Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

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tadamsmar
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Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:55 am

We have HDTV, phone, and internet on Time Warner. My wife say a friend of her's gets a discount by calling in once a year a threatening to cancel. She wants me to try it, but I have no experience with doing this.

Does anyone here do this?

I suppose I should research an alternative, I think AT&T provides competing service in our area, Cary NC.

dhodson
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by dhodson » Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:58 am

it does work but not always and you need to be willing to call several times if you dont get the answer you want the first time.

there also needs to be a credible alternative typically and you should see what hot special att or whomever is offering as a comparative deal. you need to know those details so you can say...i really like TW but ATT is offering this special which is pretty much the same thing as what you offer for 1/2 the price. they know what their competition offers.

finally sometimes you actually have to be willing to cancel and restart a few months later to get the best deals. this wouldnt be worth it for me.

lwfitzge
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by lwfitzge » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:17 am

The approach that has worked for me w DirectTV is to call to eliminate a package or service when the sign-up/switch promotions ended. I've done this a couple times and received extended credits for 3-6 months.

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pennstater2005
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by pennstater2005 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:20 am

It worked for me. I called and said I wanted to cancel. He asked why? I told him too expensive and I was going to switch to the other provider in my area. He put me on hold, came back and gave me a very nice monthly credit for the next 12 months. This was through Verizon. Our total monthly bill for home phone and 1mb internet is around $17, and that includes all the taxes and fees. It was $40.
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jeffyscott
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by jeffyscott » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:57 am

Yes, we have gotten our rates discounted. Started with a 2 year deal when we switched all services at around $110 with taxes and fees. Then after I called to cancel some service when the promos ended, we got another year at about $5 more per month with the addition of some more TV channels. In the middle of that they then sneaked in a $4 increase by adding a new charge for modem.

That deal runs another month, but this time I doubt they are going to give me a price I will be willing to pay. I've got a $150 Ooma device on it's way from costco, amortizing that over just 2 years and adding the monthly cost of less than $4 would give us phone service for about $10-11 per month, for TV we have an antenna and could get add Hulu+ and Netflix for $16 per month and stand alone cable internet runs about $50-55. So my target this time is going to be about $80-85 for 3 services or $70-75 for TV and internet. TWC will, instead, likely want to see if they can get me to pay a bit more than we already are.
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by mbecker03 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:09 am

I've done this with cable and with cell phones. You need to be polite but firm that you can't pay the current amount and that you'll just have to cancel if you can't work out a deal. Don't start with the threat to cancel though. Start by explaining that the current cost is too much and you need to work something out. The first person you talk to likely won't be able to help, so ask for a supervisor. If the supervisor still says they can't help you, tell them you'd like to talk to someone about canceling, as this really isn't something you can afford. At that point, either the supervisor will magically find a deal for you, or they will transfer you to their customer retention department, where they will likely find a deal for you. You don't actually have to go through with canceling if you're not ready for that, but getting as far as to the point where you would cancel will help your cause.

Like others have said, this won't work every time and it will only work to a point. But there's no harm in trying and it's definitely worked for me multiple times.
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by tibbitts » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:16 am

It may depend on the "new customer" policy of the company you're dealing with. If you can requalify as a new customer after just a couple of years, you can bounce between two companies and get promotional new customer prices every two years or so - and both companies will know that. If the policies prevent that, they'll know that too, and you may get only one crack at lower rates (by actually switching), and that will be that.

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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by void » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:32 am

I've been able to do this with Comcast really well, but not Verizon Fios. I got Fios to give me a 12-month credit, but in reality that credit just offset their price hike.

It helps to have a competitor's flyer in hand for leverage. I haven't always had to mention it, but it helps. Somewhere, I've heard that it's way cheaper to keep an existing customer than acquire a new customer.

