spending

3 Simple Steps to Switch Cable Companies

You may be able to save money if you opt for another provider.

Step 1

If you’re thinking of finding a new cable provider because a promotional offer ended or your bill keeps increasing, call your current provider to see whether you can negotiate a better price. Make sure that if you signed a contract, you weigh any early-termination fee against the savings you’d get by switching.

Step 2

If you decide to jump ship, call the new company to start service. If your home is already wired and you’re fairly handy, you may be able to set up the equipment on your own. That way you won’t have to wait for a technician, and you’ll likely avoid an installation fee. But if you’re stumped by some tasks, such as making sure the equipment integrates properly with your TV, you may have to pay a pro to take care of them.

Step 3

Once the new equipment is installed, make sure it is running smoothly before you cancel the old service. When you’re ready to end service with your previous provider, confirm that automatic bill payments will cease. Be sure you receive a refund if you were billed for any days beyond your service termination date. Find out how to return equipment, such as the cable box and remote, on time to avoid fees. The company may retrieve the devices from your doorstep so that you don’t have to be home for the pickup.

The payoff

You could save more than $300 a year—and still enjoy your favorite shows.

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