In this environment, it is smart to minimize expenses as much as possible, and one place ripe for cuts is the cable TV bill. While the argument could be made that you don’t need cable at all, many of us wish to keep the luxury of cable and would just like to knock a few bucks off the price. This is pretty easy to do; all you have to do is ask the right person the right way.
All you have to do is work your money-saving magic through the Retentions Department. They won’t send you there if you just ask for it by name, so you have to threaten to cancel to get there and get the best deals. I called Dish Network retentions today, and my call went something like this:
BillyOceansEleven: Hi, I would like to cancel my service.
DishNetwork: I’m sorry to hear that and I see you’ve been with us for two years. May I ask why you want to cancel?
BOE: Well, money is tight so I am shopping around my service and I can get a programming package similar to my current one over at DirecTV for $29.99 a month, which is considerable less than the $44.99 before tax I’m paying you guys now.
DN: Give me a second to review your account…Okay, I can offer you a $15.00 bill credit for each of the next 12 months, which will bring your price before tax to $29.99.
BOE: Well, that would put me at the same cost as DirecTV, so let’s do that.
DN: Okay, give me a few minutes to update your account.
DN: Okay, I have added the discount to your account and you should see the first credit on your next statement. Thank you for choosing Dish Network. Goodbye.
Total time spent including navigating the phone tree to get to retentions was 3 minutes 48 seconds and total savings is $180 over the course of a year. Not too shabby!
A few pointers:
- Be absolute in your comments. Don’t say “I’m thinking about canceling.” Say “I would like to cancel.” This lets them know you mean business.
- Comparison shop and be prepared to present them will the best deal out there. Give them a reason to adjust the bill. “I think my bill is too high” is less effective than “I can switch to DirecTV and get this service for $29.99″.
- Give them some idea of what it would take to make you happy. If you simply want to lower your bill, focus on a competitor offer for the same service for less. If you really want more channels at the same price, present them with a competitor’s service offering around your current price.
- Remember that you have the most leverage when you are no longer contract. If you are under contract you probably won’t get much since they know you’ll have to pay the early termination fee if you really do cancel.