Wow … calling the cable company and asking for a lower rate actually works

by Karen on September 1, 2008

We pay a pretty ridiculously high cable/Internet bill. Trust me, I suffer from frugal guilt over paying $100+ a month for cable and Internet. But we’ve made room for it in our budget, we’re still sending a good amount of money to debt and savings, and I like having cable TV. But I digress.

Last month I was pretty ticked off when I received my bill. It had increased from an already ridiculous $111 to $123 a month. I called my cable company to figure out the problem. After 20 minutes on hold with a customer service representative who couldn’t figure out the problem, I had to give up. I was at work and didn’t have the time to deal with it. He told me he’d continue looking for the problem and make note of it in my file in case I called back when I had more time. Due to my prior experiences with cable companies, I didn’t really believe him.

When I got home, I found a asterisk with some fine print on my statement. Apparently, my 12-month promo period had ended, so my rate went up. I was pretty irritated with the whole thing. The way I see it, they shouldn’t punish loyal customers by periodically raising their rates, especially when I know that a new customer with the same services as me is paying less. But I figured, I’m in no position to complain about the high cost of a pretty frivolous luxury. So my husband and I talked it over, looked at our budget, and decided that we were willing to pay the extra $11 a month for cable and Internet. We’re weak.

Well, this morning, when I sat down to get some bills out of the way, I was shocked to see that my cable bill for this month is only $60. Not only were my current charges $93, but a $30 credit had been applied to my account. Huh? I was confused, and I couldn’t believe that the cable company would just lower my rate without an irate phone call.

I called to get to the bottom of it. According to the customer service rep I spoke with, the cable company had decided that I qualify for another promo rate. One that’s even lower than the previous one. The $30 credit was applied to my account because I paid the full $123 balance on my statement after they’d already adjusted my monthly rate. In the future, I’ll pay $93 a month for the same cable package I have now. My total savings over the next 12 months will be $360.

Um. I don’t really get it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy about it. I just think it’s so odd that they would increase my rate by $11 at the end of the promo period, and then lower it $30 just because of one confused phone call that I didn’t even follow up on.

I’m not complaining. Just trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the cable company just provided me with some pretty great customer service. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

You can’t be afraid to ask for a better rate, even if you think there’s no way they’ll give it to you. We’ll be able to put an extra $360 into savings this year all thanks to a 20-minute phone call.

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