Questions to ask your cable provider before signing up for new service.

When you’re in the market for new TV service, sorting through the never-ending list of cable service providers can be a daunting challenge. If you’re a brand new customer who has never had cable TV service before, this can make things that much crazier.

Open Cable works with cable service providers around the country, so we know the in’s, the out’s and everything in between to help you get the best deals, the most channels, and the best prices.  We’re going to tell you everything you need to know to get the best deal and how to avoid 10 of the most common pitfalls when dealing with local cable service  providers.

Firstly, a Cable Service Provider is a telecommunications company that acts as a content distributor and acts as a carrier and provider for networks, TV stations, and movie studios. Cable service providers pay a fee to these entities for the rights to distribute content to customers in which they collect a monthly fee.

here are some things you need to know before making your decision on which cable service provider to choose.

1. Look for good reviews

Of course, we know that ratings aren’t everything, but they do tell yoou a lot about the type of service that has been provided to other customers like yourself. Most cable service providers will have hundreds, if not thousands of ratings. When reviewing these ratings, look for both the good and the bad, while keeping in mind that you can’t judge a company from a single review. Many cable service providers will inherently have some negative reviews because customers naturally wish the prices were lower. Customers will however leave positive ratings when they have received excellent customer service. Our top pick for customer service was Dish network. Number below.


2. Find a company that's local

This sounds crazy, but there are cable service providers out there that only cover limited areas or only provide service in certain zip codes. We recommend going with a provider that has nationwide coverage and can service you in nearly any city or state. Also, if there is ever amn outage, or you need repar service, you wan to be sure your cable service provider can assist you in a reasonable amount of time.

3. Look for the perks

As you’re researching and narrowing down your potential list of cable service providers, you will notice that they are all very similar. In order to stand out, and provide some sort of unique value, many cable companies will make an attempt to sway the customers decision by offering additional bonuses or perks to make you choose their company over the competition. Here are a few examples of the perks being offered by some cable service providers.

Dish Network – Free Google Mini & Free Voice Remote

DirecTV – Sreaming TV service for $35

Free HD + Spectrum App

4. Check for free installation

This may sound like a simple thing to look for, but some cable service providers out there still charge fees for installation. In some rare cases, some providers will charge upwards of $50 to $100 to install service in your home. Before you agree to service, make sure you understand the installation costs. Most of the larger providers will offer free installation.

5. Do they offer premium channels?

Of course we want basic cable, and a few other specialty channels we all enjoy like discovery channel, HGTV, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and many others, but you also want to assure you have the option of getting premium movie channels as a part of your cable TV service. Most providers will offer these premium channels free for the first 60 to 90 days. This is a great way to try before you buy. Be sure to ask your cable service provider for your trial.

6. Be sure they have a mobile app

Watching TV from all of your connected devices is a big deal these days. We’re no longer tied to our livigroom chairs and planted all day while watching our favorite TV shows. TV habits are changing and emerging every day. In addition to watching shows on your TV, many people are also viewing from their cell phone, tablets, laptops, and even work computers. having an app where you can watch from anywhere can be a huge benefit from your cable service provider. 


7. Do they offer discounts for friends?

Many of the larger cable service providers will offer you a discount if you refer a friend. These discounts vary in amounts, but $5 to $10 per month is a common amount. All you have to do to refer a friend is to have them give your name, address, or account number. Most affordable cable service providers will give you additional discounts for each friend you refer. This could turn into lucrative savings over time.

refer a friend discount

8. Ask about contract terms

Let’s face it. We all hate contracts from cable service providers, but we also know that they are necessary for the companies to guarantee their revenue over extended periods of time. While we don’t like them, we do have the choice to go with a provider who has more favorable contract terms, or we can opt for a cable service provider with a shorter contract term – 24 months as opposed to 36 months. There are even companies out there that give you a month-to-month option with no contract. These are great, but to offset the lack of commitment, they will typically charge a higher price.

9. Ask for fast installation

Another benefit to going with a well known cable service provider is that they have the resources to install service to many homes in a short amount of time. The smaller cable providers may only have a few installers that have to hit all the homes within a wide geographic area.

10. Combine basic cable with popular streaming services

For many people, basic cable is sufficient for getting local news and your favorite basic network TV shows. There are however a number of other services out there where you can stream premium programming for a low monthly fee and great cable TV prices.

Here is a list of cable TV alternatives you may want to check out!

  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Amazon Instant Video
  • HBO Now
  • PlayStation Vue
  • Amazon Fire
  • Roku Streaming Stick+
  • Chromecast Ultra
  • Apple TV
  • Sling TV
  • DirecTV Now
  • Youtube TV
  • Philo
  • Starz
  • Showtime
  • Fubo TV
  • CBS All Access
  • Streaming TV Services

This is our best advice to assist you in making your best decision to select a cable TV service provider. Select a cable provider in your state.

If you need to evaluate your current cable bill to see if we can get you a lower price, give us a call!


  • Miki Williams
    Posted November 17, 2017 4:18 pm

    Thank you for the most interesting channels and the most amazing packages! We all in our family enjoy the TV now!

    • Jhon Miller
      Posted November 17, 2017 4:19 pm

      We liked working with the tech guys, and everytime there is an issue, they are always willing to help!

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