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HardKnocker
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by HardKnocker » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:35 am

It sometimes works but you must be ready to really cancel if they don't go for it.
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by tacster » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:53 am

It worked for me without threatening. I just went into the local cable office in person and asked what they could do to lower my bill. They gave me the best available "new customer" offer they had going at the time, saving around $30/mo (and increasing my broadband speed significantly). That's good for one year, at which time I will go back and see what offer is available. There is only one cable provider in this area.
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nirvines88
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by nirvines88 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:09 am

I don't have cable but I do have internet with TWC here in Raleigh. My internet rates are a bit ridiculous, and after reading on the Bogleheads how people had tried the cancel technique, I decided to give it a shot. I called TWC trying to threaten to cancel, and I mentioned ATT. The TWC rep pretty much said, "ATT sucks. Be my guest and try it."

So much for my threat! I'm only living at this location for a few more months, so I decided it wasn't worth it to actually make good on my "threat". I may try ATT U-verse in the next place I live though.

If it doesn't work out for you, consider just ditching cable! I did it almost 2 years ago, and I don't miss it at all, except for the occasional sports event. I have replaced cable with a Roku, which has Netflix ($8/mo), Crackle (free), an antenna for HD local programming (ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, My RDC, etc.) and other various free programming sites like Hulu.
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daytona084
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by daytona084 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:15 am

Comcast. Never works for me.

Last time I called I was able to lower my bill by dropping to a lower speed internet (which I did not know existed.) Still fast enough for streaming video. Not a "special deal".

The only thing they did offer me was a few months of premium channels. I said I did not want that, I wanted a lower bill. They would do nothing of the sort. I did not threaten to cancel right then and there, but I did ask if I could keep my Comcast email if I discontinued everything else (answer - no). So maybe they knew I was not really a threat to cancel.

Actually I don't really have a viable alternative, as U-verse is supposedly not available at my address. I decided that since I can easily afford my current Comcast I should just quit thinking about it.

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momar
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by momar » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:19 am

There are other good options for television service (DirecTV, dish), but usually not for high speed internet since usually only a cable modem is any good. So you can try for tv, but for high speed internet...

That added with the proliferation of this technique via internet advice has made it less and less useful. As posted upthread, they are more and more likely to tell you to pound sand.

This happened a few years back with NFL Sunday Ticket. For years people were getting it for free by threatening to cancel DirecTV, but once word got out on the internet and everyone threatened to cancel it stopped working (for the most part).
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stan1
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by stan1 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:38 am

Perhaps people who have both FiOS and cable in their neighborhood are in a better position to negotiate, but where I live AT&T U-verse doesn't come close to Time Warner's quality of service. Most of the people I know who switched to U-verse to save a few bucks have gone back to Time Warner. Time Warner knows they have a better product and is not willing to compete on price. Your mileage may vary so its worth a try.

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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by carolinaman » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:16 pm

I have done this twice with TW, each about 10% discount. Not great and in a year, the special rate expires and you have to do it again. As others have said, you have to be willing to follow through on canceling. Just threatening it probably will not get you anywhere. The cable companies know how to play this game. I wanted to switch to AT&T (from TW) but my DW refused to consider that. Apparently TW is the least bad choice for her.

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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:50 pm

There are two approaches to take: (1) threaten to cancel, and be ready to have to either follow through with the threat and (2) say you are unhappy with the price of your bill and need to figure out how to scale things back to be more reasonable for you. I've found that there's not much of a retention effort with approach (1) anymore because too many people try to use it to get their bills cut and customer service is wise to this tactic. With approach (2), you have to be willing to scale back your level of service, such as dropping certain add-on packages, but you usually can figure out something cheaper. Sometimes this will be from offers and sometimes this will be from getting rid of an add-on package you aren't really using.

For example, when I cancelled cable TV (but kept cable Internet), I didn't get much of any offers to keep cable TV when I called. The only offer they made was to have the "local TV package" for $15 a month, but I could already get those channels over-the-air for free. Now that it's been a couple of years as an Internet-only household, I do occasionally get offers by mail, such as a recent offer to get basic cable TV again for $40 a month (about $15 off their normal price). But I've found I don't need cable TV anymore. I can watch everything I want to watch with Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. And I'm also saving on electricity bills because I don't have the TV on very often, just for prime-time network TV and local news. Really, figuring out if you even need cable TV in the first place is the best place to start controlling your entertainment costs.

