This Is Why Internet Prices Keep Rising — and How to Cut Your Bill Down
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If you haven’t had the pleasure of signing up for internet service lately, let me tell you about it.
I recently moved (out of my parents’ home). And although I’ve paid my fair share of utility bills in the past, I was shocked when I found out how much internet and a simple cable package would cost.
It would be about $140 per month, the nice representative told me.
*Insert my audible gasp and an “Are you serious?” here.*
I asked about just internet. I’d been talking about joining the horde of other households that have cut the cord anyways. After all, I have Netflix and Amazon Prime, and I’ve been wanting to sign up for Hulu. Those streaming services total about $27 per month.
“Just internet?” the nice representative repeats, likely rolling her eyes, because she’s already heard this question 100 times today. That’ll be $69.99 a month.
Still? I breathed into the phone.
Why is Internet So Dang Expensive?
I need internet like I need electricity and water. I work from home once a week, and even if I’m going to cut the cord and opt for streaming services, well, I still need internet. I could opt to spend all my free time reading, but what about “The Real Housewives”?
I asked folks around the office, my friends, my family: Has internet always been this expensive? Because I don’t remember ever paying that much. Or maybe it’s because I always split the bill with roomies.
No one seemed super shocked. But I received one sign of validation when Consumerist recently reported that, yes, internet prices are increasing.
The Consumerist article cited a Morgan Stanley survey, which found that cable companies have increased internet prices by an average of 12% this past year.
For some concrete context, internet-only customers now pay an average of $66 per month for the service, whereas those who have a broadband and cable package pay $49 per month for internet.
What’s up, guys?
Well, like I’d considered, more and more of us are cutting the cord, which is leaving cable providers with no choice but to hike prices to make up for lost revenue.
And prices will keep on keepin’ on, analysts predict.
“Despite the double-digit cost increases, analysts believe the new prices might not be enough,” Consumerist writes. “Instead, companies would need to set their broadband-only prices to $80/month in order to offset the lost revenue from cord-cutters.”
What’s one to do?
How to Lower Your Internet Bill
Honestly, I felt defeated when I heard the innocent representative give me those price points.
I decided to go with the whole bundle — internet and cable and, yes, even a landline, because apparently not getting one increases your bill by about $30.
Now I’m going to pay an initial bill of $162 (install fees, of course) and subsequent bills of $140.
But there are a few options that’ll help you cut down (or attempt to) your monthly bill.
1. Straight Up, Ask For a Discount
Anyone who knows me knows I’m perhaps the most passive person ever, so the thought of this intimidates me a little.
But it’s worth a shot.
Plus, Penny Hoarder contributor Chris Ronzio outlined five easy steps to get the job done. And, no, none of them include yelling at — or crying to — your provider.
2. Get a Chatbot to Haggle For You
Ah, this sounds less stressful. Also, at this point, I’ve spent half my life on hold with my internet provider, and I’m so over it.
That’s why I’m going to follow my fellow Penny Hoarder’s lead and try using Trim. It’s a little bot that lives in Facebook Messenger or your text messages, and it’ll negotiate your cable or internet bills down for you.
It works with Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and other providers.
You can sign up simply with Facebook. Then, upload a PDF of your most recent bill, and Trim’s AI-powered system gets to work.
If at first it doesn’t succeed, it’ll keep negotiating until it can save you some money.
Also, if you have any outages, Trim believes you deserve a credit, and it’ll handle that for you.
Trim takes 25% of the savings tab.
This past weekend, I submitted my first bill. Trim is haggling with Spectrum at the moment. But I wanted evidence it works, so like all things I want proven, I turned to Twitter to see what people were saying. Here’s what I found:
— Schwifty (@Trmplstilskn00) October 20, 2017
@ask_trim thanks for saving me $28.97 for a one-day Comcast TV and internet outage! You are the best!
— Kevin Zuchini (@puddlejumper83) October 18, 2017
— Joshua Lory (@joshua_lory) October 18, 2017
— Eric Farmer (@ericdfarmer) September 28, 2017
I’m kind of pumped to see what Trim can do for me!
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. While waiting for her first internet bill, she’s started using Trim to patrol her Amazon purchases. When an item’s price drops, she receives the difference!