Consumer 101: 3 Ways To Lower Your Out Of Control Cable, Internet And Phone Bills

How much to spend on cable, internet and telephone is something nobody had to worry about only a few generations ago. Today, the Pew Research Center says that after housing, cable and satellite TV service was most frequently cited as a regular household expense (78%), followed by cell phones (74%) and internet service (65%). By contrast, just four-in-ten adults (42%) say they make a car payment. If you’re looking for a way to cut the amount of money you spend on these “information age” expenses, we’ve got three of them to choose from.

  1. Ask for a lower price. This is the most painless way to lower your bills. Simply call up your cable company, for example, and ask them to lower your bill. Before you call, do a little research. Find out what the competition is charging and what your provider is offering new customers so you know what you can expect to get. Tell them that you’re thinking of switching to another provider and explain that you can save money if you do.

    Here’s a success story: Threatening To Cancel Comcast Saves Man $238.92 Per Year

  2. Eliminate what you don’t use and can live without. Bundling your services with cable or telephone companies might save you money– but it might not. Take some time to do research and find out which combination works for you. Maybe it’s “dry loop” or “naked” DSL and a bigger cellphone package. Maybe it’s cable internet and phone with no cable. Maybe its Netflix instead of cable. An HD antenna and GameFly? Splitting the cost of internet by sharing WiFi with your neighbor? Switching to a pay as you go phone? Getting a family cellphone plan? Be creative.

    Here’s a success story: iTunes + Netflix = Cancel Cable?

  3. Shop around. When your cellphone contract has expired you are in a position of enormous power. You are in demand. Do not waste this opportunity by renewing your contract for a free phone. Shop around. You’re likely to get the best deal from a new company. Even if you’re happy with your current provider, there’s no reason not to negotiate. Also, make sure that you’re taking advantage of all the discounts that are available to you. You might be eligible for a discount simply because of the company you work for.

    Here’s a success story: How Joe Saved Hundreds Of Dollars Using Confessions Of A Cellphone Sales Rep

Good luck! Share how you saved on your “information age” bills in the comments and we’ll round up the best ideas in another post.

(Photo: darabidduckie )

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