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November 05, 2009

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Has anyone here ever haggled with AT&T over U-Verse or Internet prices? I know Comcast is well known for haggling...is AT&T U-Verse known for it too?

We have AT&T U-verse TV 200, 3.0 Mbps High Speed Internet, HD, an HD DVR, and two basic boxes for $118 including taxes. Plus we received a $250 check a little more than a year ago for signing up and they haven't ever raised our rates.

I'll try to feel them out this week and post whether I'm successful or not...just wanted to know if I should get my hopes up or not.

When my promotional rates run out (each of the past, oh, five or six years or so), here's the conversation that takes place after I call customer support.

Me: Yes, I'd like to cancel my service, please.
Rep: May I ask why?
Me: Well, because I can get a better rate with XYZ provider.
Rep: Would it make a difference if I knocked $5 per month off your rate?
Me: Well, that's nice and all, but I still think I want to go with the other provider.
Rep: Would it make a difference if I offered you the promotional rate for another year?
Me: Uh, well, hmmm. Okay.

Lather, rinse, repeat every 12 months.

I've kept my cable bill down over the years by continually calling and haggling w/Comcast. The last netted me a 12 month deal w/cable and internet for $30/mo less than what I was paying. I leveraged Netflix and AT&T prices.

The only problem I had with haggling with Comcast was that I would have to call every 6 months to continue to receive a $30-$40 discount that simply brought the bill down to $120.

That was a major reason why we switched to AT&T U-verse...$2 less with no haggling and we get HD (which we didn't have with Comcast), DVR with 4 at a time capabilities instead of 2 at a time, more channels than we did (hubby likes the NFL Network), and 2 extra boxes for the office and guest bedroom.

Now I just want to get a cheaper price overall too...I'm greedy. :)

Thanks for the link!

Since I wrote the post I've heard from some people in the comments and via email that said they didn't have as much luck with the chat - which is too bad. I guess it really depends on the chat agent that you get - as to whether you'll get the best deal. I think the key is - check all the different signup sources - phone, internet, chat, resellers - and see which has the best deal. Go with the one that has the best deal!

We'll be attempting to get the same deal when we renew in 1 year - or if we can't - cancel. From what I understand it shouldn't be too hard to get them to re-up us at the same rate. If not - buh bye!

Sounds like you have quite an Arsenal of great tips...and now, viewing experiences.

I hope those who are paying $50, $100~ and upwards for TV (which is free and of higher quality via an antenna in most of urban, suburban USA and much of rural USA too), at least have their retirements FULLY funded, kids college paid for and all debt erased...That's a BIG EXPENSIVE luxury month after month, year ater year (add it up!) for those who haven't. Dish TV (not DirectTV) advertizes for $19.99 - $24.99 here in the WA state side of Portland area, that's the bronze package but, HD add's $10 plus the taxes, etc., this is a far better deal than Comcraps cable lousy selections and terrible condensed pic quality, ...instead: I've chosen a $50 antenna, $75 to mount it and enjoy 25 (!!) FREE, (22 channels) in HD and ALL DIGITAL TV, $0 a month is nice instead of throwing $100~ away!! WOW>>>>>....

Just remember, with ALL satalites, when it rains, snows and blows.... enjoy your books.

I personally don't even pay for tv at all right now. When our "deal" ran out with cox I just cancelled the whole thing. I've been watching tv series such as 30 rock and heroes via Netflix instead.

chynalemay,
You were so busy being judgemental, I quit reading your post. Just an FYI...

Al -

For a year I lived in a house with DirecTV and I recall three outages, two of which were momentary (went out and had to reboot or reconnect to the transponder or something). The third lasted about one hour.

Not atrocious if you ask me.

Judgemental? Nope, speaking the truth after working with almost 10K~ clients and prospective clients in 16~ years as a fin planner, ...most who "fit" the title of this article, are those w/ the TV, car, credit card, furniture, hair, equity loan, etc., "bills", and it seemed they were the ones makig OVER $75K annually...why think of retirement if you CAN't/WON't eliminate consumer debt?

Turned away many prospective clients who thought they should invest but, were like the above and would not cut up the credit cards, unplug (At least the "extra services" and go to limited basic if not an antenna) cable, reduce or eliminate some phone use and attempt to spend LESS then they earn! What a novel concept?!

chynalemay,

Let me repeat Crystal's comment since you didn't seem to actually get it the first time:

"You were so busy being judgemental, I quit reading your post. Just an FYI..."

It's one thing to describe your clients; it's another to condemn everyone who has cable. Think about it. ;)

Thanks for bringing up the tip about the online agents. I definitely have to give that a try. As for me, I don't watch too much TV anymore and I were to watch, I would just go to Hulu and as for movies, Netflix is too cheap to beat, especially since they now have streaming movies.

Any advice for getting better rates from Charter? They have a monopoly in my area on cable internet&TV so the rates are lousy. I pay $100/mo for expanded basic HDTV & high speed internet. The internet alone is $69/mo---which is pretty bad, IMO. Wish these monopolies were outlawed.

Not sure if this would work for anyone else but...

We had Comcast digital starter and internet and our promotional rate ran out. Our bill was going to increase by about 40%. I tried to negotiate with the rep on the phone but she didn't seem concerned at all that they might lose our business. Husband and I decided to cut back to limited basic cable in order to keep our internet (it's less than internet alone). When we did this, our internet performance started to decline. The tech came to our house and removed the 'trap' Comcast had installed to limit our cable. Now, we have the same internet speed we had before and all the channels we had with our former cable package, minus the "On Demand" features.

YMMV, but the tech seemed to think this is common practice with our service combo...the trap slows down the internet as it blocks the additional channels, so many techs just remove it.

For those talking about how cable is big unnecessary expense - I tend to agree with that. It is a luxury, and one that we did without for many many years. We're at a point now though where we are debt free except the mortgage, and have a fully funded retirement/etc - and we figured a $36.99/month luxury is acceptable.

Now if you aren't in as good of a position you may want to consider canceling cable, and going with another free option, like streaming Hulu.com to your TV, or watching shows through a connected computer and one of the many vast options of streaming tv websites.

I pay $11 a month with Cox's Limited Cable plan. It gives me more stations than I know what to do with (TBS, CW, MYTVZ, ANIMAL, HISTORY, E!, Regular networks in HD, SPIKE, AMC, FOOD, WGN, and a few more). Any more and I'd probably spend even more time on my butt watching even more TV, which isn't exactly healthy in the first place.

I was able to get a 6 month $15 reduction on our AT&T Uverse bill just by asking.

I asked a nice lady in the billing department what could be done to help lower our expenses. She looked at our plan and saw that we could cut back the cable and internet plans by one level, but that would only save $15. She said she assumed we needed more, I agreed that would be nice. She transferred me to the retention department.

The lady there suggested cutting back both plans and offered an additional $10 discount on cable and $5 on internet. I asked if we could get those discounts without cutting back on our plans (since we like what we have). She agreed. I got a confirmation number and have put a note on my calendar to call back in April.

Yay! It's only $15, but that is way more than I was getting before I asked. :-)

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