Arts and Culture

How to Lower Your Cable Bill

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The cable companies always sucker you in by giving you some amazing introductory rate, and then hiking it up six months to a year after you join.  It’s one of those things that you forget about until one day you look at your bill and say, “What the fuck?  Why did this double?” and then you look to make sure your dirtbag roommate didn’t order late night porno channels when he came home wasted.  He probably did.

Well, just last week I was appalled at what we were paying for cable so I called the cable company up.  I did some research beforehand to see what kind of sweet introductory rates they were offering at the time, and I asked to be switched to one of those.  Unfortunately they said no, but then I said, “You know, I’ve been thinking of switching to the Dish Network because because they are offering me a better deal, but I’m really happy with the service you’re giving me.  Is there any way you can lower my rate?”  At that point they switched me to some kind of “Retention Department” and the lady there was able to take almost $40 off my bill!  Not too shabby huh?  These companies obviously want to keep you (and your money) so they can be more flexible than you think.  Plus I think you would get the same result if you have Dish Network and threaten them that you are thinking of moving to cable.

So there you have it.  Give it a try and drop a comment to let me know how it goes.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.


  1. June 13, 2009 at 5:08 am

    This thankfully hasn’t been an issue for me, as someone goofed on my cable. Instead of getting the bare essential cable with local channels, public access and CSPAN, I have the basic package with internet. All for about $50 a month. Thank you Comcast!

  2. NicoleyCole
    June 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    So, I just called my cable company, and they indeed took $40 off my bill (after much persuasion) !!! I’ve tried this before, but they always make excuses like “Those introductory rates aren’t available in your area,” which we all know is total bullshit. I called her out on it, asked to speak to sales, and that I wanted to cancel my service. After being transferred to the cancellation department, it was THEN that they took me seriously and dropped $40 off my bill. Thanks for the tip ! Don’t give in and hang up! Keep pushing for the lower rates !!!

  3. Alexei
    February 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    If you’re worried about pushing too hard and them saying “OK, you’re canceled” when you didn’t actually want to be, just tell them to terminate the service a week into the future (“when your new plan activates”). Then you can call back later and call off the cancellation.

  4. May 23, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Have been doing this for years with cable and newspapers. Also, tell them you are going to BASIC Cable, most cable companies cannot block the other channels now. If you do not succeed, try and try again, eventually you will get it done.

  5. […] chose Comcast as your cable provider).  And they don’t make it any easier on you when they beg you to stay.  But spending $80 each month on cable TV is asking a lot without getting much in return. Just […]

  6. March 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Ah yes the good ol’ retention department. They can always make you a deal if they threaten them to leave. They might not be able to do nothing at first but say you are going to Direct TV or DISH and they can make magic happen.