As the cost of cable and satellite television continues to rise, more and more consumers are cutting the cord with such pay television services. A 2014 study from Experian Marketing Services found that the number of households that no longer subscribe to cable or satellite television service has increased by 44 percent since 2010. Much of that can be traced to streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, both of which provide a host of content at a fraction of the cost of traditional cable and satellite providers.
But as much as the revolution against cable and satellite television providers is gaining steam, many consumers are still finding it difficult to entirely abandon this traditional, and, some might say, antiquated way to enjoy their favorite content. However, many of those who count themselves among the masses who can’t quite cut the cord with cable or satellite are looking for ways to reduce the costs of these increasingly costly luxuries. The following are a handful of ways to do just that.
Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate
Recognizing the threat that popular streaming services pose to their bottom lines, many traditional content providers no longer mandate that new customers sign contracts that lock them in at given rates for predetermined periods of time. That concession gives cable and satellite customers more room to negotiate, which they should do as often as possible. Contact your service provider whenever promotional deals expire and negotiate for that deal to continue or inquire about better deals. Contrary to popular belief, cable and satellite companies will negotiate with their customers in an effort to help them find better rates. But the onus is on consumers, and not the companies, to initiate such negotiations.
Assess your needs
If a large chunk of your cable or satellite bill is going to pay for premium channels, reassess your viewing habits to determine if you really need these often costly channels. Thanks to streaming services, many television viewers now prefer to binge watch their favorite programs. If you fall into that category, stop paying for premium channels and patiently wait for your favorite shows to be made available on DVD or streaming.
Cable and satellite providers do not have the most stellar reputations with regard to customer service, so it’s common for dissatisfied customers to enter discussions with their providers with a chip on their shoulder. When calling your provider, remain calm and, rather than threatening to cancel your subscription, explain that you want to stay but need to reduce your monthly bill. Such an approach is more likely to meet with positive results than one that is aggressive and antagonistic.