Explaining Our Decision to Finally Cut Cable
At long last, we’ve finally done it – we cut cable.
Admittedly, it’s something we should’ve done a long time ago. We comb our budget for areas of spending that aren’t bringing us value, yet for some reason kept passing over the cable bill. I see bloggers all the time talking about cutting cable, it has become almost a cardinal sin in the personal finance community to continue to pay for cable. It held on for awhile, but we finally cut the cord and it feels awesome.
We’ve found ourselves watching less TV, just streaming a few shows here and there. The biggest holdup for me was live sports, but between receiving MLB.TV for free with T-Mobile and a basic antenna from Amazon, I’ll still have plenty to watch.
Last year we signed a 2-year deal for a TV/Internet package from Comcast. The first year our bill was around $98 per month, and the second year was going to go up to about $120. With our first year about to end, it made sense to make a change before our rate increased.
I did some browsing on Comcast’s website and found that they were doing a promotional deal for new customers: Internet at $29.99 per month for 12 months. Armed with this knowledge, I finally made the call. I went into it expecting the worst, thinking they would hassle me and not let me make changes to my plan. Turns out, it was smooth sailing.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: “Hi, I’d like to make some changes to my plan, are you able to help me with this?”
Customer service rep: “Sure, I can help you with that. May I ask why you’d like to make changes?”
Me: “My wife and I have been going through our budget and our bill no longer fits, so we’d like to cut the cable portion of our bill and just pay for Internet.”
Customer service rep: “I understand. What level is your budget?”
Me: “Actually, I found a promotional rate on your website for new customers for $29.99 per month, that would fit my budget well.”
Customer service rep: “Let me see what I can do.”
*Waits a minute*
Customer service rep: “Good news sir, I was able to find a rate of $39.99 per month. Will this work for you?”
*Thinking to myself, wow that’s actually a great rate, I decide to push one more time.*
Me: “I appreciate your help, I was really hoping to get that $29.99 rate. Is there a manager or someone else that would be able to secure that rate for me?”
Customer service rep: “I’m a manager, I’m just not seeing it in the system right now. Let me try to pull some strings and see what I can do.”
Me: “Thank you, I really appreciate your help.”
*Waits a minute*
Customer service rep: “Great news sir, I was able to get you the $29.99 rate.”
Simple as that.
I ended up securing a $29.99 rate for 12 months, without any contract. Then after the 12 months the price will raise to the standard rate of $64.99 per month. The rep told me I could call back in a year and receive the promotional rate again. I had been putting off this phone call for a month thinking that it would be difficult, when in reality it was easy.
These are the main takeaways I want to leave you with:
1. Have the proper knowledge – Know how much you’re currently paying and track your expenses to make sure your rates don’t raise. Also, go into the phone call armed with the knowledge of the companies’ current promotional rates.
2. Be friendly – This should go without saying, but it’s imperative to be friendly whenever talking to customer service reps. They’re just doing their jobs and deserve to always be treated with respect.
3. Ask for what you want – The customer service rep won’t know the solution you’re looking to achieve unless you share it with them. I told them what rate I wanted to get. If it hadn’t worked out, I still would’ve been satisfied with the $39.99 rate. By picking up the phone and asking I was able to save $60 per month.
4. Negotiate your bills – Many different bills can be negotiated for cheaper rates including cable, internet, cell phone, auto insurance, rent, among others. I’ve had success negotiating cheaper rates for all of these bills and often times all it takes is one phone call to save hundreds of dollars over the course of the year. Some bills, such as cable/internet and auto insurance, can be re-negotiated each year. If you’re friendly and respectful, the worst they can say is no, which means you’re back where you started anyways. The potential reward is well worth it.
5. Identify areas of spending that aren’t bringing you value – We no longer were gaining value from paying for cable, so it became an easy decision to cut it. It’s a good idea to routinely go back through your expenses because the areas that bring you value can change. We value travel and debt freedom much more than cable TV.