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HardKnocker
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by HardKnocker » Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:12 pm

It's unfortunate that cable and internet seem to be ever increasing in cost. Of course you can elect to have basic cable or no cable. High speed internet seems to offer no solution. It is getting expensive. There appears no real solution if you want high speed internet. You gotta pay!
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett

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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by blevine » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:18 pm

Have cable and FIOS in my area, both work well enough.
I came very close to switching to FIOS recently, but cable
lowered bill a few bucks and added premium services (higher speed internet and hbo etc).
Still more than I want to pay, but there are sports fans in the house
and lower is better than the increase they planned.

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HardKnocker
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by HardKnocker » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:23 am

blevine wrote:Have cable and FIOS in my area, both work well enough.
I came very close to switching to FIOS recently, but cable
lowered bill a few bucks and added premium services (higher speed internet and hbo etc).
Still more than I want to pay, but there are sports fans in the house
and lower is better than the increase they planned.
I currently have Verizon DSL and was considering switching to FIOS. One thing I found out is that once you are switched to FIOS you cannot ever return to DSL. You are stuck. Verizon removes your regular copper line. Internet and phone with FIOS both use the fiber optic cable.

For this reason I declined to upgrade.
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett

dhodson
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by dhodson » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:32 am

HardKnocker wrote:
blevine wrote:Have cable and FIOS in my area, both work well enough.
I came very close to switching to FIOS recently, but cable
lowered bill a few bucks and added premium services (higher speed internet and hbo etc).
Still more than I want to pay, but there are sports fans in the house
and lower is better than the increase they planned.
I currently have Verizon DSL and was considering switching to FIOS. One thing I found out is that once you are switched to FIOS you cannot ever return to DSL. You are stuck. Verizon removes your regular copper line. Internet and phone with FIOS both use the fiber optic cable.

For this reason I declined to upgrade.
Id consider that a plus although i have to imagine they could reinstall the line if desired.

masteraleph
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by masteraleph » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:38 am

dhodson wrote: Id consider that a plus although i have to imagine they could reinstall the line if desired.
Doubtful. My parents called for a repair, where apparently an electric company at one point had damaged some of the copper infrastructure (not on my parent's property). They were informed that they were the only people on the block using copper, and that Verizon simply wouldn't do any copper repairs anymore- the choice was leave Verizon or switch to FIOS.

protagonist
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by protagonist » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:18 pm

If you cancel and come back after 6 months-1 year with another provider, and try to sign up again for the first provider's promo, will they always offer it to you? Or do they have a policy re: first-time subscribers only?

Rupert
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by Rupert » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:27 pm

I called Comcast recently and threatened to switch to U-Verse. Their response was, "Good luck with that." So I'm not sure Comcast will play that game anymore.

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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by bungalow10 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:38 pm

I've been doing this for years (at least eight). I've never had to actually cancel any of my services though. I have reminders set up in Outlook on when I need to call and re-up my discounts.

DirecTV usually gives me $20 off for a year and 3-6 months of free premium channels.

CenturyLink gives me $20 off/month for a year for our DSL. We don't have home phone.

I'm a pretty cheap customer for both of them, I have been with them a long time and never get new equipment.
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EternalOptimist
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by EternalOptimist » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:42 pm

I believe if you don't ask you don't get. Go ahead and threaten, it will probably get you some type of deal, at least short term. I'm pretty happy with Verizon Fios
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Ketawa
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by Ketawa » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:45 pm

Another Comcast customer here - I started out with a promotional rate special to my apartment complex for a year. ~$68 for Digital Preferred (package with Comedy Central, NFL Network, etc) w/ HDTV, a DVR, HBO, and the Performance Internet ("up to 20Mbps").

After a year of this, I had to do the threaten to cancel, and the best rate I could get was about $105/month for the same services an additional 6 months.

That rate ran out, and then the best I could do was to add a phone line to receive the Triple Play special rate at $125/month. I do use the landline sometimes in lieu of my cell phone, but would rather have just cable and Internet at $105/month.

