How to negotiate cable prices {like a pro}

Published on January 30, 2015 By Lauren

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  • Are you wondering how to negotiate cable prices?  Sick of paying too much for cable? My friends have called me the cable negotiating guru, because I know how to negotiate them down so I never have to pay full price.

    negotiate cable

    How to Negotiate Cable Prices

    Is your cable bill one of the largest bills in your monthly budget?  If so, I have some tips on how to get that bill much lower and negotiate cable prices.

    We actually choose not to have cable at this point in our, but if we did have it – I wouldn’t be paying that much for it.  We choose to stream using Sling TV and Amazon Prime instead to have more control over what our children are watching.

    If you are interested in how to save on streaming video make sure that you  read up about Sling TV, which is our favorite steaming service at only $19.99 per month (Get a free 7-day trial here)

    Learning how to Negotiate cable prices can be tricky; the cable companies use many tactics to keep you paying at your current rate.  You have to be willing to cancel your cable if they don’t allow you to negotiate – I will explain why below.

    Here are some of my secret tips on how to negotiate cable prices like a pro:

    1.) Use a competitor deal/flyer to negotiate your prices.

    Just the other day I got a Direct TV flyer in my newspaper.  This would be the perfect time for me to call the cable company and tell them what offer Direct TV is offering me.

    Then ask them “I am thinking about switching to {competitor name}. What can you do to match this price?”  Then be silent; put the ball in their court.  Many times they will easily start to lower your price, matching their discounted offer.  They typically do not want you to leave, so they will try to keep you as a customer as long as possible.

    2.) Ask to speak to someone in the cancellation/retention department.

    If you cannot get anywhere negotiating the prices with competitor deals, then the next step would be to ask for the cancellation/retention department.  These people can really make you a deal.  The phone operator that you spoke with earlier may have not been given the training or permission to discount rates.  Most people quit negotiating after speaking with only one person, but you really need to speak to an employee responsible for cancellation requests.  Tell them that you need a lower rate and are considering canceling and going to another service if they cannot lower your bill.

    3.) Cancel your cable and wait for a follow up call.

    If talking to someone in the retention department still doesn’t work, here is another option. This one can be hard to do, especially if you LOVE cable TV.  You must be willing to really cancel your cable.  I’ve done this a couple of times and they always called me back within the week to offer me a better incentive to come back to them.

    It can get frustrating when you know that your friend is paying $40.00 less for the same services that you have, so you can always use that to negotiate as well.

    If this doesn’t work, you can file a complaint with the company on their website under their contact form. You can usually get feedback from the company that way.

    Keep in mind that if you do this over and over again without upgrading over the course of a few years, they may stop offering you a retention deal unless you add on a service. You may need to switch providers in order to get a better deal.

    You can also sign up for a FREE 7-Day Trial of Sling TV to try it out! You can sign up for that here.  With sling you can stream LIVE TV from over 25 channels, including ESPN, HGTV, Disney Channel and more – best part is it is only $19.99 per month!!

    negotiate cable

    If you still cannot negotiate a better deal (which would surprise me), we have had great luck the past years having just basic cable and streaming in Amazon Prime (you can get a free trial of that here.)

    How have you been able to negotiate prices on cable in the past? I would love to hear your advice.

    negotiate cable


  • We have verizon fios. we are in a contract but i noticed we were paying for dvr service and boxes that no one uses. we watch either the verizon fios app or on demand on our computers. No one was using the boxes. so i cancelled the dvr and asked if i needed the boxes to watch from their apps which i didnt so i returned the 3 boxes. i saved 60 dollars a month just by this. My husband has to watch TBS but he watching either from their app or the website and you have to sign in with your cable company or else i would get rid of cable all together. We also have netflix, amazon prime and hulu, if the channels didnt make you sign in with your provider (they didnt a few years ago) i would be completely happy to just stick with internet.

