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Forum Thread

Help me lower my Cable bill! Help me with my negotiation skills!!!

Mike_Hawk 1,594 March 15, 2009 at 02:49 PM
Hello all. I have Cox Communications as my service provider. Well they recently had their yearly price hike Mad and I went from $121.71 to $130.00 Mad

Here's my break down:

Limited Basic: 11.75
Expanded Service: 37.75
Digital gateway: 6.00
Movie Tier: 4.50
Sports Tier: 2.25
Variety Tier: 2.25
DVR Service: 11.99
DVR/HD box set: 5.25
Total: $81.74 and mind you that's NO premium channels like HBO / Showtime, etc

Internet "Preferred" $44.99

BS Taxes $3.27

Anyway, I think spending $130 for 1 TV Box and Internet is a bit high eh? How should I negotiate a deal? Email or phone? I wonder what I can expect out of this little dance?

Here's an email I've drafted if I go the email route... lemme know what you think.

Quote :
Good day,

I just looked over my latest Cox Bill since the rate hike was recently instituted. My bill as you will see is now $130.00 To me this is atrociously overpriced for what service I am receiving (no premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc), and only 1 box).

What can you do for me to lower this bill while still maintaining the same level of service?

If this form of communication is not acceptable, I will call during normal business hours to talk to customer service.

Thank you,
Mike
Thanks in advance Slick Deals!
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18 Comments

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#2
I'm only mildly experienced in this area but for things like this you might be better off with a phone call. By phone, they are less likely to keep note of any offers they offer to you, which means if you hang up and call later it's like the first call.

Of course, always be as nice and polite as you can. CS reps work harder for people who are polite and respectful. Here's what I might say,

"I recently got my notice about the rate hike and the new price is just really too much for me right now. What deals or specials do you have that will lower my monthly rate?"

If they don't offer an acceptable deal or if they offer nothing at all, try the new tactic:

"Well I might need to cancel all or part of my service to keep my payments manageable. Is there a manager or someone else I can talk to who might have access to different pricing?"

Most likely they will connect you with retentions, who can offer the real deals.

If you do your research first with local services (try DirectTV, ATT, Dish Network, etc) you will have better bargaining power.

Good luck. Don't be afraid to tell them you need more time to think about it.
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#3
maybe consider doing netflix for like 8.99 a month instead of all the extra movie B.S thru cable, you can instant stream over xbox or a player. Then pay for internet cable bundle
go to cox's website to build a bundle.
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#4
take a look at ovguide.com [ovguide.com], ninjavideo.net [ninjavideo.net] or movie-forumz.net. I got my home page set to my local news station & ninjavideo.net..a small foot print pc(dell optiplex from craigslist) by your tv that has svideo would also be helpful.
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#5
I called cox up in so cal , California. My current package is the ultimate paying about $140.0 not including fees tax. Called them up, said I wanted to lower my package to a cheaper one, they offered me 10% off my bill to stay with what I had going on now.
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#6
Quote from Mike_Hawk View Post :
Hello all. I have Cox Communications as my service provider. Well they recently had their yearly price hike Mad and I went from $121.71 to $130.00 Mad

Here's my break down:

Limited Basic: 11.75
Expanded Service: 37.75
Digital gateway: 6.00
Movie Tier: 4.50
Sports Tier: 2.25
Variety Tier: 2.25
DVR Service: 11.99
DVR/HD box set: 5.25
Total: $81.74 and mind you that's NO premium channels like HBO / Showtime, etc

Internet "Preferred" $44.99

BS Taxes $3.27

Anyway, I think spending $130 for 1 TV Box and Internet is a bit high eh? How should I negotiate a deal? Email or phone? I wonder what I can expect out of this little dance?

Here's an email I've drafted if I go the email route... lemme know what you think.

Thanks in advance Slick Deals!

I dont think there are any particular skills involved. In the past posters claimed if you called the national rep later at night or something vs the more local one, something like that ---- you had a better chance because they had more authority. I remember reading that over and over again. The only tactic was you had to claim you were quitting. Its a hassle because if they call your bluff, you have to backtrack and say you arent quitting which is embarrassing.

When I called it was straight forward. The only thing they did was look around for any package deals and they did sound motivated but thats about it. The main deals are getting cable net access + TV or the recent one of getthing phone/TV/cable net access.
Then theres usually some kind of discount. Other than that you hope they do have some kind of random discount going on now for people who threaten to quit which might be likely given all the hype about the economy and people dropping cable to save money.
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#7
I'm curious how this went? Did you get a price change or did you start looking into another carrier?
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Peace be with you
1,594 Reputation
Original Poster
#8
Well, I still haven't called up Cox. I've been weighing my options.

I'd really like to have HD and the channels above channel 70+. But for that to occur, I'll either need a Cablecard PC (like $1,000 minimum investment) or a Tivo S3 HD with a lifetime subscription ($600+) Soooooo those routes are sorta dead in the water since it'd take years to recoupe the costs.

