We hear it all the time: our customers want to know how to “cut the cord” for their cable, or significantly reduce it to save money.  In this day and age with Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV and Amazon Fire, it’s easy to do, a great way to save some money, and something most of us should consider reducing if not eliminating.  However, in most suburban areas, many customers have their internet and cable TV coming from the same provider on one combined bill as a package deal.  At our house for example, our cable & internet runs about $90/month, and when we called to reduce or eliminate the TV portion, it was only a nominal savings, and would still run us $50/$60 a month to keep the internet on.  Without the package deal of cable and internet service together, the prices went up if you’re only purchasing one service, meaning a nominal savings for the hassle.  That doesn’t mean you can’t save money…here’s a few things to consider:

  1. Call Them!  Every few months, I have a reminder pop up on my calendar to call our internet/cable provider and see what new deals and promotions they have.  The customer service reps are usually able to find promotions and discounts that do not extend my contract, and will lower my bill, even if only by a little- it all ads up!  Ask if they can waive some fees!  Not getting a good enough deal?  Threaten that you will need to cancel the service, and you’ll be amazed with the results.  Just make sure you’re aware of any changes that extend your contract or sign you up for a contract- and make a note in your calendar when those changes will roll off so you can call again.
  2. Bring Your Own Modem / Router!  Most of the home customers I visit have the big “Comcast box” that provides the internet connection and WiFi signal to their home.  What most of my customers don’t know is that they’re paying $12/month (or more!) to rent that box from the provider…which ads up to $144/year on your bill.  Additionally, many of our customers who have this rented box are complaining of poor WiFi strength in their home, which is because there are no external antennas on the box, and it’s an old device that probably hasn’t been updated in several years.  However, one of the biggest problems I see with this Comcast box is that they use your box to automatically enable a free Public-WiFi network for other Comcast users in your area (which could easily be hacked if the right people try, AND could lower your internet speed & performance). You can easily bypass this “Big Brother” type of service by buying your own cable modem for around $60, and get an external wireless router for around $40 that is MUCH higher powered than the junk in the rented box- and way more secure.  Not only would you save money over time, but you would get better service.  We’ve had our cable modem for years- they have a long life span and would work if we switched internet providers….without the $12/month bill and security nightmare!  It’s a great project for Canyonero Consulting to help with!
  3. Get Rid Of The Box!  In this day and age, most of us have multiple TV’s in our home.  One in the family room, one in the basement, and one in the bedrooms…and if they’re all HDTV’s, you’ve likely got them hooked to a cable box from your provider.  In many cases, you don’t need a cable box to get most of the cable channels to work on your TV, and it’s another rental fee you’re paying per month, per TV that you might not use.  There are advantages to having a cable box hooked up to your TV (you get additional HD channels, DVR, etc), but for your second and third TV’s in the house, you might not need to pay for additional cable boxes.  It’s worth calling and asking if you can eliminate the cable box, and what affect it will have on your channels, services, and features.  Ours were $5/box/month, so it too added up to a significant savings.

We love hearing our customer’s suggestions and tips for cutting the cord and eliminating costs- please post below with your ideas and suggestions!