Knocked $30 Off My Cable Bill Just By Asking

I’ve been hearing how the ol’ “threaten to cancel to get your cable bill reduced” ploy is “dead” but I decided to give negotiating with the cable company a shot. I got my monthly bill reduced by $30, and, indirectly related to my conversation with them, somehow also got free HBO. Schweet.

I called up and navigated through the phone tree to “sales.” I decided to go there rather than take the “questions about your bill” option because the sales department hold times are often shorter. Companies are usually more excited to make new sales than spend money servicing old customers. Plus, I was negotiating for a new contract so that counts as a sale, right?

Not really, because the guy, who picked up right away, transferred me to the retentions department. When he had asked me what he could do for me today, I had told him “put me in a cheaper plan.”

When the woman in retentions picked up I asked, “How can you help get me exactly what I’m getting now but pay less?” Currently, we have cable tv and internet with the cable company. I noted that we were out of contract and that our price had gone up over the past few years. I pointed out how they were offering a package for new subscribers that was about $50 less than I was paying currently. I said, “let’s use that number as a starting point in our conversation. What can you do for me?”

After a halfhearted attempted to upgrade us to a triple-play package, she clacked away at the keyboard and came back with a deal that’s about $30 less than our current monthly bill, a savings of $360 a year. I can buy a lot of hats with that. Maybe even 10. The deal is for 2 years and requires no contract, so there’s no risk of incurring an early termination fee if I decide to break contract down the line, which is nice.

I probably could have gotten a better deal if I went through and canceled and waited for them to call me back with a cheaper offer, but I didn’t have much time and didn’t need to risk losing internet access even temporarily, as I use it constantly for work.

I had never gotten around to swapping our cable box for an HD one so I also asked if I could do that. She said yes, I could do that for free, as long as I dropped off the box myself. Otherwise it wold cost $49.95 to roll the truck to send a technician over. So I hopped on my bike and swapped the boxes at their local office nearby.

When I got home and plugged it in, I was pleasantly surprised to see that somehow now we were also getting several different flavors of HBO and some other movie channels we weren’t getting before, for free. Awesome sauce.

So, negotiating for deals with your cable company isn’t dead, you just gotta ask. It never hurts, and you could end up watching “Game of Thrones” for free.