Cable TV bills can seem very expensive, and they tend to, somehow, only increase. So it wouldn’t be abnormal or a bad idea if you are considering cutting the cord to save yourself from having to carry all that cost. But before you cut the cord, you should seriously consider a few things.
Top on the list is this simple question: “Is cutting the cord and ditching cable TV the only way to save on cost?” Well, the simple answer is “No”. First, check out the Spectrum TV channel lineup at S9.com and you may be able to save some money by switching to this provider.
If you are a family that only makes use of one or two streaming services once in a while, it may be a nice idea to let go of your cable TV altogether but for the majority of families, finding ways to save up on your cable TV bills is what you should be doing and that’s what you are about to discover.
You can save some money on cable bills if you are ready to make a few tweaks and negotiations here and there. While these savings may just be a few dollars a month, if you think of it in terms of yearly cost, you may end up saving hundreds of dollars.
But first, a few things you need to do:
- Go through the contract or the documents you hopefully saved upon signing up for the service the first time and know the details of the bill you’re paying. You need to know the exact figures for the exact services, charges – everything – because that’s what makes up your bill and if you’re going to find a way to reduce what you’re currently paying, you will need to know where that reduction is going to come from.
- Study your family’s watching habits. Know the details of what they are watching and when they watch it. You’ll be surprised to know that you probably have more channels than you and your family needs. This knowledge is going to serve as a good weapon in your cable TV bill reduction arsenal.
- Take note of all the equipment you make use of that have to do with cable television. Note where they are, which ones are necessary and which can be forfeited. This is another important piece of knowledge you don’t want to skip.
- Finally, before you even begin thinking of reducing your cable cost or even think of cutting the cord, find out what other providers are available in your area. Find out the details of their services, costs and everything in between. If you find just one that has a better offering than what your current provider offers you, you might have a perfect weapon to bring your bill down without changing providers.
Now let’s get into how you can reduce your bill. Shall we?
- Negotiate A New Bill:
Getting on the phone to negotiate with a representative from your provider can actually earn you some dollars in reduced billing. To succeed in your negotiation, try doing it close to the end of your contract and have a compelling offer from one or more of their competitors ready. Chances are, if you make a good case, you will see some reduction. If you get rejected the first time, try doing it again. You may just have been connected to a “human being” who was just having a bad day. Take note not to call during peak hours because that usually means representatives are looking for the fastest possible means to attend to the large number of customers wanting to speak with them.
- Let Go Of Some Of The Channel Packages You Don’t Use.
Do you know that the average American adult gets around 205 channels but only watches about 25 of those channels? That’s according to a 2016 report by Nielsen. If you do the math, you’ll find out that’s a whopping 180 channels costing you money but not delivering you value – because you don’t watch them. While yours may not be the same figure, you need to let the extras go. That’s why you need to study your family’s watching habits. Done right, you can save up to $40 per month just letting go of channels you don’t even watch.
- Cut Down On Premium Channels.
Fine, this may be a hard thing to do! If it becomes necessary, you should give it a go. If not, how about removing the channel when your favorite season ends? Any way you choose to go about it, this will save you some money if done right.
- Cut Down On Your Number Of Cable Boxes.
Every cable box you have is costing you some extra dollars monthly. So, is the cable box in the basement really necessary? How about the additional one in that room that no one uses? While the savings may not be huge per month, looking at it per year can result in savings of over $100.
- Are You Renting Gear?
Granted, some of the equipment the cable company provides you will be necessary, but is the DVR really necessary? Are you renting it? If you bundled your cable TV service with your internet service, this may mean finding out if you’re also renting your internet router. If you are, you can decide to go shopping for yours to avoid the long-term costs incurred by renting. Before doing this, however, you should be sure you’d be fine with a particular DVR or modem or other devices for a few years. If not, you might as well stick to renting.
- Bundle It Up
Instead of getting cable TV from one provider and internet form another, you can get both from the same provider and bundle them in one package. When you bundle services this way, providers are usually more than happy to give you some price cuts and discounts. Do not, however, forget that if you bundle services, it becomes much harder (not impossible) to lower your bills when renewing your contract if you realize you need to reduce it.
- Downsize Your Bundle
I know we just spoke about bundling things up a little to save you some money, but downsizing your bundle can have the same effect. The difference here is that you let go of services that are bundled with your cable TV that you know you’re no longer making use of. For example, if you realize your home phone hasn’t received a non-spam call in half a year, you might just consider saving yourself a few hundred dollars per year and let the home phone go.
- Cross Examine Your Fees
This is one of the important exercises you should not fool around with and for good reason. Know what every fee you’re paying is. If you don’t, your cable company may just be charging you for something you shouldn’t be paying for. They usually tack it onto “maintenance fees” which constantly has an ever-changing definition, or something else. Unsuspecting consumers keep paying these “fraudulent fees” without knowing. Consumer Reports show that up to $450 can be added to a typical bill. If that’s not enough reason for you to scrutinize your fees, you may not need to be looking for ways to reduce cable cost in the first place.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that all the fees are fraudulent. Some of them could be late fees which you will have to work on ensuring you eliminate, or even equipment rental fees. As a matter of fact, there are many other fees you may be paying including DVR service fees, hardware fees, broadcast television fees, regional sports fees, and administrative or regulatory fees. Whatever the case, you need to make sure you know what you’re paying for and if you should be paying it at all.
- Know What Your Bill Should Be
Just like scrutinizing your fees, you need to know your proper bill. There are several reasons including the fact that knowing your bill will not only help you see what you’re paying for but also know if it is being delivered to you. Beyond that, you also need to know if it just got an increase and why. An increase on a bill can be a legitimate increase, but it can also be the product of human error. You should make sure you know what is what it is every time.
- Consider Switching Providers
If all your attempts to get your bill reduced with your current provider fails and you find a better offer from another provider in your area, it may be time to switch providers. Be sure that there will not be any cancellation fees incurred if you do so. Some providers (competitors) are willing, however, to pay the cancellation fees just to have your business. The competition among providers is fierce and that is something you can use to your advantage. Be sure to do your homework on all your options before switching.
If you do this right, you will find that you may have a surprising reduction on your cable bill, whether monthly or yearly. You don’t have to begin by thinking about cutting the cord. If you run through all the listed options and all of them fail, there are two more things to do. One is to ask your provider for more services at the same price you currently pay as long as the price is not much of a problem for you. If you don’t want that, or the price is your problem, you might go for cord cutting.