Unless you’ve decided to ditch society and have gone off to dwell in the wilderness like a cave man then you’re a consumer of home services. Benjamin Franklin remarked that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. He forgot about utility bills.
Water, heating/cooling, electricity and gas are necessities in these modern times along with the internet. These are imperative to your well-being and those around you. But let’s say that you’re looking for ways to save money because that’s what you need to do as an adult. Adults depend on savings to manage their children’s college fund or in case of a contingency. Let’s cut down on what we actually can such as TV, Internet and phone bill.
Entertainment options at home are important to keep boredom away. A landline phone may be important as well if you work from home or you want to have long clear voice conversations with family and friends. So let’s dive in and see how to save on cable, internet, and phone bills without forgoing these services completely.
Step 1 -- See Where You Stand
If you already have the trio of services at home, evaluate the plan(s) you’re currently on. Think about whether or not you are utilizing the service which you are paying for and if you can forgo the service entirely.
- Do you really have the time and interest to watch the multitude of channels you subscribe to?
- Does your cable programing offer content that you value instead of just adding to the total number of available channels?
- Are the channels you watch premium or local?
- Do you really need the internet speed you’re paying for according to what you use?
- You use 4G/5G when out and about. Could an unlimited wireless data plan be all you need instead of having a home internet connection?
- Can you save money by using your residential landline for calls instead of your cellular minutes? This would create the opportunity for you to transition to perhaps a pre-paid plan.
- Were there any unexpected/hidden costs or price increases after you signed up resulting in you paying more then you were promised?
- If you have non-paying users at home, could they start pulling their weight and contribute to the bill?
- Are you liable for early termination fees that you were unaware of or did you find yourself trapped due to the ETF?
- Are you leveraging available bundles to lower cost or can you bundle service to drive more value for money?
These are just some questions that should be answered in order to determine what needs to be done. While you’re evaluating the value of your current plan, look at it from all angles to determine value addition. If you’re not using many features and options that are a part of your plan, you have to look for alternatives.
Step 2 – Look for Alternatives
Now that you’re ready to explore your TV, Internet, and Phone options what should be your first thought? Your instinctive answer would be “Ask friends and family in my area what they’re using and if the services offer quality and value for money”. You’d be absolutely right, go ahead and ask people that you know, especially your neighbors. We place the most trust in people who are close to us.
After you have a rough idea of the TV, Internet, and Phone service providers in your area, it’s time to go online and find out more. To really get into the nitty-gritty of the plans you have to read about them in detail which involves reviewing the T&C.
You want to find a website to search for various services in one go. Local Cable Deals is highly recommended and a great starting place for helping you figure out availability of additional service providers or plans in your vicinity.
You can enter your address with street name and zip code to find available TV, Internet and Phone providers in your area. You could go to the various service providers’ websites and search your address against different databases one at a time, but if there is an all in one resource then why not take advantage of it?
The specialized website provides detailed information on various service providers based on your address with available plans, prices and features. Besides that, another important factor is regional promotions which are also displayed so you can decide which offer tempts you the most. If you’re lucky, you may get to all your favorite channels for absolutely free and possibly premium content at no extra cost.
Chances are that you will already be saving on your TV, Internet, Phone bills and the worries have just diminished. If not, simply cancel before the expiration of the promotional offer and keep paying the lower bill of your newly chosen plan. Not only does the website provide you with critical information, you can call the listed number to get what you like or perhaps something a little better including the much needed advice based what you’re looking for.
Step 3 – Choosing the Right Plan
Every product or service has its own factors to consider before buying. It’s not just about the number of channels, or the download cap or voicemail when it comes to deciding on cable TV, internet and phone plans. Contemplate the following factors before making a decision in terms of selecting a service plan.
- Single Service vs. Bundled Service
I am sure I don’t have to explain the motivation businesses have for getting you to sign up for all bundled services. I am sure I don’t have to explain the motivation businesses have for getting you to sign up for all bundled services.
From a personal perspective it is important step toward your goal of saving as much as you can and maximizing value for each dollar spent. Do you have no need for a home phone connection? Does it make sense to get that connection if it lowers your bill? It does. Do you just stream more content relative to the amount of cable programing? Then you might want to consider ditching the cable and going for a combination of internet and telephone. Make calculations on which option will save you money; start the comparison based single service vs. bundling in terms of value for money. If it doesn’t sound right then go ahead and drop the undesired services.
- Basic vs. Premium Plans
Since our goal is to reduce the bill as much as possible, you are better off going for the basic cable TV, internet, and phone plans, unless of course you need more bandwidth or specific channels to keep everyone within the residence happy. You may have less channels and lower download/upload speeds by selecting a lower tier plan in an effort to save money. These basic plans have enough punch to drive your entertainment needs without the added frustration.
