We show you the top 10 ways to get cheaper cable TV service
If you’re like most other consumers out there, you’re searching for ways that you can get cheaper cable TV service, even if it’s only saving you a few dollars per month.
With the current state of the economy in flux, and prices rising, saving small amounts of money here and there often make a big difference in the long-run.
The cost of cable TV has been rising year-over-year. The cable companies always try to up-sell you, but they never tell you what type of things you can do to get a cheaper cable bill.
Yes, there are cable television alternatives out there, but they don’t always provide the types of programming you want, and in many cases, you can’t use them unless you already have internet service. In cases like that, dropping cable is not an option. You want to keep the service, but you also need it to be affordable.
At Low Income Cable, we specialize in finding cable TV options that are affordable for the normal household family. Often times, consumers only hear of the biggest named providers and forget that there are several alternatives to Comcast and even more alternatives to DirecTV. We put together a list that shows you how to get cheap cable.
1. Ask for a basic cable package
Typically when you sign up for a new cable or satellite plan, the representative will offer a package based on the types of movies and shows that you like. They don’t always consider that some of us only need a few channels for basic shows, news, and a little entertainment. If this is you, ask for a basic cable plan upfront. Some reps are commission-based, so you may have to stress that the basic plan is all you want. Besides having a set-top antenna, this is by far the cheapest way to watch TV.
2. Cancel premium channels after the free trial period
This is the #1 cause of skyrocketing cable bills. Most cable companies will offer you a free premium trial for 90 days. After the 90-day trial period, you will then be billed monthly for the upgraded channels. This can amount to an extra $20 to $50 per month on your bill
3. Bundle your cable, internet, and phone
Many of us are very cautious about not being up-sold, but this is one area where the upsell may actually save you money. The TV providers know that they have big competition out there with their rivals like Dish Network, Comcast, AT&T, Spectrum, Frontier, just to name a few. They would rather give you a lower price than to see you sign up with the competition. Bundling TV, internet, and a phone can save you up to 30% off your bill.
4. Buy your own modem
If you’ve taken the advice of bundling services to save money, you most likely have TV and internet service. You can take this a step further by purchasing your own cable modem. Most broadband internet providers charge between $8 to $15 per month to rent a modem. Yes, most people don’t know that there is a rental fee being billed each month. The kicker is that you have to return it whenever you discontinue your service. This means that if you’ve had internet service for 5 years, you would have paid nearly $600 in monthly rental fees when you can own a high performing modem for under $100. Don’t let the providers trick you into thinking that there aren’t any alternatives to cable internet. Below are a few local retailers where you can buy your own modem.
5. Re-think DVR
Let’s face it. Kids love DVR to death, so saving money there may be a little more difficult. But, if you’re the casual TV watcher who doesn’t need the ability to go back and watch previously recorded shows or movies, this may be an opportunity to save a few extra dollars per month. Most popular TV providers will upgrade your standard receivers to DVR recording receivers for an additional $8 to $12 per month.
6. Refer friends and save money!
Did you know that some of the big TV providers have referral plans that can save you a nice piece of change every month? If you don’t mind sending them more business, they will make it worth your while by sending you a cheaper cable bill at the end of the month. Companies like DirecTV have an excellent referral plan that pays you $10 per month for each customer you refer. Dish Network also has a great referral program that gives monthly discounts on your bill, free pay-per-view movies, and even upgraded equipment for your home theater setup. Call Dish for more details on this program.
7. Change channel packages
Since there are large numbers of cable and network channels out there are not in high demand, the TV providers try to lump those in with some of the high demand and more popular channels. In some cases, you may have 2 channel packages combined that are pushing your rate higher than it should be. Call your TV provider and find out if there are any channels that you can get rid of that will lower your monthly bill.
8. Just ask for a lower rate
Many people are aware of this option but never exercise it. We know that there is so much competition in the pay-TV industry, that your provider doesn’t want you to cancel and go to one of their rival service providers. Simply ask them to lower your bill! This works especially well if a competitor is offering a cheaper cable plan. Since your provider would rather keep you as a paying customer, they will sometimes offer you a discounted rate for a 6 to 12-month time period rather than having you dropping cable service with them altogether.
9. Ask for an extension of your promotional pricing
Most cable and satellite providers will give you an introductory lower rate as a new customer. This lower rate usually lasts for a period of 12 to 24 months. After the promotional period, your bill can sometimes double, or even triple. Rather than canceling and seeking our other cable television alternatives, you can simply call your cable provider and let them know that the increased pricing is too high for your budget. In some cases, they will help you find a more affordable plan, or show you a lower priced set of cable TV options that may keep you on as a customer.
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!
- Amazon Instant Video
- HBO Now
- PlayStation Vue
- Amazon Fire
- Roku Streaming Stick+
- Chromecast Ultra
- Apple TV
- Sling TV
- DirecTV Now
- Youtube TV
- Fubo TV
- CBS All Access
- Streaming TV Services
These are some of the most common ways that we have found to be successful in lowering your monthly TV bill. While we are not the “how to get cheap cable” experts, we do know from personal experience and from speaking with thousands of current and previous pay-TV subscribers, that these methods work.
When cable and satellite TV gets too expensive, you may end up being a cord cutter. If this happens, you will lose the convenience and flexibility of a common cable TV plan, but then a whole new world of options begins to open up. Many people never know that there are many cable television alternatives out there once you start looking. For example, there are Sling TV alternatives, streaming cable services, and set-top boxes that can get you a lot of the same types of programming as your local cable provider, but you may have to do some trial and error to find the solution that works best for you.
If you need to evaluate your current cable bill to see if we can get you a lower price, give us a call and get cheap TV service today!