Let’s Make a Deal!

Here’s an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal:

Every three to six months, when his most recent promotional deal expires, Carey Anthony blocks out an hour of his day to negotiate with his cable company. Each time, the president of a software company in Los Angeles says he can knock $20 to $30 off his monthly bill.

Lauren Schuker on The News Hub has some tips on how to trim your cable bill, such as asking your service provider for unadvertised deals. Photo: AP

“Negotiating works every time,” says Mr. Anthony, 46, who estimates he has saved more than $350 a year over the past decade. “Sometimes you have to threaten to cancel service, or switch to another provider, or sit on hold for an hour, but I’ve never failed to get a discount,” he says. “You just have to be diligent.”

As prices for cable services have surged over the past 10 years and the faltering economy has pressured household incomes, a growing number of cable customers face skyrocketing bills.

Today, the average cable TV subscriber pays about $128 a month in fees for all services, including TV, Internet and phone—nearly three times the $48 they paid each month in 2001, according to estimates by research firm SNL Kagan.

The increase is largely the result of sharply rising costs of programming, particularly sports. The TV networks pass those additional costs onto the operators, which in turn pass them onto consumers.

Cable-company executives have said publicly that they’re worried rising costs could drive consumers away. The largest U.S. cable company, Comcast Corp., lost 442,000 video subscribers in the first nine months of this year, though this was fewer than in the same period last year. No. 2 Time Warner Cable Inc. lost 319,000 over the same period.

Read the full article here.

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