This morning, BillShrink delivered a karate chop to the cable cabal with a new service, currently in beta, that shows you how to get the best cable/tv/satellite/dish package for the best price.
How it works is that you enter your info, they run the the numbers, and then deliver you the deals from different providers ranked by price.
BillShrink shows you what you can get, and how much you can save. You can also drill down and see how the price is calculated on a line-item basis, including any equipment costs. BillShrink also displays the price you’ll pay during any applicable promotion, the after-promotion cost, and what that all averages out to on a monthly basis.
To complete the transaction, BillShrink gives you the provider’s number to call, what to ask for in the package, and the referral code to use. The service is free but BillShrink gets a referral fee from the provider for every person who orders using one of their codes.
They do require an email address to use it, so if giving that out isn’t your thing, use a disposable one like Mailinator.
Bundles aren’t included in the calculations, but the site aims to have them up soon. In the meantime, you can add on internet when you call. In the future, BillShrink also plans to let you complete the order without having to make a separate call.
You can use BillShrink to switch services directly, or as a research tool in conjunction with this post, “What To Say To Your Cable Company To Get Them To Lower Your Bill” to negotiate concessions from your provider. A Feb ’10 Consumer Reports cover story on how you can build a cable bundle is another great source of actionable, money-saving info on cable/internet/tv/phone services.
Consumerist asked BillShrink CEO Peter Pham, if it takes 10 engineers working full-time for three months to build a comprehensive overview of cable options, what hope did any consumer ever have of being able to make the right choice?
“Not much,” laughed Pham. “When we tackled it we thought, ok, this is about the same as wireless. As you dug into it, it’s vastly more complicated.” With services like BillShrink, especially after they implement some of the planned upgrades, that can get a little less complex for consumers.
BillShrink [Official Site]
Save a Bundle [Consumer Reports]
What To Say To Your Cable Company To Get Them To Lower Your Bill [Consumerist]