WASHINGTON — Saving money sometimes can be as easy as asking for a better deal.
Cable companies tend to be flexible with customers who know how to negotiate.
Marketwatch.com says there are some best practices when it comes to working with a cable provider to score a better bargain. Here are some of the tips:
- Ask for deals at regular intervals. For example, customers who have been given a promotional or introductory offer that’s good for six months should call back to re-negotiate before the term expires.
- Do some research. Introductory offers, prices, packages and options change regularly. Cable companies might offer customers a better deal than they currently have if they call mentioning new offers or what the competition is doing.
- Know the good deals and the bad ones. A lower-priced offer may not be a good one if it means a reduction in services. Customers should make sure they know what they’re getting in each package and that its price is a reflection of the value of the services.
- Know what’s important. Separate the relevant from the irrelevant when it comes to options. For example, a customer shouldn’t buy into a package with free or low-cost HBO if the customer doesn’t even watch the channel.
- Play nice. Getting angry while negotiating may not help a customer’s cause. Instead, customers may want to let the company know they like the product and want to get the most out of the service. Cable providers recognize the importance of customer loyalty.
- Persistence is important. Calling back a few days later might give customers a chance to negotiate with different service representatives who might be more inclined to or have authorization to offer better bargains.
- Lock in a package. Cable bills aren’t getting any cheaper, so customers should not be reluctant to lock in a time-specific package if it’s a particularly good deal.
- Pay the bill on time. Customers who make regular, on-time payments can show cable companies they are valuable.
WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report. Follow @kingWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.