Bargaining for Cable: Free Channels & Lower Bills

Don’t be afraid to negotiate

I pay about $75 a month for my cable television service from Time Warner Cable. While this may not seem like a lot (that’s only $2.50 per day), it adds up: $900 per year for service on a single television in my apartment. Between work and NYC’s free attractions, I really don’t have much time for TV. So imagine my glee when rival cable network RCN set up a table in my building, complete with free donuts and Don Draper-esque salespeople, advertising a $29.99 per month special for those willing to defect—plus RCN would pay all “termination fees” with your cable provider to sweeten the deal. Switching cable providers seemed like too much of a hassle—an offer isn’t truly a deal if it takes hours of effort to return the cable box, set up installation for the new service, etc. But I still figured the RCN poachers could be used to get Time Warner worried… Photo Credit: Getty Images