After my husband and I got married last year, we did what most couples do and combined households. As we joined our lives and finances, we also evaluated our monthly expenses. We started by establishing our new budget. Then, we divided the financial responsibilities, set our savings goals, and looked for areas where we could cut back. The most obvious way was to cancel duplicate memberships and services we no longer needed. However, we overlooked a few opportunities to save money with our telecom services. Now that my husband will need to relocate for work, we are looking for more ways to trim the budget. So, I’m wondering if we have the best deal for our TV bundle package or if there are better options for us.
The Current TV Bundle Package
Before we got together, he had two roommates living in the same house. For budgeting purposes, they shared services and streaming memberships. However, anyone who lives in a large household will tell you how frustrating it is when you skimp on your internet speed. With all three of them working from home, streaming, and gaming, they chose a package with greater bandwidth. But now that it was just the two of us, I wasn’t sure if we were paying for more than we needed.
Our current bundle includes TV and internet services, but all streaming services are separate. With the bundle, we have the Ultimate plan with download speeds up to 500Mbps, a 1.25 TB monthly data plan, and 140 channels. The latest bill showed that we pay $83 a month for internet and $114 for TV; with taxes and fees, it’s just more than $210 a month. This price included a $30 discount on the package, which makes it a good deal. Unfortunately, the offer expires in April 2023.
Options in Our Area
Sadly, there are a limited number of service providers in our area. Only two, to be exact. This doesn’t work in our favor or create much competition for pricing and customer service.
Over the years, I’ve used both providers and neither one comes close to satisfactory. Since their prices and quality of service are about the same, I have no loyalty to either one. Therefore, I let the bottom line determine where I go and sometimes switch between the two, depending on who is running the best promotion.
I’ve also looked into satellite services, but have had bad experiences in the past. Living in the midwest means that we often deal with poor weather conditions. When it gets bad, service gets spotty and is often out for several hours at a time. Since I need reliable internet access to run my business, satellite service isn’t a good option for me.
Mix and Match
The other alternative is to pay for the services individually. We don’t watch many cable TV channels, so we have discussed ditching the extras for local channels only. Additionally, we don’t need a landline since we rely on our cell phones.
While it may seem limited, we would still have plenty of entertainment services. Since we already pay for subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon Prime, we could still watch our favorite TV shows and movies through these streaming services. Looking at our options, we are seriously considering canceling the cable and finding a bundle for our streaming services.
Getting the Best Deal on Your TV Bundle Package
Looking at our current package, it seems like we are getting the best deal available right now. However, that will change when our discount expires. So, if you are looking for ways to get the best deal on your TV bundle package, here are three things you should keep in mind.
1. Bundle your services for better discounts.
Obviously, bundling is one of the best ways to save on your telecom services. As a general rule, you typically pay less for each service when you go through a single provider.
Sometimes, they will also offer promotional deals and discounts to help you save even more. Not only is it good news for your wallet, but telecom companies also love it when you bundle because it boosts revenue for each client and has its users committing to long-term contracts.
However, not all bundles are a bargain. You need to do your due diligence and pay attention to the fine print. Watch out for the fees for add-ons and equipment rentals. These hidden charges may cost you more by nickel and diming you beyond your budget.
2. Check out the competition.
Any true budgeter knows that you should always shop around and compare prices. The same is true when it comes to your telecom services. If you live in larger cities, you will usually find better deals. The bigger the local market, the better the inducement offers will be as well.
Many providers offer great deals and packages to sign up. Plus, you can sometimes find exclusive web offers to save even more. Others offer incentives like prepaid credit cards or discounts when you sign up or pay for services online. Sometimes the savings are so significant, that I’m willing to switch contracts and go through the hassle of changing service providers.
3. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Most people think that rates are set in stone. While there may be standard pricing, there are usually ways that service providers are willing to sweeten the deal to keep your business. So when your contract expires, be ready to have a conversation about your renewal.
When you go into the conversation, keep in mind that there is some room for negotiation. Although they will rarely give you free service, it never hurts to ask for a current promotional rate for new members or that they extend your current deal.
The staunchest savers will also advise you to be willing to walk away. Let your provider know that you will be looking at other options if they can’t honor the rate or offer other discounts. Sometimes threatening to end your service spurs them to find ways to reduce your monthly bill and extend your contract.
Ultimately, you have to decide what is most important for your communication needs and choose the package that is right for you. It never hurts to ask for what you want from your service provider. They may surprise you and grant your requests. In the long run, they know a satisfied customer is worth more than the discount.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.