- Audit your channels
The Nielsen Company’s 2016 Total Audience Report states that consumers only watch about 19 of the 200 channels they pay for. To avoid paying for channels that you will not be watching, it’s a good idea to audit the channels you frequent the most and prioritize them when shopping. This will help you find the best price for a package with everything you need. There’s no need to upgrade to the 250+ if all your favorite channel come standard in the 120+ package. Typically, the two cheapest packages will offer the most well-rounded lineup and higher tiers will add on sports and premium channels that you can often purchase individually.
- Consider bundling your services
You can save about $30 on each service you bundle with one provider. You’ll also save time and effort with a consolidated bill. If your home needs the internet or phone service in addition to TV, it’s a good idea to consider the bundled packages offered by TV providers.
- Keep tabs on fees
As you prepare to buy TV service, be sure to keep a lookout on the many fees that can add up. Installation, activation, cancellation, and equipment fees can all tally up to a shocking first bill. Some providers even charge more subtle fees like a regional channel and HD fee. Budget appropriately, and don’t be afraid to call up and ask the representative to waive fees, especially if you’re a new customer.
- Track your contract timeline
Providers won’t give you a heads up when your two-year contract is up and when your monthly bill will hike. Set a reminder in your phone or mark your calendar for when that time nears, and then make a phone call to your provider. More than anything, representatives want to keep your business — if you suggest you’re shopping around or considering a company with lower rates, they’re likely to extend your promotional prices or offer a year of free HBO. Be sure to write everything down and confirm your new rates. Ask for details like call log or confirmation numbers so you’ll have evidence in case any discrepancy arises down the line.