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Can You Bargain with Cable or Internet Providers After the Promotional Price?

Wondering if and how you can bargain with cable or internet providers for the cheapest internet? Here are some tips to help you get better deals and discounts.

June 3, 2022

Broadband companies raise their costs almost every year, with big providers announcing steep increases left, right and center. If your Wi-Fi monthly cost is going up or the promotional package is about to expire, switching providers isn't the only method to save money.

What if there were a simple method to gain discounts, better service, or both? 

Your internet service provider (ISP) can offer you a variety of secret bargains behind the scenes, but you'll have to work for them. Here are some pointers to consider when bargaining with cable or internet providers post-promotional price period.

Understand what you're paying for

When attempting to resolve an issue with your internet bill, the first step should determine exactly what you are paying for. Examine recent bills to determine what services you have and the total cost. You may notice services advertised that you don’t need or use. 

For example, you may discover you’re paying for way more internet than you need. In that case, downgrading a plan is simpler than negotiating your existing one.

On the other hand, you may notice fees for exceeding monthly data limits. If your bill has any overage fees, you may be paying fines and fees that could be resolved with a better plan. If you have a limited data plan, are you constantly going over your limit and paying a premium for it?

Your data usage is mainly dependent on how you use your internet. Do you work from home? How many devices are connected to your network at once? Take some time to understand your needs to ensure you have the best data speeds for your home network.

Maintain a realistic level of expectation

When asking for a Wi-Fi monthly cost reduction, come to the conversation with realistic expectations. For example, there's likely no way you could lower a $150 bill to a $75 bill, no matter how badly you wanted it.

For context, the average U.S. household pays $64 a month for standalone broadband. If you’re paying well above that, a discount may be feasible, but if you’re below the average, it may be more of a challenge.

Before calling your ISP, look into competitors' pricing and see what promotions they offer new customers. You'll not only know how much to ask to get charged for your services, but you'll also have a sound negotiation chip: 

"This bundle is only $99 per month at Company X. I'd want to stay with you, but my cable bill must fit inside my budget. What can you do to help me get the best cheap internet in my area?"

Explain your case 

A classic blunder in negotiation is being too aggressive. Many inexperienced negotiators believe that they can’t compromise or be kind to get their way.

The problem is the customer support employee on the other end of the line is also a person — a person who won’t like being shouted at. 

Remain patient and courteous with customer service. Stay calm and remain firm in what you’re hoping to pay while having a specific number for what you’re willing t pay if the provider can’t meet your expectations.

With a bit of civility, you can increase your chances of success.

Tips to bargaining down your internet

It might sound strange, but nobody said you couldn't bargain with your internet service provider to bring your Wi-Fi monthly cost down. 

Competition to retain existing customers is fierce in the ISP space. Your ISP wants to keep your business, so they may be able to offer a discount to avoid losing you to a competitor.

Keep these tactics in mind as you start the process. 

It’s okay to walk away

It may be a pain to change ISPs, but that’s a risk you take when you call to negotiate. Armed with research from the competition, try to strike a deal with your ISP, understanding that if they disagree, you may have to jump providers to save. 

First, conduct research and shop around to see what your competitors offer. Ask yourself, “Which one of these reputable ISPs offers the best cheap internet in my area?” 

Choose a competing service provider with the highest internet quality and a price comparable to your current one.

Prepare for multiple transfers

Depending on the time of day, you may be on the line with customer service for a while. Expect to be transferred to different departments, even multiple times. 

You’ll know you’re on the right track when you’re transferred to a retention department. Remember to stay calm and collected as you explain your request to each new service agent you speak with.

Negotiating down your bill may even take multiple calls. If you didn’t prepare enough research or had a hard time reaching the right representatives, don’t hesitate to call back again at a later time. 

Why does bargaining work?

Remember that companies often offer their best deals to newcomers. They adore loyal customers, but they won’t offer you promotions if you’re already under contract.

While haggling can be effective, it is only one part of the battle to get the best deal. Sometimes, different providers' discounts offered to “new customers” are just incredible. Haggle, by all means, but don't forget to check out the best deals available.

Final thoughts

It’s possible to negotiate down your internet bill, but you’ll have to research and carve out some time for a lengthy call.

If you choose to bargain with your ISP, be reasonable. Describe your situation. Being polite pays off. It can't hurt to ask for a reduction in your Wi-Fi monthly cost.

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