Comcast doesn't seem to be very willing to negotiate anymore, especially where I live and they are the only player around. Luckily, I am moving to a larger metropolitan area, so I will be a new customer again!

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HardKnocker
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by HardKnocker » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:52 pm

dhodson wrote:
HardKnocker wrote:
blevine wrote:Have cable and FIOS in my area, both work well enough.
I came very close to switching to FIOS recently, but cable
lowered bill a few bucks and added premium services (higher speed internet and hbo etc).
Still more than I want to pay, but there are sports fans in the house
and lower is better than the increase they planned.
I currently have Verizon DSL and was considering switching to FIOS. One thing I found out is that once you are switched to FIOS you cannot ever return to DSL. You are stuck. Verizon removes your regular copper line. Internet and phone with FIOS both use the fiber optic cable.

For this reason I declined to upgrade.
Id consider that a plus although i have to imagine they could reinstall the line if desired.
No, they will not reconnect you to copper. You are stuck if you don't like FIOS which is more expensive.
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett

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stemikger
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by stemikger » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:32 pm

tadamsmar wrote:We have HDTV, phone, and internet on Time Warner. My wife say a friend of her's gets a discount by calling in once a year a threatening to cancel. She wants me to try it, but I have no experience with doing this.

Does anyone here do this?

I suppose I should research an alternative, I think AT&T provides competing service in our area, Cary NC.
I think doing this without the intention of canceling can backfire. Having said that here is what happened to me 5 years ago.

Five years ago I decided I had enough with paying for TV and decided I was going to switch over to free online streaming through ROKU boxes. Today they are pretty popular but when I did it five years ago very few people knew about them. I tried them out on all 3 televisions in my house and my family loved it and so did I. I knew I could live without satellite and my only monthly bill was $7.99 for Netflix compared to $100 I was paying for Direct TV.

Now you must remember I really wanted to cancel. I told Direct TV that I wanted to cancel and they literally would not let me. They said take 3 months to decide and we will give you the next 3 months free. After 3 months passed I called again and they gave me another 3 months. This went on for 1 year where I did not pay a bill for free Direct TV. Finally after 1 year they let me go without any more freebies. Each time I never told them maybe I literally said to them I am going to quit after the free moths expire. They did not seem to care.

The only problem with your plan (without bringing morals into the issue) is that if you really don't want to leave your provider they may not offer you a thing and then what? If this is what you plan on doing, have a backup plan.

What seemed to work for a friend of mine was he called them when he found out he was going to get laid off and let them know and I believe he got six months free.

Good Luck.
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by bungalow10 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:48 pm

stemikger wrote: What seemed to work for a friend of mine was he called them when he found out he was going to get laid off and let them know and I believe he got six months free.
I think DirecTV now has an option they give people where you can put your service on hold. I've been told telling them you lost your job doesn't get you free satellite anymore :)
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by timmy » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:01 pm

I had service at ~$180/month.

Called three to five times and threatened to leave. No mercy. No luck.

So one day a flyer showed up promising $89/month service (for another company). More or less apples to apples. I made the switch. No regets since...

The original company begged, offered to match, upgrade, etc. I politely said no thanks and I'll check back when my current agreement ends.

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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by MoonOrb » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:11 pm

I think the advice to call back if you don't get what you want the first time is spot on. I've had three varying experiences with Comcast.

1. I tried the approach of saying, "Hey, I like your service and I would really love to have it, except it's just not in my budget anymore. Before I cancel it, I wanted to talk to you about lowering my rates." I wound up canceling my $5 monthly payment for "extra" sports channels, and in exchange my bill was lowered about an additional $30 each month, plus I got free HBO for the next year. A week or two later I called back and got the sports channels back again (I still had to pay $5/mo for them).

2. About a year after that, I decided I just did not want cable anymore, since I hardly watched it, so I called up to cancel it, keeping only the very very basic local channel package that could allow me to watch the local broadcast channels that for some stupid reason I could not get all of with an antenna. I got no offer to stay, they just canceled my service (which was fine, I wasn't negotiating and I wouldn't have accepted anything short of "pay just for the few local channels and get free stuff!").

