Disturbed by these numbers, I began to seek out ways to reduce our cable bill only to discover that the wonderful powers that are our cable company have automatically renewed our contract at this higher service rate. Grrr. I asked our cable provider what services we could change which might offer us a price break only to discover due to the contract there isn't a lot we can do. Grrr. I was given two options:
Option one, we could add the new whole house DVR service and increase our bill an additional $10 per month and there's $50 installation fee for this service. UGH! By the time we'd be done with this option, the bill be $180 a month with the newly added fee plus the taxes and surcharges they add. I can't help thinking "did the lady on the other end of the phone not hear me say I wanted to reduce my bill"? Hmmmm...I had to reiterate to her I was not looking to increase my bill, my goal was to lower the cost. She didn't offer me any solutions until I asked, can we remove any services? At this point I was presented with our second option.
Option two, There are two services that aren't part of our contract which we are allowed to remove; however, this would only reduce our bill by less than $10 a month and we'd lose channels my children love to watch. Disappointed with the response I received, I asked what the cost of "buying out" our contract would be and was told $70.
I began to weigh my options and decided to explore other cable service providers. After calling a competitor, I was even more upset with my current cable company. For services that exceed what we have already and the new whole house DVR services our current company offered to add for that additional $10 a month, the local competitor's rate was considerably less expensive. $30 less a month to be more precise. Now to some people that $30 a month isn't a lot of money. In fact, in the past I would've thought it wasn't worth the hassle of changing companies; however, today I'm looking at that $30 as two weeks worth of lunch money for my son, 1 1/2 weeks worth of gas for my husband's car, or a box of contact lens for me. $30 is more money than I'd find sifting around in the cushions of my couch.
In addition to being a lower monthly rate, the competitor cable company also offered a price guarantee on their rates until January 2015, a 60 day money-back satisfaction guarantee, and they do not require us to sign a contract. Our bill would be closer to that $100 a month mark I am a little more acceptable of than pushing $200 a month, so I decided to give the competitor a chance. Our new service is scheduled to be installed next week and we are giving it a few days to "test drive" before we cancel our current providers service.
Yes, it will cost me $70 to get out of our contract, but the overall savings we'll see before that contract expires will more than make up for this expense. Plus one of my friends told me about the competitors referral program and by providing her information to them when I enrolled we both will see a $25 on our bills in three months. Lesson learned, services providers for luxuries like cable television are not going to offer you solutions that cost them money. You may have to pry that information out of them, but there may be some savings to be discovered in the end.
Total "lost money" found = $30 per month or $360 per year.
Check back later for more ways to find "lost money"