Last night I threatened to disconnect my cable
Sit down, relax, and let me tell you a story. A story about how you get to be a hero, and how to get your cable company begging on all fours like a dog.
See, I got my cable bill last night. It was not a shock, or a surprise. I know what I'm paying, and I know I'm paying too much. Way too much. Compared to either Dish Network or DirecTV, Comcast (or your own cable co., they're all the same) is undoubtedly the most overpriced way to watch TV and get Internet service.
After seeing substantially cheaper offers, free equipment and all sorts of additional cool stuff, I had reached my breaking point. Why should I pay almost 50% more for almost exactly the same service? This is not the life of frugality I am preaching.
So on behalf of Wisebread (and for my own selfish reasons) I called Comcast. I said right out I wanted to disconnect my service, and was not interested in any offers to make me change my mind. Of course, that's all I was interested in. I don't want to go through the hassle of returning equipment, stopping service, and setting up a new account with a new provider. That's way too much work. I just want more for less.
After taking my account details, the customer service rep then went into SAVE SALE mode. You know it, I'm sure. It went something like this.
CSR: Why do you want to disconnect sir, is it because of the high price? (wow, talk about an admission)
CSR: Getting too much for you? (again, this is way more than I was expecting already)
ME: Yes, I can get a much better package somewhere else for what I'm paying now. I'd just like to disconnect please.
CSR: I should let you know, as you are a loyal customer I can offer you some very special deals right now.
ME: Oh, really? (acting surprised and delighted) What would they be?
CSR: Well, for what you're paying now I can upgrade you to the GOLD package (two movie channels, not one) plus I can hook you up to Comcast Digital Voice with unlimited long distance. That means you get rid of your QWEST phone bill, saving you around $30 a month, and no longer pay for long distance calls.
ME: Sounds ok. But these other offers I'm getting offer free DVR.
SR: Let me talk to my supervisor (I am put on hold for 5 seconds)
CSR: Yes, we can offer you free DVR equipment. All you would need to do is pay for DVR service.
ME: Ummm, if I can get FREE service too, I think that would be something I can go with.
CSR: Let me check (I am put on hold again, for 10 seconds)
CSR: Yes, we can do that.
ME: Is there any charge for installation of any of these services?
CSR: Yes, the digital voice is $49.95
CSR: I can waive that!
ME: OK, I'll do it.
So, here's a quick summary. I was on the phone for 10 minutes.
Before I started, I had Comcast Digital Cable Silver (Around $78 a month) and High Speed Internet ($43 a month). I also got my phone through Qwest for another $30 a month, and that had no long distance. Total = $151 a month.
After my 10-minute call, I had upgraded to Comcast Gold (2 movie channels) plus High Speed Internet, also got my phone service through Comcast (dumping my $30 Qwest phone bill) with free installation, I got long distance free, plus a DVR with DVR service and free installation. Total = $129 a month.
The moral of this story. Ask. It never hurts to call and see if your provider can do something to keep you around. It costs them a lot of money to acquire new customers, it costs a lot less to keep old ones. They will always try something. If they can't lower your price, they can most likely add services for no extra charge, like the DVR.
Now, go forth and call your own providers. And let me know how you get on.