Demand a discount from your cable/DSL/phone provider


Before I moved last year, I was paying $150 monthly for phone, cable TV and Internet. I grumbled every time I got the bill but was too lazy to do anything about it. Now I've moved into a new home and cut out the phone and downgraded to basic DSL for $25. However, if you're staying put and want a better deal on your telecom and TV rates, just call up your provider and threaten to take your business elsewhere. That's what a guy named Alan Weinkrantz did -- in his blog last month, he explains how he saved nearly 50 percent on his AT&T phone/TV bill just by calling the company up. He was expecting a 10% discount, but his bill went from $164 to $94, just by asking.

A related Wall Street Journal article said that carriers are officially continuing to boost prices -- Comcast and Time Warner Cable raised prices by 6 percent for TV services last month -- but behind the scenes, they're offering steep discounts to keep, win or get back customers. However, threats work better when you live in an area that offers plenty of choices and competition.

Originally published