- Promotional Offers
There are a few types of promotional offers cable TV, internet, and phone companies will give you when signing up. It may be a contract buy out (new provider paying off your early termination fee), free equipment/installation, free service upgrade and etc.
Just make sure to know the time validity of the offers and remember when it will expire. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself surprised when the promotion ends and you are being charged the regular price which at times can be double. Right now your goal is savings, so whichever offer provides the longest term benefit is your best choice. Once your promotion does come to an end, it would be a good idea for you to change your package by dropping or adding a service which at times would make you eligible for a different promotions after a few billing cycles.
- Contract Flexibility
A fixed-term contract with your cable TV, internet, and phone provider can provide some much-needed predictability to your financial planning at a time when you’re trying to save. Let’s say you decide to go for a 2 year fixed-term contract on a basic cable TV, internet, and phone plan. Not only do you have a relatively low bill when compared to the non-contract options but you’re safe from unexpected price surges. We’d suggest going for a flexible plan only if you understand the promotional time frame involved and if opting for a contact variation then understand the cancellation fee for terminating services is a must.
Step 4 – Avoid Extra Costs
There are a few extra costs associated with switching to or signing up with a new provider or promotion. Make sure you’re aware of what you are exactly signing up for.
Buying your own modem is a popular cost effective choice that is popular and a relatively simple choice. Going to an electronics retail store and purchasing a compatible modem is going to work out better in the long term from a savings perspective
The alternative to purchasing a modem would be renting one from your internet service provider and ending up paying a monthly modem rental fee which can add up to more than it would cost you if you purchased your own.
- Say No to Activation Fee
You’re not a klutz. You can follow basic instructions right? Well, you can save further by avoiding “installation fee” by setting up your own cable TV, internet and phone service and equipment. A quick search on Google will result in more than enough informational guides to help make the process as simple as sliced bread. You’ve saved enough money on the installation to go ahead and purchase your own modem without technically spending from your pocket.
- Maintain the equipment
In this era of planned obsolesce of equipment by manufacturers, electronics items don’t last as long as they used to or aren’t repairable as they once were. You’ve got to put in some effort to keep your equipment clean and protected from excessive heat and ensure proper ventilation and airflow. There’s nothing worse than having to buy the same equipment again because it didn’t have enough air flow. Try to powering down the equipment when you’re going to be away from home and ensure that you are using a surge protector.
Step 5 – Make Use of Free Consultation
When there are professionally trained people who know the ins and outs of all the plans and promotions across multiple providers, you’d be remiss not to call them for free consultation to help figure things out. It saves you the hassle of reading up on everything yourself. They could give you the lowdown and inside information on providers and plans which fit your need and would be great help in selecting from multiple available providers in your area. You are under no obligations to buy and you get to speak to a human which is always welcomed in this technological age. Try it now by calling 1-855-771-3154.
Step 6 – The Art of the Deal
No matter if you are a fan of President Donald Trump or not, one thing you shouldn’t do is make a bad deal and be in hurry to get services. Good things come to those who wait. There is always leeway to get that little bit extra than you would if you aren’t determined to get value for money and being nice to who your speaking to goes a long way. When you do call the Customer Support reps to order your services, don’t lose sight of your goal: saving on your cable, internet, and phone bill.
Tell the Customer Support agent your ballpark budget for the services that you need and ask them for recommendation based on your requirements.
Clearly mention that you don’t want to be surprised by any hidden fees a few months down the line and don’t forget to smile since a smile can be heard over the phone.
The person that you are speaking to want to get you onboard as a customer, so take as much of their time as you want but do sign up since time is money and the individual that you are speaking to would most definitely appreciate the face.
Step 7 – Be Ready to Walk Away
You may want to get rid of your current cable TV, internet, and phone plan as fast as possible. You might feel like you need to strike a new deal on a new plan before the next billing cycle starts. But don’t let this urgency take control and make sure to take your time. If you’re not getting the savings you want, be ready to put the phone down and look elsewhere unless you have no other options.
Step 8 – Switch to Over-the-Air Channels
There are device called digital antenna that allow you to get FREE over-the-air basic channels! Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t. And it’s perfectly legal. If you fail at finding the right deal or just can’t afford the cable due to budgetary constraints then purchasing the antenna is a viable option. At least you will have basic TV service and your television set will not just sit there collecting dust.
Step 9 – Nuclear Option
If all of the above are not an option for you for some reason, then it is what it is. Just completely rid yourself of all services. But beware that most service providers have a 6 month cool off period. A break from your current services may not be the worst thing in the world since it can in fact give you much need time to stop and smell the roses.
Step 10 – Keep an Eye Out
Be sure to keep an eye out for good cable TV, internet, phone packages on Local Cable Deals. From time to time you'll want to visit the website to know if there's any package you may want to sign up for.
Anything We Missed?
This isn’t an exhaustive list. If we missed anything we’d love to hear your ideas on saving on for cable TV, internet, and phone deals. Best of luck towards your savings goals.