It pays to haggle over your cable TV contract, says Consumer Reports

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Not applicable in areas without competing service providers.

When Verizon figured out how to get FIOS to my house (they put amplifiers on the telephone poles, which aren’t really telephone poles, they belong to the power company and the phone company rents space, but I digress) suddenly Comcast (previously a geographic monopoly) became much more affordable, and willing to haggle over prices, too.


Yes but it is also a frustrating exercise that takes its toll…like making me consume 750 ml more bourbon that particular evening.

It shouldn’t be that way.


…and it pays even more to simply dump cable tv entirely. :smiley:


Not necessarily. By purchasing the “triple play” I pay less for TV, phone and Internet than I would pay for phone and Internet alone. Despite haggling!

Essentially buying the most basic TV service saves me money, because I need a land line and Internet service in my home.


I’m sure I’ll find out just how badly Crapcast wants to keep me as customers in a couple months when the new, competing, fiber network is operational. ~100x the speed for 1/2 the price. You bet I already signed up!


I go through this every December when Frontier Fios tries to raise my rates (I have the bundle/3). I always point out the rate they advertise for “new” subscribers and insist that I get that rate or I cancel and go with Spectrum. I have been lucky so far and get about $60 discounted off what they want to charge.


Hooray! This is just what I wanted: all the frustration of getting a tech company to do its supposed job, coupled with the joylessness of dealing with a car salesman.


Rather than call a restaurant Google should’ve shown Google Duplex arguing for a reduced cable rate. Demand would’ve been through the roof.

I don’t think you can haggle with Google Fiber. They don’t have equipment rental fees, faster internet speeds and the installation fee is auto-waived after 2 years of service. I guess they might offer more channels or flat out cheaper rate, but their fees are already less than the $136, the avg bill minus $50, in savings would be.

Oh well I do internet only for $70/month at a gigabit. I cut my cable tv long before google fiber.


I’m up to a total of 80 hours, more or less, spent waiting on hold, getting passed along to supervisors, explaining what I want over and over, and haggling over rates to which I know (and they know) they will ultimately accede to get or keep my business. Between Mediacom, Fairpoint, DirecTV, Dish TV, ATT, Verizon, Sirius Satellite, Netflix, et al I have squandered 3+ days of my life that I will never get back.

And they all brag about their customer service.

In addition to increased bourbon intake.


I do this about every 6 months to great effect. I’d say we should mention this inline with calling congressfolk, donating, petitions, etc.

Have you looked into Ooma? I had spectrum (charter) phone/internet plan and changed to a faster internet plan + ooma and it was considerably cheaper. I have since changed to AT&T fiberoptic and kept ooma.

I have had zero problems with ooma - no outages, good voice quality. Be warned, you get all the premium bells and whistles free for 6 months, after which they start billing the premium rate if you don’t call and knock it back to the $4.95 rate.

Traditional landlines had the benefit of working during power (and internet) outages, but since spectrum was voip, too, I lost nothing by moving to ooma.

Is there a script one could point me out to in haggling with my cable tv provider? I wouldn’t even know where to begin with such a request. Do I just call them under the false pretense of cancelling, hoping they offer a discount?

Thank you! I had not heard of them, and will be renegotiating my contracts soon.

I’m a marshmallow when it comes to bargaining. Salescritters can see me coming a mile away, even from the service center in India. The last time I tried to shave it down a bit, I was able to get them to drop by about $10. And then only until December, when I have to give it another go or accept my fate. They have no competition in my area, and they know it.

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Yeah, unfortunately you have to spend three hours on the phone with some poor, comcast slave every time you want to do it.

The really weird thing too is that is you look closely at your bills, they (Comcast, at least) will keep raising it by tiny increments. It’s really fucking bizarre that they can even think about doing it like that but they do it every time.


And, any discount you get is invariably tied to locking in another 1-2 years. They’re getting something when they give something.


Yes, this! Who the hell watches cable anymore? :joy:

Who the hell uses landlines anymore? :rofl:

This may come as a shock (perhaps sit down) but not everybody is the same as you.

When I considered dropping Comcast they told me that if I dropped cable my bill would be reduced by $4 a month, but they would also reduce my internet speed by 50% (“because that’s the package - nothing we can do about it”).

I need a landline (well VOIP) because another shittily regulated quasi-monopolist (AT&T) can’t provide reliable service at my house.

The alternative ISPs offer internet speed that maxes out to 20mbps whereas I need 50-100mbps to do my job. So, unfortunately, Comcast it is.

Additionally, they seemed to have alerted their staff to the negotiation tactic, so while that worked for the first couple of years they have completely stonewalled me the last twice I have called. Probably because they know I have no other real alternatives in my area.


Well, I live in a creek valley. No reliable cell reception here! My more urban friends get the heeby jeebies within a day or two; too much greenery, not enough Facebook and Twitter.

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