3. A month ago I decided I didn't even want the local channels, so I brought my cable box down to the Comcast location and turned it in, completely canceling cable. I didn't ask for anything, the Comcast rep didn't offer me anything, and then right when I was about to leave he said, "Okay, this will be taken off your bill, and I'll also go ahead and lower your internet bill by $10/mo."

So my takeaway is that there's no uniform reaction that a Comcast rep will have. The "best deal" I got in these situations was when I did not call to cancel, but called to ask if there was a way they could lower my rates. YMMV.

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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by BigMoneyGrip » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:38 pm

Call on the 10th of the month and tell them you'd like to cancel effective at the end of the month (switching to competitor x). Make sure they have your current phone number. Their retention dept will call and offer you a deal. This is better than just threatening since you've actually followed through with the cancellation.

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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by saverocity » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:58 pm

I cancelled for real this year, and it was pretty tough getting them to agree, TWC threw all sorts of deals at me to stay, even when I went to the local drop off location in Manhattan to leave the receiver/remote with them they offered me a new lower price. What I had missed previously is the 'creep' that was happening on my bill, I thought for double play I was paying about $105 and it turned out to be $125 by the time I cancelled. The lowest price I was offered at the end was either 79.99 or 69.99 for Double play (with no contract binding me to pay the higher rate in later years).

I dumped the thing, picked up a high quality digital receiver and get 10-15 HD channels, including ABC,NBC, CBS, FOX and some others, plus I pay for Hulu plus linked to the TV via PC.

I'm still paying too much for Internet, so that is the next thing to fight them on, but now my monthly is $55 instead of $125 and that $70 is dripping into an Investment Account.

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siamond
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by siamond » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:18 pm

I also cut (most of) the cord recently. Buying a Roku box for Internet TV, and an Ooma box for Voice/Telephony, and a good indoors antenna for HD broadcast channels. And paying the number portability fee to keep my phone number. It's all reasonable one time fees, very quickly recouped. I only kept a good quality Internet connection (Verizon FiOS), and it all works like a charm. And I'm saving more than $100 a month...

The only gripe I have is that those Hulu guys don't have an offering without advertisement interruptions, even the 'Plus' package ($8 a month) has ads, and I didn't find a way to use my TiVo box to skip that stuff...

If you're not entirely eager to move to such set-up, then you can at least use it in your negotiation technique. Instead of threatening to move to a competitor (they often don't believe you because they know it's a pain), tell them you can't afford your current expensive contract, and either they give you a deal or you move to Internet-only... Now, you'd better be able to mean it if they play hard ball. If you falter once in this kind of negotiation, they take good note of it, and next time, you don't stand a chance with an empty threat...

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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by ilisira » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:20 pm

tadamsmar wrote:We have HDTV, phone, and internet on Time Warner. My wife say a friend of her's gets a discount by calling in once a year a threatening to cancel. She wants me to try it, but I have no experience with doing this.

Does anyone here do this?

I suppose I should research an alternative, I think AT&T provides competing service in our area, Cary NC.
I live in a college town, and here you do not need to threaten to cancel, they do ask you to come someone living with you to switch the owner of the account. Previously I have been doing this for years by changing the account owner between me, and my wife.

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tadamsmar
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by tadamsmar » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:14 pm

Thanks for the input. It probably helped me avoid some pitfalls.

I tried the truth. I simply called Billing at TWC and told them my wife was encouraging me to switch to an ATT bundle if I could not get a lower rate.

Billing gave me a $53 credit on my next bill and recommended that I call Promotions. Promotions gave me an upgrade to Turbo, some free channels and a $10/month reduction in my bill for 1 year. Turbo will be a benefit to us, since Amazon movie streaming tended to pause a lot and automatically set a lower quality transmission speed.

The irony is that when she first brought this up I was thinking "She wants a lower rate whereas I want to add Turbo".

