Upgrading your cable package is a lesson in the power of asking for what you want. Few people know that most cable companies have hidden perks and upgrades available to customers who are bold enough to seek them out. With specialty services like Netflix, Hulu, and, Sling TV dominating the entertainment world, cable companies are feeling the pressure to please customers. Here is your guide to negotiating to get more out of your cable package.
1. Speak with a customer retention representative
Cable companies have employees specifically tasked with the purpose of keeping customers from switching over to competitors. These representatives are armed with a list of valid offers that can be shared with customers on the verge of cutting the cord or switching over to another provider. Some companies offer their representatives a bonus for each customer they keep. Here are some things you may be able to negotiate for when speaking with one of these special customer agents:
- Broadband upgrade
- Free phone line
- Faster Internet plan
- Better DVR
- Discounted movies
2. Be consistent
Many special offers have expiration dates. Most discounts and extra movie channels are typically offered in six-month intervals. Cable providers are counting on the fact that you’ll be too busy living your life to notice that the amount on your monthly bill has crept up once the trial is over. Make a plan to call your provider every three to six months to ask about the current deals that are available to customers. This strategy ensures that you’ll be eligible to receive perks and savings all year long.
3. Check competitors’ deals
If you notice that your cable provider’s competitor is running a promotion, ask your provider to match that promotion. If you’re feeling particularly bold, you can even ask your cable company to beat a competitor’s deal.
4. Embrace the power of the bundle
Bundling is a great option because you pay less for more. If you’re currently paying separately for your phone, Internet, and other entertainment features, it may be time to shop around for a complete package. There’s a good chance you’ll end up with more entertainment at your fingertips and a slashed monthly bill. For instance, XFINITY provides packages that allow you to mix and match between voice, Internet, and television. The company’s most popular package, the Starter Double Play, combines Internet of speeds of up to 25 Mpbs with 140 television channels for $79.99.
An additional perk of bundling your services is that it puts you in a position of power when it’s time to negotiate a deal with your cable company. It is far more painful for a cable company to lose you as a customer if you’re paying for television, phone, and Internet than if you only used one service.
5. Think outside the box
Cable modem fees for most providers range between $6 and $11 a month. This is one of the details cable companies are most stubborn about negotiating. If you’re about to upgrade to a more expensive package because you want more channels, you can try requesting that your rental fee be waived as an enticement for biting the bullet and upgrading. One other way to work around this fee is to purchase your own cable modem. There are many compatible modems for sale on Amazon.com and tech websites. You can also check community sites like Craigslist, where you may be able to score an even cheaper cable modem than buying one new.
6. Make a commitment
A cable company is far more likely to offer you a great deal if you’re willing to sign your name on the dotted line. Many companies will agree to give you a special deal if you’ll lock into a contract that removes your option to cancel at any time without penalty.
7. Try again
Don’t let rejection deter you when it comes to pursuing a sweet deal. It’s entirely possible to get two different responses from two different customer service agents. If your first phone call or email is unsuccessful, try calling or emailing again to communicate with a different representative. You can always ask to speak with a manager if the representative you’re dealing with is unable to go off script. Many managers can offer deals and make amendments to contracts that regular representatives are prohibited from doing.
Did we miss any tricks to stretch your dollar with the cable company? Leave us a comment below to us know what tips have worked for you.