How to Negotiate to Keep Your Cable Promo Rate

December 30, 2013

Cable TVOne of life’s “sure things” is that, at some point, your cable promo rate is going to expire, and you are going to be stuck with a higher rate for the remainder of your contract.

While some experts recommend that you call and threaten to cancel (and eat the termination fee that comes with quitting your contract early), or mention the possibility of switching to a competitor, Linsey Knerl from has a different idea. “I have experienced the dreaded rate like, like all other cable subscribers, and found that the ‘vacation threat’ can sometimes get them to drop the price to the promotional price – or at least closer to it,” she says.

“Most cable contracts allow you to suspend service no more than six months out of every twelve,” says Knerl. “This means that you can call your cable company and ask for the service to be suspended for a time when you don’t want service, and don’t pay.”

Unfortunately, there is a catch with this method. If the cable company takes you up on the offer, you could end up extending your service contract. Even so, if you are in a bind and you need a break from paying, and you don’t want to deal with the early termination fees that come with canceling your service altogether, this can be a viable option.

Knerl says that, in many cases, the cable company will give you a discount, since they want you watching and paying. “Just the threat can sometimes be enough for them to lower the rate for a term,” she says. “You could say something like, ‘I’m considering putting my service on hold for a few months during the time that all my favorite shows are on a break,’ or ‘I only really watch during football season and so the price doesn’t seem worth it.'”

These statements often cue the representative to take steps to extend the amount of time that you receive the promo rate, or at least offer you a discount that can take some of the pressure off your budget.

It’s important to note that some customers are likely to have better results than others. “This works better for long-term customers, or customers that have larger packages,” says Knerl. “Also, I can’t say what this would do to a customer who is in a bundling situation, with more than just cable attached for one price.”

Cable companies are starting to get an idea that more options are available to viewers than ever before. There are plenty of services that offer low-cost streaming, and just having the Internet can mean access to all of your favorite shows. (Of course, if the cable company also offers Internet access it can get you that way.)

As a result, some cable companies are starting to see that they need to be competitive if they want to keep their customers. This can be good for you, rather you threaten to cancel or just threaten to put your account on hold for a short period of time.

Editor’s Note: Looking for more ways to save money? Here are a few more ways to cut your cable bill!

What do you think? Do you have any tricks for keeping a promo rate for your cable TV service? What’s your best tip for saving money on home entertainment? Leave a comment!


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Miranda writes about personal finance almost every day. An experienced freelance writer, she's covered your money online and in print from every angle and is always looking for new ones.

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