It happens all the time. You enter a deal with your local cable provider and lock in a price for one or two years. It’s usually a pretty good deal for a while. Maybe you get some free movie channels thrown in. Then, down the line, the day comes and your bill makes a sudden jump. Your promotional period has ended. You’re now on the hook for the same service at a higher price and adding to all of the consumer debt. At this point, our debt counselors recommend reevaluating your needs. Ask yourself if you really need that many TV channels.
Still, Need That Many TV Channels?
It’s tough to turn down the good deals when they are available. But you probably weren’t looking for all of those channels and features that you got. You’ve got more important uses for your money, like debt management. Now that the price has increased, the best thing to do is evaluate your actual needs and see if you really need that many TV channels. This way you can keep the costs low and make the getting out of debt process a little easier.
- Call your service provider to make changes to your service. Tell them that you need to spend less and want to drop some features to lower the costs. This will probably involve removing premium channels like HBO, Showtime, etc. or possibly slower internet speed.
- They will likely make you a new offer to help you keep most of the services at a lower price, which you can accept if you wish. This is often another temporary price reduction, which will need to be addressed again in the future.
- Tip: Have specific goals/pricing in mind and ask for that. You won’t get what you don’t ask for.
- I recommend being polite to the representative with whom you speak. They are not making the decisions for the company, just doing their job. If you are not getting the assistance or the changes that you’re seeking, then simply ask to speak to a manager. Moving up the chain of command usually gets you better results.
- If they can’t offer you a deal that you can live with, then you can always cancel your service altogether and switch providers. Once you mention this to the representative, there is a good chance they will sweeten their offer even further. They want to keep you as a customer. However, don’t mention canceling just as a bluff. You must be prepared to actually walk away.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.