The saga continues...we will see what my wife does next... :beer :sharebeer 8-) :twisted: :moneybag :dollar :mrgreen: :wink: 8-) :greedy :thumbsup

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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by S&L1940 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:23 pm

In our area Comcast runs three month promotions offering one or more premium channels at no cost.
They will also provide a 12 month "loyalty" reward at any where from $10 to $20.
There is ATT and Satellite competition and Verizon is supposed to join the mix in the near future.
The method is to call customer service multiple times if need be and ask for their current premium and "loyalty" promos without threats. Calling more than once gets you connected with different customer service offices around the country and any one of them can do the deal that another office turned down.

It is all a game, and we have a better chance of winning at three card Monte on a Manhattan street corner than outsmarting or beating the cable folks -- they always win regardless of the deal we get...
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

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jeffyscott
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Location: Wisconsin

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by jeffyscott » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:22 pm

tadamsmar wrote:I tried the truth.
That's been my method. Last year I just said I want to cancel TV and phone because those services are not worth $X per month to me and we'd be happy to keep them at the promo rate. This year I will say the same, but the standard promo rate is not going to be good enough...we have an Ooma device waiting to be employed and while our TV is on every night, we watch little besides PBS, movies, and a couple series on AMC (the only thing we lose without cable TV).
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

moon2
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:22 pm

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by moon2 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:35 pm

I have Comcast, and every time my promotion period is up, I call and ask how I can get my bill lowered - if I can get another promotion. So far, I've never (15 years) paid the full rate. During that time, about 3x I was away for 6 months and had service put on hold, or scaled back to minimum, so it was easy for them to categorize me as a new customer.

(btw - I wouldn't recommend U-Verse ... I had it in NC at a second home and it was HORRIBLE! - ATT was beyond dreadful!)

protagonist
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Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by protagonist » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:41 am

Do all these "tricks" only work if you are a high-end customer? I have no interest in cable TV or home phone service and would only take them if they came in a package that would provide me with good high-speed internet service for $60/month or less, since I am paying close to that for my Verizon service.

Barefootgirl
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Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by Barefootgirl » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:35 am

The telecom industry operates somewhat differently than many.

They mostly favor new customers over an existing, loyal (ha!) base.

I have a lot of insider information I wish I could get rid of after 20+ years in the industry.

Watch your invoice like a HAWK. Often, new fees will be tacked on without any legal precedent for doing so. Question them, many are negotiable.

New services will be added without your consent. Call and have them removed.

Invoice/service creep is real and a nuisance.

Don't sign contracts.

Call and negotiate every few months, your bill will mostly go down. Unfortunately, they force you to play their game, to keep lobbing the ball back to the other side.

It's a nuisance, as mentioned.
BFG
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

protagonist
Posts: 5387
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by protagonist » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:56 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:The telecom industry operates somewhat differently than many.

They mostly favor new customers over an existing, loyal (ha!) base.

I have a lot of insider information I wish I could get rid of after 20+ years in the industry.

Watch your invoice like a HAWK. Often, new fees will be tacked on without any legal precedent for doing so. Question them, many are negotiable.

New services will be added without your consent. Call and have them removed.

Invoice/service creep is real and a nuisance.

Don't sign contracts.

Call and negotiate every few months, your bill will mostly go down. Unfortunately, they force you to play their game, to keep lobbing the ball back to the other side.

It's a nuisance, as mentioned.
BFG
So do you play the game, BFG? Nuisances like that are the enemy of the barefoot lifestyle.

snowx800
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:17 pm

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by snowx800 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:58 pm

I have been with directv for 12years I have 6 boxes. 1 is broken the newest is 3 plus years old. I have called them
To help with some newer boxes I will sign up for another 2 years. They will not help me out they want to charge
Me $600 for new boxes. My wife has tried and same thing. So I have to cancel as soon as I figure out who I'm going to.
They don't care if I leave. I spend a lot each month.

RenoJay
Posts: 746
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:20 am
Location: Nevada

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by RenoJay » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:04 pm

I do this every year. I call in, make a stink about the latest price increase, service reduction, etc. and let them know I'm not excited to leave but that DirecTV, Dish, etc. is offering such and such a deal. It usually results in something good. The trick is not to come in like a mad raving lunatic or you could find yourself having to cancel just to save face if they say no to your request.

