How to Lower Your TV Bill - How to Negotiate Your Rates
I run a small motel with 11 rooms in a small town called Hoquiam in Washington State. I've used Comcast for the service provider for my guestroom TVs just because it was passed on from the previous owner. Then I've been contacted by a DirectTV sales representative, and realized that I was paying a way too much for the service I was getting.
So I talked to two sales reps from Comcast and DirecTV who wanted to win my business, and guess what happened. I lowered my monthly service fee by $110.
Even though my business wasn't big, sales reps were trying very hard to win my business. Then I realized that I've missing out a lot and paying a lot just because I didn't ask. I wasn't getting the most out of the people and company I was paying, just because I didn't ask them to do more for the money they're getting. And the most important thing that I learned is that I have to ask before I give them my money. I have to let them know that there are other people who are willing to do more for my money.
So this hub is about some things you can ask your TV service provider to do for you, most ideally before you sign your contract, or renew your contract.
3 Things You Should Ask Your Sales Representative
1. Ask them to lower your monthly rate.
Always ask for lower monthly rate. Even small difference in month rates can make a big difference in the long run, especially if you are going to be in a long contract.
Talk to other TV service providers (Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network), and know their rates. Let the companies compete for your business. Make them to beat their competitors' price, not just match them.
2. Ask them to add additional channels for free.
If you think you got one company to offer you the lowest price possible, ask for additional channels for free. Comcast, DirecTV, and the Dish Network don't have same programming options. Tell your sales rep that even though their price look okay, other company's programming options look more attractive. So tell them to add more channels (HBO, ESPN, or just ask what they have to offer) to win your business for good. Remember, companies want your money.
3. Ask them to lock in your rate, and to apply an annual monthly fee increase cap.
If you are buying a Comcast service for a business, they make you sign a 5-year contract. So even if you get a low rate in the beginning, your rate can increase over the terms of your contract. So ask the sales rep to lock in your rate. I never heard of Comcast locking their rate for the full duration of the contract, but it's worth a try. They locked in my rates for 2 years, and the rate increase cap was 5% each year. That means they can only increase my monthly rate by 5% more than the current rate at most each year. I did my math, and even if they increased my monthly rates for last 3 years of the contract for full 5%, the price seemed reasonable.
When I was in high school, my bald-headed tech-ed teacher used to tell the class that where ever we go, we should ask for a discount. If we go to BestBuy, we should ask for a discount. If we go to WalMart, we should ask for a discount. He told us: "What's there to lose? The worst thing that can happen is that them saying no." Back then, I said no way, that is embarrassing. But now, when I pay my own bills, I think he was right. Of course, I still don't ask for a discount when I got to a restaurant with a date, or when I shop at a neighborhood pop shop. But the thing is, there are so many was to save money when dealing with big corporations. Think about your insurances, phone bills, utility, and even your bank.
Remember: Your hard earned money is yours until you hand it over.