"I am very disappointed in your fees," Craggan said in an email she shared with Press on Your Side. Cable bills are too high and there's no other cable company serving her community. "This is a disgrace!"
It's unfair that she pays
It's easy to identify with Craggan's outrage: nationwide, cable bills are on the rise. But there are some things she can do to try to lower her bill. We'll get to that in a moment.
Prices are rising
Let's look at what's going on with cable prices.
According to the
Over the last 10 years, the average price for expanded basic cable has jumped more than 65 percent. And to be fair, the number of channels in the tier have skyrocketed 136 percent too. But do you really watch all of them?
Programming costs are driving up prices. For instance, ESPN charges cable companies
And it all comes at a time when it's harder to find an alternative to your cable bill. Aereo, which piped over-the-air broadcast channels over the Internet to customers for a fee, recently turned itself off after it lost its fight with broadcasters before the
You can still sign up for
Stuck with cable
Of course, for those who only want bare bones TV, an antenna installed on your roof or in the attic can do the trick.
But most of us are stuck with cable,
So how can you lessen the hole it digs in your wallet? Press on Your Side asked Rayburn and telecommunications consultant
--Take a long look at your cable bill and ask yourself some questions. "Do you have the right plan?" Rayburn said. "Are you paying for something you can't use?"
Maybe there's a package of sports channels that you never watch. Do you have more digital video recorder boxes than you need? Equipment costs can add to your bill.
What type of programs do you watch? How big is your television screen? Do you really need high-definition cable service?
"They have to figure out what is best for them," Rayburn said.
--Just ask. "Just simply call your cable company and you want to save money," Kagan said. "It is now way too much." Kagan said.
Look at the prices of competitors, such as
How much can you save? Depending on how good of a customer you are, and how many other services you buy, you can save
--And if they say, no? "Wait a few minutes and call again," Kagan said. "Maybe you will get another person who feels better about it." Of course, there are no guarantees.
--Be nice. Don't be confrontational. Would you help someone who is yelling at you save money?
"You just take a please-let-me-save-some-money approach," Kagan said. "They don't want to lose customers."
Do you have a consumer problem that needs solving? Contact
(c)2014 the Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.)
Visit the Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.) at www.app.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services