Haggling for a discount during the height of cable TV was both a miserable and rewarding experience.
As promotion rates ended every year or two, your cable or satellite TV provider would silently boost pricing, forcing you to engage in the art of haggling. You could negotiate a cheaper price for at least a while longer if you have the necessary soft skills.
Cord-cutting has largely put an end to this custom. Because the pay-TV bundle is no longer lucrative, cable and satellite companies have become considerably more averse to decrease their rates. You might be told to take it or leave it the next time you complain about your TV bill is too expensive.
On the plus side, streaming TV has spawned a new system of bargains and discounts, allowing you to save money on a variety of services. It just so happens to necessitate a completely other sets of abilities.
Comeback deals and seasonal sales
I began to consider this after signing up for a Starz free trial in April. Although I didn’t keep the subscription over the free trial period, foregoing a paid subscription eventually paid off: last week, I received an email offering a month of Starz for just $1, a savings of $9 off the regular price of $9. If I had continued the service after my free trial, that offer would not have appeared.
Once you start canceling streaming services, you’ll realize that there is a plethora of alternative retention offers available.
When you try to cancel your service online with Paramount+, for example, you’ll get a 50% discount for two months, even though you didn’t pay anything in the first place. The program continues to offer the same free month discounts it had prior to its rebranding from CBS All Access, and you may use them at any time after your subscription expires. (As of this writing, the current code is “MOVIES.”)
HBO Max has also experimented with longer-term subscription discounts, but only for new and returning customers. HBO offered a 20 percent discount on its subscription with a six-month commitment earlier this year, and while that offer is no longer available, you can now acquire an annual plan for $100 with advertisements or $150 without ads for $100. This effectively gives you 12 months of service for the price often, however it isn’t available if you already have a subscription.
Meanwhile, having fewer active subscriptions means you’ll be prepared to take advantage of seasonal discounts when they appear.
Amazon, for example, is now selling two-month memberships to various services, including Showtime, Epix, Discovery+, AMC+, and Starz, for $1 per month through its Channels marketplace.
MLB.TV is running a Father’s Day special that cuts the price of out-of-market baseball in half, just like clockwork. Seasonal promos have also been featured on HBO Max, Peacock, Hulu, and Discovery+ during the last year. If you’re currently paying for certain services, you may not be able to take advantage of these special offers.
It’s all about patience
Of course, any strategy has its limitations. Discounts are nearly unheard of for some services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and if you’re desperate to see a new movie or show when it comes out, you may have to pay the entire price of a subscription.
However, if you’re ready to switch subscriptions on a monthly basis and don’t mind waiting a few days for particular episodes, you might discover that patience pays off. Not only will you save money by not having too many subscriptions at once, but you’ll also discover new ways to save from firms trying to reclaim your business.
Consider it a reimagined retention contract for the cord-cutting era. The process of achieving lower prices has migrated online and become totally automated, rather than arguing with customer care departments. Although your soft skills are no longer essential, patience is still a virtue.