Expert shares tricks to lower cable, phone bills - | WBTV Charlotte

Expert shares tricks to lower cable, phone bills

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

If you have ever tried to negotiate a better price on your cable bill, you know the outcome can be hit or miss.  

Cindy Tysinger tried. She was frustrated by the rising price of her cable bill. She recently decided the best course of action would be to stop her service all together.

"I told them in my next billing cycle to cut it off," Tysinger said. 

Her cable company took her up on the offer.  

It turns out, if you have a few new tricks up your sleeve you might have a better shot at getting as much as 40 percent off of your bill.

We talked to Kyle James who runs online coupon site RatherBeShopping.com. He says you can still complain your way into a reduction in what you pay each month but these days it isn't enough to simply ask to pay less.

James explains the first representative you talk to is likely powerless to help you so ask for "Customer Retention" right away.  

"Then you really want to make sure you do your homework and know what the competition is offering," James said.

He recommends if you have Time Warner Cable, know what DirectTV is offering. If you have DirectTV, know what deals DISH is running. However, the new television landscape, with so many alternatives to cable or satellite, actually gives you more weapons if nothing else works.

"The ammunition you want to use is to say you're thinking of cutting the cord completely.  Tell them you are going with Hulu or Netflix or an over the air antenna," James says.

Our expert tells us you also might not realize that you can also negotiate your wireless or digital phone bill - although it is a little more tricky.

"You have to really analyze your bill and know what hidden charges they'll sneak in.  That's a way to, right off the bat, cut the fat and lower the bill.  Pay attention to whether you're charged for things like call forwarding and call waiting and if you don't need those things, eliminate them," James said.

Cindy's gamble paid off in the end.  Shortly after she gave the ultimatum to her cable company, a week before service was set to stop, she got a phone call.

"The lady was soupy-nice wanting to know what we can do to keep you as a customer," she said.

They offered to bring her bill back down to that introductory price and she accepted.

For more information on lowering your bills, click here.

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