Cable Provider Discounts You Might Not Know About

You May Be Qualified To Save More On Your Cable Bill

Cable TV providers are constantly coming out with new deals and promotions to bring in more customers. Just turn on the TV, open a newspaper, or simply visit their website, and you'll find ads for different packages at reduced prices. What you might not know, though, is that some providers offer special discounts that aren't usually advertised.

These cable provider discounts can be available year-round, or strictly on a case-by-case basis. Some can save you just a little each month, while others can net you a fair amount. Some discounts are stated outright, while others you have to ask for. So, what are these discounts and how can you get them? Here's everything you need to know:

SEE ALSO: How To Get The Best Cable TV Plan

Military Discount

In order to thank those who have fought for our country, many companies give back by offering discounts to military members, past and present, as well as their families. When it comes to cable providers, DirecTV, Time Warner, DISH Network, and TiVo, have all been known to offer some type of military discount.

These discounts are often available for only a limited time and can range in price. Each provider also has different qualification requirements. For example, DirecTV offers a Veterans Advantage package, with a 130+ channels, Sunday NFL Ticket, and three months of free premium channels for $19.99 a month. This particular offer is only available to members of Veterans Advantage who are new customers to DirecTV.

However, DirecTV as well as other cable providers also offers other military discounts. If you are interested in learning more about these discounts, contact the provider's customer service department. Here is more information on military discounts.

College Student Discount

If you are a current enrolled college student with a valid student ID, you may be eligible for a fairly significant discount on your cable package. College student unions will usually negotiate deals with local providers like Comcast, Time Warner, and AT&T, and pass on the discounts to students.

These discounts will vary depending on the school and the provider, and the promotions don't tend to last very long (typically only for nine months), but they should work out perfectly for the school year. Check with your school's student union office to find out if there are any deals available for you or find more information on student discounts here.

Senior Citizens Discount

Giving discounts to senior citizens is also a fairly common practice for companies. Again, these discounts are usually limited time offers and will vary depending on the provider and the package you choose, as well as the area in which you live. Seniors living in select areas in New York and making a limited income, for instance, receive one free month of cable from Time Warner for every 12 months they pay their bill on time. Senior citizens in some cities in North Carolina, on the other hand, get 10 percent off certain packages from Charter Communications. Although senior discounts don't tend to be that substantial, they are sometimes stacked on top of other promotions. So, if you are looking to save big, be sure to ask about them.

Employee Discount

A lot of companies, especially large corporations and government organizations, provide their employees with special discounts. Cable TV is no exception. These discounts are usually set up through an employee discount program, which can be exclusive to the company or include numerous affiliated companies. To find out if your company offers a discount program or any other discounts in general, check with your human resources department.

Membership Discount

Members of certain associations and affiliations may also qualify for a cable TV discount. Groups like AAA, AARP, Lion's Club, work unions, and alumni associations are sometimes able to work out deals with certain providers. Again, not all branches will offer the same discount, since the deals are usually negotiated on a case by case basis. So, if you want to find out what options are available for you, it's best to check either with your group's home office or with the specific cable provider you are interested in to see what they can give you.

Loyalty Discount

Some providers offer discounts to long-time customers who have stayed with the company for years. If you realize you’re paying more for a package that doesn’t offer as much as the newer, cheaper ones, don’t be afraid to talk to a customer service representative and explain your situation. The trick is to not budge and stand your ground, because more often than not they’ll transfer you to a qualified professional with the authority to give you discounted rates.  For example, DirecTV has a customer loyalty team that addresses your situation and offers lower bills and even free channels, so be sure to be firm in what you want.

Make Your Own Discount

If you don't happen to qualify for any of the above mentioned discounts, don't worry. You always have the option to try to negotiate your own deal. With all the various options, promotions, packages, and bundles available through any one provider, customers often pay a variety of prices for the same service. Go ahead and see if you can cut yourself a better price.

It would be best to talk directly to a retention specialist, who are people that are trained to persuade you to stay, or at least not cancel your services. They’re the ones responsible for taking cancellation requests and will do everything they can to keep you as a customer. Asking to speak to the manager or supervisor won’t get you anywhere since they’ll be more short with you than a representative, and they’re not gaining commission from your sales.  Retention specialists usually come into the call when you threaten to discontinue their service, so if you’re really unsatisfied with what you’re paying for, a little bluffing won’t hurt. Ask if there are any other deals available or if there's any way to waive some of the service or installation fees. Also, if another provider is offering a different discount, don't be afraid to ask if they can give you a comparable deal. The worst that can happen is that they say no.

SEE ALSO: 4 Little Known Secrets To Negotiating Your Cable Bill

Whether you're able to land a discount or not, it's important to look at the overall offer to see if it's worth it. Most cable TV deals are geared toward drawing in new customers, so the signup and starting prices they give you will always be low, then they hit you with a significant price increase further down the line. Before signing any paperwork, make sure to go over the entire contract. This will ensure that you're saving as much money as possible.

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