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Tips to save when TV, Internet, phone bundle deals end

May 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
To save on TV, Internet and phone bills, many people get all three services from the same company. These triple plays get you steep discounts, but only for a limited time, then bills often shoot up.

When Leta Pegram saw a jump in her monthly Telecom bill, she took action.

"Once I did see that my cable bill was too high, I picked up the phone," said Pegram.

She asked her cable company about dropping some TV channels as a way to save.

"And they said, 'Oh, no, no, no, we have a special going on where you can get the premium channels, the HBO.' And I said, 'Listen, I'm trying to save, I'm not trying to go up, I'm trying to go down,'" said Pegram.

In the end, Pegram managed to add HBO and other premium channels and still save $20 a month. Consumer Reports' annual survey of subscribers shows you may be able to save even more.

"Forty-four percent of those who bargained got up to $50 a month off their bill, and 7 percent got an even bigger discount," said Rosalind Tordesillas with Consumer Reports.

If you use your cellphone more than your home phone, some companies are letting you make a triple play with your cellphone instead of a landline. And if you want to keep both, several major providers are offering "quad plays" that let you add your cellphone service too.

"Don't stick with the plan you've always had. Explore new options. Your situation changes, and you might be paying for services you don't even use all that much," said Tordesillas.

Pegram tries to negotiate every time she gets an increase.

"If I see that it's getting to a point where I can't handle the cost, I'm going to make a phone call," said Pegram.

Consumer Reports surveyed their subscribers and found that in Southern California, subscribers of Verizon FiOS were very happy with their customer support, billing and value.


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