Sunday, March 25, 2012

10 Ways to Reduce Your Cable Bill

One expense that people don’t seem to complain about anymore is paying for cable television service. Cable prices have increased over the years so why do we pay it without complaint.

Over 100 million people have cable or satellite service. The average cable bill is $75 a month. The average cable bill increases 5% every year. The average cost for cable service has tripled over the past ten years.

The top two cable providers are Comcast and Time Warner. There are different prices for internet and cable service. Comcast has promotions available on a quarterly basis that are not publicized.

According to the New York Times, cable subscribers on average pay approximately y $100 a year for sports programming and it doesn’t matter how many games you watch or if you don’t watch any at all. You pay for just having the channel. Most of the money is paid to the NFL. As costs increase for the NFL, those costs will be passed on to the cable companies and then passed on to customers.

As cable company fees increase, the increase is passed on to customers. However, many customers have found alternatives by renting movies, using rental services such as Netflix or Redbox or watching shows on the internet for free.

Cable companies are able to raise prices due to the lack of competition in some areas. The ability of cable companies to raise rates and increase revenues, even with rising programming costs stems from their market power. Cable companies would not be able to raise prices if they did not have monopoly power.

Some cable companies claim the increase in prices is due to system upgrades and better quality. I am still waiting for the better quality. I had better service when television was analog. If you are tired of paying high cable costs here are 10 tips to lower your cable bill:

1. Ask. Asking to reduce my bill worked. I was amazed at how easy it was to get my bill lowered. If you are unable to get it lowered, ask for the cancelation department.
2. Be pleasant. Be pleasant, don’t argue, don’t be rude or raise your voice.
3. Refer to the competition. Refer to specials and discounts offered by competitors.
4. State the facts. Don’t get emotional, just state the facts.
5. Do your research. Do research on discounts and promotions the company may be offering through advertisements or on their website.
6. Look for loopholes. Try negotiating a lower bill by talking to an online representative through chat.
7. Don’t make the first move. Let the company start negotiations and then decide it you will accept the offer or want to negotiate further.
8. Read your contract. Read your cable contract. You may have to give 30 days’ notice before canceling your service.
9. Cancel. If you watch television 10 hours or less a week you should consider canceling your cable service since you have found other ways to spend your time.
10. Write. Write your congressman and demand competition among cable companies in your area to reduce monopolies, lower cable prices and provide quality cable service.

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