August 2, 2009 | By Patrick | Filed in: Geek, PAS, Uncategorized.

It’s amazing what you can get just for asking.

Somehow, some way, I wanted to lower our overall bill for TV/Phone/Internet. Everybody has a deal, and everyone touts their lowest possible price for what you think you want. “Less than $100 for all 3!” or some such thing. Until you tell them you want a couple of HD boxes plus at least one DVR plus local channels, then it magically jumps up at least $50-60.

We have Dish Network as our satellite TV provider and Charter for our Internet and phone service. Thinking I might get a better deal if I switch the TV to Charter, I started down that route. Not really wanting to talk to anyone, I hit up their on-line chat option and do some digging. I could get everything I have with Dish for about the same price as what I’m paying now. Drat.

But wait, maybe Dish will cut me a break to keep me happy. What could it hurt? I call Dish and told them I was thinking about leaving. Right away they send me a retention person and she asks why I’m dissatisfied. I tell her weather-related outages and the price. Before I’m done talking she offers $10 off per month for the next year. Sweet! She also offers to send someone out to beef up my dish. For free. Sounds good to me. The dude came out the next day.

Feeling I was on a roll, I call Charter inquiring about a lower price phone option. Even though we all have cell phones, I’m not quite ready to get rid of our land line for good. I reviewed our outgoing usage and found a whopping 2 long-distance calls since February. I think nationwide long-distance might be overdoing it a bit. Not surprising, all they talk about is their nationwide plan even though they have two lower-priced options. The first is a state-wide plan for a little less money and the second is a local-only plan for about $15/month. I jumped on the latter option after realizing that it made sense for us.

Not a bad day’s work. I kept everything I had on the TV side and I’ll be paying less for the next year (with no contract extension). On the phone front, I was overpaying substantially for what we were actually using. Double-win!

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