1. Negotiate a Lower Cable RateThe Federal Communications Commission reports cable rates have continually risen close to 150% over the past 15+ years. Lower your cable bill with some negotiation tactics.
Competition is fierce now with several cable operators to choose from as well as satellite TV providers who would love to have your business. A simple phone call to your cable company about your cable bill can often lead to you getting more services for less than what you're currently paying.
2. Beware of Hidden Cable Fees
All those little charges that appear on your monthly cable bill add up. Do you know where every dollar is going? Beware of cable fees hiding in plain sight because they can cost you a fortune.
Call your cable operator and go over your bill line by line. You may be surprised at what you've been paying for, such as packages that only contain a few channels you've never even watched. Eliminate these unused services to lower your cable bill significantly.
3. Cut Those Pricey Channels to Lower Your Cable Bill
Track your family's viewing habits for one week. Write down every channel they watch and for how long.
You'll often find you've been paying for hundreds of channels every month when your family only watches five. Take this information to your cable company to see if they'll cut you a deal on viewing packages that include your family's favorite channels but without you overpaying for the hundreds of other channels offered.
4. Bundle to Save a Bundle
If you're writing checks to the cable company, phone company and your Internet service provider each month, bundling your services may save you hundreds of dollars a year. Gather your bills for cable, phone and Internet and tally them up.
Ask your cable company what bundling deals they're currently offering. Compare the cable company's bottom line to what you're paying three separate companies to see if you're being offered a good deal. The only downside to bundling is that many cable companies require you to commit to a one-year minimum contract. But if you have no plans on leaving your cable company, bundling services can lower your cable bill to something that's more manageable for your family's budget.
5. Lock in a Lower Rate
When you feel you're getting a good deal, lock it in. Most customer service representatives at the cable company have the power to lock in the rate they're offering you for at least 12 months. You'll know exactly what you'll be paying for that term, regardless of how many price hikes the cable company inflicts on its other customers.
Just be sure to ask how much you'll be paying after the term of the deal expires or if it will be possible to renew that locked in rate later. You want to verify your bill isn't going to skyrocket.
6. Threaten to Cancel Service
Cable companies have a department set up just to keep customers from canceling. Threaten to cancel your cable service and you'll usually be transferred to the retention department. These customer service representatives have one mission: to offer you deals so good, you won't be able to go through with canceling your cable service.
Mind your manners on the phone and approach the retention department with a calm request to cancel your service. You can slash your current cable bill and get even more channels added just because the company wants to keep your business.
Another option is to call your cable company's competitors. Ask about their packages and rates. Tell them you're considering switching from your cable provider to theirs. See what deals they can offer you. Take that deal back to your cable company and ask them to beat it. Listen to what they have to say and decide if it's worth it to you to stay with your cable company or make the switch to lower your cable bill.
7. Look at Cable Alternatives
Flat-out tired of dealing with your cable company? Used to be that cable was your only option for TV or movies. Now you have DISH and DirecTV as satellite TV providers. You can stream movies or have DVDs sent to your home through Netflix and Blockbuster's subscription programs. Or you can watch free TV shows online. With so many options, cable doesn't have to hold you captive anymore.