Reader Plays Quitsies To Get Time Warner Bill Lowered

Ron got his Time Warner Cable bill reduced by threatening to cancel service.

Follow along with each thrust and parry and learn his Jedi ways, inside…


Ron writes:

Consumerist:
I’m an avid reader and I have to tell you about the deal I just got with Time Warner Cable. I’d been a happy Comcast subscriber for years, but Time Warner recently bought them out for cable service in my northern Ohio community. The quality and customer service has decreased while the rates have jumped significantly higher. I decided to see if I could get a “Consumerist deal” out of them.

First, I called my local landline phone company. They’ve been desperate to get people signed up for their 3-way partnership deals with landline, DSL internet, and satellite TV through Dish Network. Their monthly price (comparing apples to apples) is about $110, whereas my current costs for landline ($23), digital cable ($83) and cable internet ($46) is $129. I told my local landline company that I would be considering a switch. They asked if they could call me in 24 hours to discuss it further. (Okay, I’m thinking…maybe they’ll lower their price if I hesitate.)

Meanwhile, I called Time Warner Cable to “inquire about how to disconnect my digital cable TV service”. The CSR asked why. I stated that the costs were too high, and that I want to go with a more basic cable package. After looking up my account info, the CSR stated that by dropping the digital service but maintaining “enhanced basic” cable, the cost difference would be negligible. When I asked how much difference, she stated, “Oh, you know, a couple of dollars” without offering specifics. I told her my goal was to reduce my costs. She said, “Hold on a minute, let me see what I can do.” After a short time on hold, she returned with an offer to add Cinemax to my account “for only an additional $1.50 per month”. I reminded her that my goal was to reduce costs and that I wasn’t going to add anything. She said, “You don’t want this, right?” “Right.” “Hold on a moment, please.” She came back on the line quickly to say that they would reduce my current monthly bill by $30 per month. “Will that help?” she asked. “It sure will,” I replied. “I was thinking of switching to satellite TV. This will keep me as a happy customer.” I thanked her politely. Ok, so I overstated that “happy customer” bit… but dang, just for inquiring in the Consumerist way, I got $30 off my monthly bill (that’s $360 smackeroos a year!), with no change in service.

I’ll still be chatting with my landline company to see if they offer an even sweeter deal, but I’m really pleased with results so far. Thanks, Consumerist, for the ways you help educate us consumers.

— BEN POPKEN