We hardly even watch TV though. The only things we watch regularly are LOST and Duke Basketball / March Madness. What I'm thinking we're gonna do is completely dump our TV until next basketball season (November 2009). That'll save us $81.74 a month. Well, let me back up a bit. First I'll tell Cox if they don't lower our TV bill from $81.74 to $40 a month we're dumping TV and just keeping Internet. We'll still get OTA stuff (I have an antenna and ATSC tuner for my PC and a ATSC tunner in my office TV), so it won't be that bad if I'm ever in the itch to watch the boob tube
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#9
just get a black box or one time black market Satallite, about $300 to $500 installation with Santallite on your roof. about $150 to $300 for a receiver. you can watch all the NBA, PPV Movie and porn etc. that is like 1 year of your spending. This good for at least 3 years to 5 years.
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#10
OP, I just did this with Comcast. I had a 6 month promotion that just expired. I have basic Internet, with HD programming and one HD DVR. I had been paying $85/month for everything for the past 6 months. Then my most recent bills arrives and says $145. So I called them back and spoke to the Customer Retention Dept, and I politely explained that I like the service, I don't want to leave, but I certainly cannot afford $145. With some persistence and kindness, she put me back on the same plan for another 6 months.

I've been doing this for 5 years.

It is a little intimidating because I know that I have no bargaining room because I don't want to cancel. But I made them think I would. The absolute worst thing that can happen is they say no, you say thank you and that you'll call back to cancel at another time, and you call back 20 minutes later (almost certainly getting a different rep) and try it again.
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#11
Quote from Mike_Hawk View Post :
Well, I still haven't called up Cox. I've been weighing my options.

I'd really like to have HD and the channels above channel 70+. But for that to occur, I'll either need a Cablecard PC (like $1,000 minimum investment) or a Tivo S3 HD with a lifetime subscription ($600+) Soooooo those routes are sorta dead in the water since it'd take years to recoupe the costs.

We hardly even watch TV though. The only things we watch regularly are LOST and Duke Basketball / March Madness. What I'm thinking we're gonna do is completely dump our TV until next basketball season (November 2009). That'll save us $81.74 a month. Well, let me back up a bit. First I'll tell Cox if they don't lower our TV bill from $81.74 to $40 a month we're dumping TV and just keeping Internet. We'll still get OTA stuff (I have an antenna and ATSC tuner for my PC and a ATSC tunner in my office TV), so it won't be that bad if I'm ever in the itch to watch the boob tube
Even if you got a cable card PC you still have to pay for cable. The only real benefit of having a cablecard PC is that you arent using the DVR/STB frrom the cable company. Actually the cable card replaces the STB and it works with your PC which acts like a DVR -- the big benefit is using Media center interface vs the cable firms DVR or TIVO with all the added functionality of the PC.

If you want some DVR functions you could just get really basic cable to get the analog stations for 20-30 a month and then get a cheap TV QAM card for your PC. You could then get the networks in HD via OTA or maybe QAM --- I think all the areas provide HD network stations over QAM but Im not sure. Then get the rest of analog stations via the TV tuner card and you would have slick DVR features via Media center.

You wouldnt of course get the digital channels or other HD channels. However, youll probably get a hodge podge of extra unencrypted digital channels via the QAM TV tuner card.

So for 20-25 bucks I think most cable firms charge you could have HDnetwork+most of the popular cable channels in analog + hodge podge of QAM channels.

Cost of QAM tv tuner card --- generally 50 bucks or so for Hauppauge 1250 last time I looked. The pic quality --- people have claimed OTA is better quality than many cable HD channels because of compression etc. And analog is OK, but some people have claimed the ATI 650 has a better PQ than Hauppauge I think for analog.
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#12
Honestly this is my specialty

What I always say, it always works.. or seems to

First I tell the rep that I have been hung up on many times, and tell her/him that they sound like they really sound reliable with helping me out. (anything directly to the rep helps)

I usually get involved with them as well saying anything such as (how would you feel if you paid 120 a month and could get half off by switching) Also bring up any problems with anything you have had.

Be assurtive, let them know if your problems are not fixed or your bill is not lowered you will switch, that threat alone gets them doing anything they can to keep you.

I pay 60.00 a month for a HD reciever High speed internet all through comcast my bill was 170.00 when i started..


I have such a low cell phone bill last time I called the service rep told me that she doesnt know how I got such a good deal.. and there was nothing she could do! Also when I go to the mall the people selling cell phones tell me that they cant compare with the rates I have gotten.

If you need any help just PM me, I have called for a lot of my freinds getting them usually half off there monthly bill.
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Peace be with you
1,594 Reputation
Original Poster
#13
Well.. that went... not so well.. lol.

I called up Cox wanting to straight up disconnect my service, so.. yeah, was transfered from first level to retention.

Ended up talking with some swanky sounding girl that you'd meet at a bar at last call.. laugh out loud

Anyway, my current cable TV bill is $81. My thoughts are.. make it $20 or I'm just gonna straight up Cancel. Of course she asks why, and I go blah blah about the economy, cutting costs. I then got right to the point that I'm wanting that bill to be $20 or I'm canceling. She imediately said she could do that.... then she started listing off services that would be removed laugh out loud I had to stop her and clarify myself. "$20 AND my current level of service". I guess she thought I was kidding cause she started to laugh. Wanting to know who in the world would give me that service for $20.

We kwibble a bit more, I mentioned DTV was offering a butt load of service for $50. She just countered telling me about all the "hidden" fees... yeah right... what bout Cox's friggen hidden fees?!? Then she starts listing a bunch of random crap, free HD set top box and 25% off.. blah blah... I wasn't gonna waste her time or mine trying to find out what this 'new' bottom line would be.

Basically the conversation ended with me being very polite and saying "I'll be going to your main office w/ my equipment, good day" and hung up.
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#14
You're in dreamland if you want them to come down to $20.
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Peace be with you
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Original Poster
#15
Pretty much, I figured I was gonna disconnect anyway, might as well shoot for the moon Smilie

It sounds like they would have lowered from $80 to $50... meh.. that's not a big enough savings considering I don't watch TV.
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