Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We get to keep our satellite and DVR!

For the past several months we have been looking at our expenses and trying to cut out anything that wasn't necessary. We've done fairly well. Except one thing: the satellite TV and DVR. We did downgrade our package about 6 months ago, but we were still paying (cough! sputter!) $40 a month! I knew it was stupid, but just couldn't quite let go of the satellite TVchannels and most of all the DVR!

If you've had a DVR, TiVo, etc., you know that it is the greatest invention. Gotta go to the bathroom, but don't want to miss a pivotal scene in that medical drama? Just pause it! A kid was screaming and you didn't quite hear that last news story?? Rewind it! All your favorite shows come on during bath and bedtime? Just hit record!

But, as the months wore on, and as $40 dollars was deducted from our account every month, I knew that we need to let it go. Just as I was having these thoughts, along came a mailer from the local cable company. Limited basic cable (i.e. the network channels and the weather channel and a news channel) for $10 a month. It was a sign. We needed to make the cut.

So I called the cable company, arranged for them to come out at the first of the month. Then I called the satellite company to find out just how long I could go before they would cut it off but still charge me for another month. Of course, they tried to talk me out of it. They offered me a smaller package, but I would still pay extra for the local channels (which is what we wanted most of all) and of course extra for the DVR. I declined. But I had another day to think about it before I had to call to have the service turned off.

On the second phone call (when they knew I was serious) they escalated my call to a supervisor who offered me the intro package and the local channels for the low, low price of $10.99 a month for 10 months. I mentioned that was nice, but that I would still have to pay extra for the DVR. That's when he said "OK, if you'll stay with us, I'll add the DVR for no additional charge". Really? I kept trying to find the punch line. I asked about taxes and fees. he looked it up and said it should only be about $2.75. So, for $14.00 a month (for 10 months) we will get to keep our satellite TV service and DVR. Of course, in 10 months we'll be facing the same decision as now, but I think it will be easier since by then we will have found many other uses for that extra $25 a month we'll be saving.

The moral of the story: It never hurts to ask for a better deal on your services. Just be ready to pull the plug if they won't give you a better deal.



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