Tips to avoid common cable mistakes

WASHINGTON — Don’t be afraid to negotiate when choosing a new cable TV provider or trying to get cheaper monthly rates.

If a satellite service or competitor has better deals, Yahoo Home recommends customers call their current cable provider with the details of what competitors are offering. It doesn’t hurt to ask a cable provider to match a competitor’s prices.

When comparison shopping between providers, ask if there are any unadvertised deals and if the packages being offered are the lowest rates available.

Fine print in cable TV contracts may reveal expiration dates for introductory deals. Another recommendation from Yahoo Home is for customers to call before a deal expires to try to renegotiate if the expiration date is shorter than the contract term.

When signing a cable contract or considering a change, beware penalties for early termination.

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