If you're not bundling TV, Internet and home phone, getting all three as a discount package, you could be missing out on big savings. And the Consumer Reports National Research Center found there are other ways to cut your telecom bill. A survey of 69,000 readers reveals bargaining can really pay off.
"Seven out of 10 people we polled who bundle their services didn't bargain before signing up. But of those who did, more than 90 percent got some sort of deal," said Rosalind Tordesillas of Consumer Reports.
Of those who negotiated for telecom services, 40 percent got their bill reduced as much as $50 dollars a month. Others got fees waived for activation and installation. Or they were offered free premium services for a period. But remember, if you want to keep saving, you'll need to cancel these services before companies start charging you.
"Some companies are now tracking what discounts you've already gotten, so you may have to press harder. If asking for a lower rate doesn't work, let them know you're thinking of cutting some services or switching providers," Tordesillas said.
Providers may be more willing to deal once it's clear you're serious about dropping them.
"One of our staffers called and asked how to disconnect her service," Tordesillas said. "She actually got $30 knocked off her monthly bill and an upgrade as well."