So here's your dilemma: You're soooo over paying those hefty cable bills from Spectrum or Frontier, but you're not quite ready to cut the cord and go full-tilt-boogie on streaming services like YouTube TV and Netflix.
You love watching ABC Action News (especially that dreamy morning team) and several other channels, but you just heard that Spectrum may soon raise your rate almost $30 a month.
So what's a TV fan to do?
How about lower that bill through the art of negotiation.
You have more bargaining power than you know.
Justin Cupler, an assistant editor at The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance Website for everyday consumers, says your cable company would rather have less of your money than none of it at all.
"Cable companies love longtime paying customers," Cupler says. "They want to keep them. So make sure you use that as a negotiating point when you're talking. Call the customer service rep and say I've been a customer for X number of years. I want to make sure I'm getting the best possible deal for my money.' Then just stop there. Make the customer service representative work for you. They're gonna check out your history...what discounts you use and see what they can do to get you a better deal."
With so many TV and cable options out there -- other basic companies, satellite dishes, streaming services -- you can actually make your provider jealous...at least in business terms. You need to do your homework and know competitors' deals and discounts. Then go in for the bill kill.
"'I don't want to leave you, but can you meet this deal?' Cupler says. "That's kind of a hot button for these customer service reps. 'Oh god, this person might jump ship. Let's see what we can do to make this deal work."
And finally, the ultimate bluff call: Call the cancelation department and say you're done. Cancellation reps are trained to keep you -- and keep at least some of your money -- and just might offer the best last-ditch deal of all.