And, today, I saved my family $200!!!! That is right, and it took me all of 10 minutes to do it! That is about a $1,200 an hour rate ( wouldn't that be nice if I could make or save my family $200 every 10 minutes ). Much better than my hourly rate I made when I worked. :-)
So, what is the Method today, and what do you need to do TODAY!! You need to make some phone calls to your TV Cable or Satellite providers
To start, there are MANY different ways to get this part of your budget lowered, so you are saving money. I will try to touch on all of the options here, but please feel free to leave comments below if you have even more suggestions.
For some families, like my own, we subscribe to Cable or Satelite. There are MANY different options...from Basic to Deluxe HD packages. There is a wide range. I am not here to tell you what option to choose. That is totally up to your family......depending on your wants, needs and your budget ( if you can afford it, bascially ) will drive your final decision.
My household is not picky. We don't need the movie channels ( unless they are giving them to us free ), and we don't need the top package. We started out with the Basic package back when we were first married and were on a tight budget and have been at the middle of the road package for about 7 years now.
We are happy there. I enjoy the news channels, the channels for the kids, etc, and I love the caller ID showing on my TV, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my DVR!! Love it! No more rushing to get the kids in bed so I can get downstairs on Thursdays to watch my favorite TV shows. I can liesurely take my time, come down when I am done and watch them...minus commercials ( since I can fast forward thru them ).
The problem, though, is I always want the rock bottom price! And, I am not afraid to switch providers to save that money! I will switch to DirectTV or Time Warner ( my local provider options ) if Dish Network is not matching their Intro Offers.
That is right....most of these companies have Intro Offers that are only valid for about 3 months to a year, depending on the actual promotion. They want to get you in the door with these great rates, then knowing that most people never think about going thru the hassle to switch again once the intro rate expires and their price goes up.
Well, I am here to tell you that MOST of the time, you won't have to switch. I have been with Dish Network for years, and everytime I call to switch, they lower my price to match the deal I see thru a current provider.
In fact, I have even called before when I didn't even have another offer lower than what I was paying and they STILL offered to lower my bill to keep me as a customer!!
So, what happened to me today? I called Dish Network in regards to my bill. For the middle package...with 5 TVs hooked up, DVR on 3 of the TVs and over 200+ channels, the going rate was $54.99. This is what I had in my budget, since I knew this was the full price. Of course, all last year, I had it lowered, but when they do this...it is usually only good from 6 months to 12 months. So, mine was for a year...meaning my bill was just going back up to full price.
Well, I couldn't have that, right? So, I picked up the phone and called them.
The first tip is to ask for the Cancellation department. If you talk to a regular customer service rep, they usually will not give you the best deal.
Once you are in the cancellation department, here is your 2nd tip. Ask them how you go about cancelling AND have the best rate of a competitor handy...but don't mention it yet. They usually will ask you why you want to leave, and THEN I simply state I found a better price somewhere else. Today I told them I found a deal with DirectTV for $34.99 for the 200+ package. I failed to tell them the promo was only for a couple months, since they didn't ask.
Before we even got into the details of how to cancel, she asked if I would stay on as a customer if they took $20 off my bill each month for 10 months!! That is $200!! Of course, I said yes!!
I was now getting the same price as the other deal, but for 10 months and I didn't have to change providers. If you can't find a deal worth mentioning, don't mention one at all. Simply say the price for your service is too high. This is definitely what you would probably want to say if you are on a Basic Plan, which is probably the lowest advertised price with most companies. And, by the way, you can get Basic Plans lowered, too. I got my in-laws and my parents both lowered!
Tip 3, be prepared to tell them that you do not want to schedule the cancellation today! If, for whatever reason, you get a rep who does not want to lower your bill, then you want to make sure they don't shut your service off before you decide if you want to switch providers for real and when. I usually tell them I have not called the other provider to schedule my set up yet, and I was just calling to see what I needed to do on their end to cancel.
Tip 4, if they don't lower your bill the first time...call, call again! I called last week, and my rep only gave me $10 off. I told him no thank you. Why? Because I knew I had gotten $20 off last year, and I wanted to see if I would get a better deal if I called and got another rep. Sure enough, this rep didn't blink an eye when she offered me $20 ( of course, it was probably because I mentioned the DiretTV deal and their price for a similar package ). I figured if they offered me $10 again, I would take it and then shop around to see if it would be worth it to switch.
Tip 5, if there is a lower deal for similar service somewhere else.....switch providers. In this day and age, with the economy suffering and finances tight for many families....customer loyalty is NOT worth paying an extra $200 a year to stay with your current provider.
Tip 6, if times are very tight...consider going to a lower plan and then calling in a month to cancel and get the price lowered even more!! If you aren't able to pay your credit cards off in full, or being held down by loans...then paying more for TV probably isn't worth it! You could get by with Basic for very little.
Tip 7, consider getting by with the good old Antenna for free! Just as mentioned above, is TV worth it if you are strapped everywhere else? I have friends who only use Antenna and their kids and them get by just fine. They have their PBS cartoon channels, news, the standard channels and they know no different. On top of that, your kids can still grow up with Dora, Blue and all the others by just going to your local library. You can borrow DVDs with the same shows they often play on the Nick and Disney Channels.
Cable or Satellite? Here are some decent deals currently out there with different providers. You can either use these to negotiate with when you call your current provider or click on the advertisement to go sign up yourself.
In addition, if you are one that currently uses antenna or plan to downgrade to this, don't forget in February you will need a converter box, or you won't be able to get a signal.
First, click here to get your $40 off coupon from the government. They are currently out, BUT they put you on a waiting list...and as others coupons expire ( you only have 90 days to use them ) they will reissue a coupon to you.
Also, if you have your coupon in hand and want a free converter box, click here. This is $0 out of pocket...no shipping, etc.
SOOOO...how much did you save today ( tomorrow, I guess...I am getting this posted pretty late )? Leave a comment below. Did you call and get your bill lowered? Did you switch to a lower plan? Did you go for the converter box? Whatever you picked...how much is it lowering the amount you budgeted for TV? And, if you are saving...strongly consider taking that extra money and putting it towards one of your goals!! Savings....paying down CCs, etc, etc!