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How I cut my cable bill in half

June 28th, 2010 at 12:32 pm

I don't see my job situation improving anytime soon. So I don't feel in control of my income. But I can still control my expenses.

Next in my sights for cutting expenses was cutting my cable TV. All I get is basic, but it's still $25 each and every month. I knew that by cutting it, I'd end up reading more (never a bad thing) and I could still watch the occasional free movie whenever I liked by picking up a free flick at the library. I even checked out hulu.com to make sure I could watch my favorite TV shows there. (I can.) And I figured I could return to my old habit of getting my news from public radio.

So, after much back and forth and a great deal of angst (how could I not watch my beloved American Idol?), I called Charter Communications and announced I wanted to end my cable service. When he asked why, I simply told him I didn't think I was getting a lot for my money.

Without hesitating, he offered me a "promo" rate of $13 a month, a 45% decrease from what I'm currently paying. The promo rate is good for a year and at the end of that year, he advised me to call them back and see what other promo rate they might have going on at that time.

Geez. I could have done this 10 years ago and saved myself a bundle. I was elated and ticked off at the same time! Elated, because I wouldn't have to go TV Cold Turkey and I could still lower my bill by nearly half each month. Ticked off becus they don't make promo rates known to customers until they're ready to cancel.

TV service is a very competitive business, just like phone and Internet services. If you're not happy with what you're paying for cable, you have many options these days. And I guess that's working in the customer's favor. It makes you wonder just how much profit they are making on you when it still makes business sense to retain a customer at half the charge they used to collect.

So, if you think you're paying too much for cable, pick up the phone and call them. You just may be surprised at their response.

6 Responses to “How I cut my cable bill in half”

  1. nmboone Says:

    I have tried this twice with my cable company (Cox). Maybe I don't say the right things or whatever but they always try to send someone out to cancel my service. They never try to keep my business! Oddly enough they give me the same song and dance about how satellite tv is awful and that the person that is speaking to me has it because they can't get cable and it has a lot of outage issues. Maybe I'll try again soon.

  2. whitestripe Says:

    we don't have cable (so our expenses are cut to zero, heh heh) but that does sound like a great deal! never hurts to ask! maybe you should try some other things too, just to see what you can get?

  3. dmontngrey Says:

    Comcast still has a strong hold on my town and they know it. They won't BUDGE if you threaten to cancel... so I canceled! I'm sure they don't even care in the slightest. We get a dozen or so basic channels that come across the line with the cable internet. I'm fine - DH hates it.

  4. nmboone Says:

    dmontgrey, that's exactly what Cox has done is monopolized the area so they don't care if you cancel. Glad it's not just me.

  5. Jerry Says:

    I think that cable companies are arrogant and evil... it leads me to remember Lily Tomlin on Saturday Night Live when she was doing the fake TV ad for Ma Bell (back when they were a telephone monopoly). "We don't care -- We don't have to!" It was funny because it was true. Competition is the only thing that offers some insurance of companies not behaving boorishly.

  6. Ralph Says:

    Hmm - I called Comcast and they cut my rate, usually for 6 months at at time. Like you say, it is simultaneously nice and frustrating. One price for people who don't call and one for people who do.

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