Choosing a reliable cable provider is not as simple as it was back in the day. Earlier, all you had to do was dial up a number and subscribe to the available plan. However, today the process is different because most of the research is done online. When you log on to the internet via spectrum phone deals or any other service plan, you’ll come across countless cable TV websites.
Plus, each provider is offering different kinds of plans and packages. The options can overwhelm you, making it rather hard to choose the most suitable plan/provider. So whether you’ve moved to a new locality or simply wish to reduce your monthly bills, here are some tips that can help you choose the best cable provider in your area.
#1. Research Your Options
First of all, you need to find out which cable services are available in your area. This is quite simple. There are a number of websites that can narrow down your options by address. Once you’re aware of your options, start doing a little research on them. Ask your neighbours and friends about which provider’s services they use? How is their experience so far? Does the cable service run out? If so, how often and how quickly do they restore it?
It is also important to know how active and helpful a provider’s customer service is. For that, you can also check the telecommunications report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. It conducts an annual survey on customer services of some of the largest cable providers in the country. Well-known cable providers such as Spectrum and DirecTV cover most of the states across the US. However, the channels may vary from region to region.
#2. Check the Bundled Offerings
When choosing a cable provider, you should be aware of other services they’re offering besides cable TV. Most of the well-established companies also offer an internet and phone service along with cable TV. It is important to note that buying these services from different providers can prove to be expensive for you.
If you grab all of them from one company in the form of a bundle deal, you can save quite a lot of money. If you already have a good cell plan and it’s working well for you, you don’t need another internet service. At times, what may look like a good offer initially, might just be a marketing tactic that providers use to lure in customers for easy money. Therefore, it is important to know your needs and shop accordingly.
#3. Decide Which Channels You Want
According to a report by Nielsen (2016), an average American adult has access to over 200 channels but watches only 20 of them. Don’t be one of them. Write down a list of the channels you want to watch. Then make a secondary list of the channels that would be nice to have but not necessary. After that, see which cable provider offers you the most channels from your must-have channel list. It would be great if you can get a few more channels from the second list you’ve made.
But be realistic about how often you would watch cable TV. If you’re getting an add-on package and won’t have the time to watch those additional channels, you’d be paying an extra fee for nothing. Similarly, if you’re more of an online streamer, you can settle for the free broadcast TV alone. It all depends on your viewing habits, so do take them into account.
#4. Ask About Installation Fee
Many people don’t consider the installation fee when selecting a cable provider. Most renowned providers do not charge an installation fee. However, in some cases, you might have to pay a small fee for installation.
Of course, that is no big deal. However, watch out for the providers who trick the customers into paying for equipment. That is mostly uncalled for and if you’re not aware of all the charges, you might end up paying extra. Therefore, remember to ask about the installation charges before you sign up for a plan.
#5. Negotiate & Compare Prices
You can always try to negotiate with your cable provider. They often offer discounts for the first year in order to attract new customers to use their service. And even if you are unable to convince them to lower the price, you can always check other providers in the area.
They could be offering the same channels and services for a better deal. So pick the best few providers in your vicinity and then put them against each other to make the best choice. In most cases, all of them have the same basic channels. So unless you’re looking for something particular or extra, it’s quite easy to compare their prices.