I love saving money on my cable bill. I hate trying to negotiate with Spectrum on the phone. Unfortunately, the only way to save money on cable and internet is to start dialing.
If you’ve been a customer for long, you know that the best Spectrum Internet deals are usually for “new customers only.” However, many cable companies will actually give you a new customer rate if you call and threaten to cancel. I’ve reduced my cable bill with other companies as much as 48% in the past using this method.
So how do you negotiate with Spectrum? The bad news: Spectrum doesn’t usually negotiate its rates — even if you will cancel and switch providers otherwise. Spectrum handed out bundle deals like candy in the good ol’ days. The good ol’ days ended when they merged with Time Warner Cable in 2016.
The good news: there are still ways to negotiate with spectrum and save on Internet and TV plans, and they’ve actually started being more lenient on handing out retention offers in 2019. It just takes way, way, way more effort than it used to. There’s no way to predict which agents will have the ability to hand you an offer and it’s largely up to their personal discretion. So, you’ll have to call back and try your luck several times in some cases.
How to Negotiate With Spectrum Over the Phone
Before trying this out, though, you should do a bit of homework. Having ammunition to use on the call will help you out in a huge way, so don’t leave yourself vulnerable. Here are the steps I recommend:
Step 1: Determine other Internet options
When negotiating with any cable company, you want to call and ask to cancel. The reason is because they’ll route you to the retention department, which is more likely to have options to save you money.
…However, you have to be prepared to actually follow through and cancel if they won’t give you a deal. Common alternatives to Charter Spectrum include CenturyLink for Internet and DirecTV for TV packages.
You’ll want to have prices to quote when you’re negotiating with Spectrum, so take note of the latest packages and deals from other providers in your area.
Step 2: Collect your leverage
It’s not enough to just say that you’re unhappy with the service anymore. To negotiate with Spectrum, you need to do a bit of digging and collect some evidence that will help you win over the human being on the other end of the line.
For instance, say you’ve never made a late payment. Make a note to bring this up as part of your bargaining. You should also note any and all special promotions you had when you first signed up (especially if they’ve since been discontinued). If you’re currently near the end of your contract term, you are in the best position possible.
Finally, sit for a moment and recall any time you’ve had technical or billing issues with the company. If you’ve had to reach out to them directly to fix these, even better — get records of the conversations or tech visits if possible. All of this information serves to illustrate that you’ve been a loyal customer up to this point, and will hopefully convince them that keeping you around is worth helping you find a discounted rate.
Step 3: Know the limits
Now that you have all of your ducks in a row, it’s important to keep a few things front-of-mind going into your call. For one, know that whoever you get on the other end of the line is going to be a human, just like you. Many people jump straight to acting outraged, thinking it’s the surest path to getting a better deal, but imagine this; these reps hear people that yell at them every single day. Do you honestly think that they are more likely to try and help them out, or the person that is ridiculously polite?
These employees are just trying to do their job, and often, when they say that can’t do something, it’s the genuine truth. All of this said, there is a fine line between rudeness and firmness, and you want to aim for the latter. Be insistent without making things hostile, and if they still can’t budge, politely ask to speak to a manager so that you can see what they might be able to offer.
Step 4: Negotiation time
- Organize and take note of all promo offers and price increases you’ve been through, as well as any technical issues you’ve dealt with.
- Look back at your account history and ensure you don’t have any late payments on record (if you do, maybe just skip this line).
- Mentally prepare to be polite but firm in asking for a better deal.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a manager; they have more decision-making power than a normal rep.
Stick with it as long as you can.
Present your case as clearly and concisely as possible. The representative on the call will likely be following a very carefully crafted script, so be sure to listen closely and avoid walking yourself into a verbal trap that may mess up your negotiation.
You’ll want to center your argument around one single, hard-to-refute point; that you were happy with your service in the past, but now you aren’t, and there are competing offers out there that promise a better value than what you’re getting.
Regardless of what they say, keep reminding them that you’d love to remain a loyal customer, as long as the company will meet you halfway. If it comes down to it and they simply won’t budge, accept it. If you have the ability to follow-through on the cancellation, do it.
If you live in an area with only one or two internet providers (and chances are, you probably do), it may be time to cut your losses and try one of the other options below.
How to Save $10/month on Charter Spectrum Internet
Pro Tip: Don’t lease the equipment for your WiFi. The absolute fastest way to save money with Spectrum is to buy your own WiFi router, rather than paying the $10/month they charge to lease it.
You can get a new or used model easily on Amazon. Charter even maintains a public list of Spectrum-compatible modems and routers. They have a separate list of routers for former Time Warner Cable service areas.
Backup Option: Reduce Your TV Plan to Save
If you feel like you’re paying for services that you aren’t using, this may be one way to cut costs down enough to make a difference.
|Spectrum TV Plans||Channels||Premium Channels|
|Spectrum TV Select||125+||Standard cable channels only|
|Spectrum TV Silver||175+||HBO, Showtime, NFL Network, Cinemax, STARZ|
|Spectrum TV Gold||200+||All of above plus NFL RedZone|
Charter offers three main TV bundles, and chances are, you’re currently paying for one of them. (See my detailed Spectrum TV review here.) The main difference between them is the number of channels they include, with the Gold package featuring 200+ channels while the low-end Select offering has just 125 or so. The thing is, if you aren’t watching any of those additional channels anyways, the higher-tiered bundle may be a complete waste.
Beyond all of this, it’s important to sit down and really ask yourself how important your conventional TV channels are in the age of digital streaming. With so many options available on the internet today, I’d go so far as to say that for 90% of people, opting for a basic internet package with no TV service at all would be enough. Get yourself an Amazon Fire Stick and a Netflix subscription, and you’ll be set.
If you want to cancel Spectrum TV but keep the Internet service, also consider a premium TV provider like DirecTV. This can be cheaper than streaming if you watch sports like NFL Sunday Ticket.
How long do you have to not be a customer before signing up again?
The “roomie switch” is the final (and most devious) trick I’m aware of, apparantly used by customer frustrated that they couldn’t negotiate with Spectrum. This is when shared households cancel service and sign up under another person’s name. To be clear, I don’t suggest you try this. It is against terms of service and likely to get you cut off. It won’t work if you share a last name, anyway.
My recommendation for previous Spectrum customers: if you’ve been a customer before and want to sign up again, do it over the phone. Spectrum sales reps are less likely to throw the book at you than in-person store associates since they are incentivized to sign up as many customers as possible.
Either way, a year is the maximum you’ll have to wait to enjoy any new customer promotions Spectrum is running at that time. Nothing is certain, as Charter is likely always trying to find ways to get the most out of you, but it can’t hurt to try even earlier than a year if the need arises. Just be prepared to be shut down in the process.
Tricks for Saving Money with Charter Spectrum Internet
You may feel like you’re trapped, especially if there are no viable alternatives where you live, but you truly never know what sort of deal you can work out until you give them a call. So go right ahead. Seriously, here’s their number: 833-694-9259.
If you have any tricks up your sleeve that has helped you negotiate with Spectrum to get a lower bill in the past, feel free to share them below. If you know something I don’t, I’ll add it to this post as a public service.