Readers Share Stories Of Trying To Save By Threatening To Cancel

Yesterday we told you about a man who saved $238.92 per year on his Comcast bill by threatening to cancel and getting a discount to keep him around. Numerous readers chimed in in the comments with their tales of victory using the same method, tales of failure, and a few company employees shared their insider perspective. Ive rounded up the comments and sorted them by the aforementioned categories so you may learn from their tips and tricks to save on your cable bill. Some of the same tactics can be applied to other services, like cellphone or credit cards, as well…


rpm733: “My 12-month HBO/Starz deal that I had with Comcast expired, and they sent me a flier offering some different TV packages (all of which which happened to be more expensive than what I had had). I called them to drop HBO and Starz, and they countered with a package that allowed me to keep HBO/Starz, and save $30/month. I didn’t even have to threaten to cancel the service. Also, I was not roped into a contract with an ETF. “

JohnDeere: “i did the same with direct tv. first time a week before my contract expired, they gave me all the movie channels free for 6 months and no new contract. after that first week i called to cancel anyway they cut $20 off my bill and gave me a big credit to last till next year still with no contract. i got it all in writing.”

econobiker: “you might be able to switch around the “new subscriber rates” between the spouses. We did that due to moving from one apt to a new one. Wife had old account in old apt, I got new account in new apt.”

gawngi: “I called them up and told them I was being let go from my job (believable in the economy). I now pay $42 less a month for 1 year.”

HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: “I did this with local SureWest and got my bill loawered $180 a year. My technique, told them over and over that I was satisfied with their service but that I felt it was too expensive and that I knew their competitor was offering a promotion.”

Clobberella: “I did this recently with Comcast and it was incredibly easy. I have their “VIP” deal and I naturally found myself paying a lot more than I wanted to after the promo period wore off. So I called them and mentioned I was thinking of switching to Direct because of the price. That is the only thing I said, and the CSR immediately offered to cut the price for my entire package down to less than what I had paid at the promo rate AND give me my DVR free AND lock it in for two years. Almost $60 a month, just like that. The rep sounded like she’d done this many times before. So it’s definitely worth a shot, at least if you’re in an area where Comcast has any kind of competition.”

xxoo: “I own a small business in NYC and called Verizon and told them I could do better elsewhere. Voila, they reduced my bill by $50.00 per month (25% reduction). Just like that.”

jojo319: “The key is to ALWAYS set the cancellation a few days out. That way if they call your bluff, you can call back and “change your mind” before they actually shut you off. Works like a charm.”

One of our readers, David bookbinder, and our pal Edgar Dworksy of Consumerworld, appeared on WCVB Boston talking about the best tactics for lowering your service bills by threatening to cancel (watch the clip here.)


testicles: “when I was moving I tried a version of this where I said, I’d rather just transfer the service but I think it costs too much, if I could get the special intro rate for the next 12 months, I’d like to just transfer, if not, then I think I’ll nee to cancel. I was hoping for a reduced rate but I got, “OK, you’re canceled. HAve a good day.””

ShikhaCadimillac: “When Comcast took over for Time Warner in the Houston market they raised their rates almost immediately. When I called and tried the ‘Threaten to Cancel’ approach, I got just what testsicles mentioned, the ol’ ‘OK, we’ll see you later.’ I had been a customer for several years and the CSR could not have cared less. I used rabbit ears for the next year or so until I moved to an entirely different market. It wasn’t so bad, I saved upwards of a thousand dollars over the course of the year.”

The Great Aussie Evil: Got the insta-cancel kind here. No antenna reception in my suburb means no TV.


Suulia: “If a customer 1. pays their bill on time every month and 2. has been with us for years, then yes, we are more than happy to give you a promotional price for a while.

However, if you 1. don’t pay your bill on time, and 2. threaten to cancel every time your promotion wears off, then when you threaten to cancel again you get 3. cancelled at your request.

And asking for a supervisor/manager doesn’t work, because the supervisor/managers follow the same rules that the phone/lobby agents do. Talk to the Retention department. They’re the ones that try and retain you as a customer and if you’re a good customer, they’ll give you a great deal as thanks for staying with us.

[Obligatory disclaimer: “I work for Comcast but I am not a Comcast spokesman; these are my own comments and opinions” “

Dragonfire: “My advice to people who do this is to make sure the company sticks to their promises.”

Valarmorghulis: “From somebody who used to do telephone customer service; it is unlikely that the person on the other end of that phone even cares what you get away with provided you treat them with respect and listen to them. Seriously.”

Dansc29625: “I know a guy that is in the retention dept at a cable company. If someone actually decides to cancel their service, the retention agent earns a negative commission. That means that he looses commission that was earned on previous transactions.”

Why not give it a shot right now during your lunchbreak? Let us know how it goes in the comments.

(Photo: Getty)