Ed 2
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Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 9:34 am

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by Ed 2 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:16 pm

snowx800 wrote:I have been with directv for 12years I have 6 boxes. 1 is broken the newest is 3 plus years old. I have called them
To help with some newer boxes I will sign up for another 2 years. They will not help me out they want to charge
Me $600 for new boxes. My wife has tried and same thing. So I have to cancel as soon as I figure out who I'm going to.
They don't care if I leave. I spend a lot each month.
"The fund industry doesn't have a lot of heroes, but he (Bogle) is one of them," Russ Kinnel

Ed 2
Posts: 1510
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 9:34 am

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by Ed 2 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:17 pm

snowx800 wrote:I have been with directv for 12years I have 6 boxes. 1 is broken the newest is 3 plus years old. I have called them
To help with some newer boxes I will sign up for another 2 years. They will not help me out they want to charge
Me $600 for new boxes. My wife has tried and same thing. So I have to cancel as soon as I figure out who I'm going to.
They don't care if I leave. I spend a lot each month.
Me too, I needed to replace one receiver,but when I got new one I never been told that I will be automatically added into 2 year contract. Now when I called them back to renegotiate the fees they wouldn't budge and did't want to give me any discounts,after I told them That I wanted to cancel the service they reminded me about cancellation fee. I have got 5 month with this company and I will cancel for sure. WHAT KIND OF STRATEGY IS THIS TO RETAIN THE CUSTOMERS???? WRONG!!!
"The fund industry doesn't have a lot of heroes, but he (Bogle) is one of them," Russ Kinnel

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Rob5TCP
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Location: New York, NY

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:39 pm

I did try with FIOS and it took 4 calls. I dropped Verizon wireless (which cost me almost $90 more than Virgin Mobile). I brought up an RCN flyer of 50MB internet and TV for about $60 a month (I could use Vonage for phone). FIOS came within $10 (plus the ubiquitous whore fees), so I am keeping it for the next 10 months. Come next year, if they don't rematch, out goes all their equipment. At one time they were heads above everyone else. Now cable has closed most of that gap.

If I have to, I will switch.
They did lower my rates (for all three) enough to save about $400-$450 per year.

Barefootgirl
Posts: 2221
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by Barefootgirl » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:37 pm


So do you play the game, BFG? Nuisances like that are the enemy of the barefoot lifestyle.


Same game, but now in a different position on the game board....this newer one is more zenful and causes less internal strife.

BFG
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

debtroundup
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by debtroundup » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:56 pm

I have done this with TWC for years. I always call and then tell them to transfer me to the cancellation department. They will try to call your bluff, but just hold strong. They always come back to me with some better deal than I had before. They run this business on this and only the cancellation department has the ability to give you the best deals.

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siamond
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Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

Post by siamond » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:11 am

This wasn't quite intentional, but I figured out an interesting way to proceed.

I had a 2-years-old triple-play contract with Verizon, and they were going to jack up the price by removing the 'new customer' discounts. Why would they hammer their existing customers is quite beyond me, but this is the way it is.

So I bought a cheap voice-over-IP box (Ooma), a cheap video-in-demand box (Roku) and a decent indoors antenna. Zero monthly fee in this story, aside from a minor regulatory fee for voice. And I switched my Verizon contract to Internet-only. And subscribed to Hulu Plus for more video content.

Can't say I was fully happy with the outcome though, as Hulu Plus still pesters subscribers with ads (and my TiVo box can't help for that), plus I had occasional significant quality issues with the TV-over-antenna channels.

The silver lining though is that Verizon suddenly viewed me as a non-video subscriber. And it dawned on me that I could then ask for an upgraded service WHILE BENEFITTING of the new customer pricing.

And it worked. So I kept my set-up, I kept voice/telephony out of Verizon (quality is a tad so-so, but anyway, we don't use it very much), and I'm back to Verizon (and my beloved ad-skipping Tivo box) for most of the video/TV content - while still occasionally using the Roku. And I shaved quite a few bucks every month by doing so. More than compensating the cost of the boxes I bought.

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