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.