  • I have tryed just about eveything. We had dish network for awhile. Other then the occasional signal distruption when it stormed bad, it wasn’t too bad. Then within a year we moved. Dish charged us over $300 to set up service at the new house. So between the set up fee, the regular monthly bill, + any “other” fees, the new bill was over $400. Thats rediculous! I tried to call and negotiate. Didn’t happen. They also do something very tricky that should be illegal. When you set up service….u know ALL the real fast “service crap” they quote u? Well in that agreement they tell you “when you agree to the service, you agrering to give them permission to use charge your card for a payment at any time. They have done it to me…..twice. Not to mention there’s a 2y contact. Time Warner has no contract but our bill is $145/mo. I asked about Internet ONLY. Forget it. Over $100 a month. I want to buy a roku but I have to find Internet service that’s not going to cost almost as much as cable.

  • We just got a Roku and Sling. Cancelled cable for a $70 savings. Also cancelled Tivo, saving $14.99. Will be interested to see if Sling and Hulu come out significantly less. We already have Starz, Amazon Prime, and Netflix, so really no added expense there.

  • Sounds like where I live in Alabama. There is NO other cable company in the area. I can’t afford the start up of dish or direct TV.

  • My cable isn’t the largest part of my billl, it’s the Internet. If I cancel the cable, my internet price increases. What’s the best way to save on internet?

  • Yeah this didn’t work for me, I called and stated Directv was offering a great deal for basically the same package for $75 a month (I currently pay $105 with dish) and I wanted to cancel my service with dish. The dish guy simply said “ok is there anything dish could have done to keep your business” so I told him I just needed to cut bills back as much as possible at this time and he said “ok your service will shutoff at the end of this months billing cycle” doesn’t sound like they are trying to keep customers at all these days.

    • I forgot to add I just past my 2-year contract mark and own all of my dish equipment. Still no negotiation from Dish.

  • Cable here is Comporium only company in this area and they know it so negotiation goes like this, Our way or highway they don’t care if you cancel so I did and I get same 21 channels that they charge over $20 for basic, Dish network will never get my business anymore as I had them for 2 years when contract was up I called to cancel what started out as $39plan turned into $70 plan per month after 6 months with no upgrades, I was instructed to return the little transmitter that cost me $14 to ship UPS back to them for them to cancel my service, last bill came with a charge for $14 to cover return shipping charges, so I called to let them know that I sent transmitter back and paid UPS already and customer service rep insisted I had to still pay for transmitter to be shipped back and that charge would stay on my bill. I contacted BBB about this and they decided to waive their fee especially since I had proof I sent transmitter UPS already, also the next day it came up a bad storm out side and I had rain pouring in my dinning room where dish was installed on roof the damage from that cost Me over $500 to fix. NEVER letting Dishnetwork back on my property.

  • Not that useful anymore, especially if you live in an area where only 2 companies dominate. This sounds great in theory, but the giant companies like ATT & Xfinity know that streaming services like HuluTV, Sling, etc. are costing them business, so they jacked up their internet rates to be astronomically high so you still pay if you drop cable. I pay $30/month for ATT internet because I have it bundled with an expensive cable package. The moment I drop cable, my internet will be so expensive that it will make it not financially worth it to get a streaming service. Both Xfinity and ATT will charge anywhere between $70-$80/month for basic internet if you don’t bundle or you unbundle cable from it. This is an outrage!

    Also, the big companies just don’t care about your business that much anymore when they have millions of customers. This information might have been more helpful/relevant a decade or two ago, or in places where there are more competing companies. In my area, we have no one else to choose from other than ATT & Xfinity, so both companies can screw customers over freely (and they both intentionally set their prices at similar, high rates).

    About a year ago, I spent 4 hours off and on with ATT trying to get a better deal on a cable/internet package or compensation after they took over a week to get our internet started/botched the cable install. After talking to multiple “managers” that sounded like apathetic teenagers, we got nothing for our troubles, even after we threatened to go to Xfinity. Unfortunately, Xfinity gouges customers just as badly if not worse, so we are stuck paying high rates for cable/internet and no price discount in sight.

    How do you negotiate when there are only 2 options and neither company cares about your business enough to fight for it?

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