re ready. If provided with the option to discuss your bill through online chat, don’t give in to the temptation and call instead. No one wants to call their TV provider, especially when you know the call will last longer than the average call for taking out or catching up with family. While online chat would allow you to multitask this call, most internet providers require you to speak with you on the phone before making changes on your account. You also have the chance that the chat representative doesn’t even have access to offer customer retention deals or see better rates.