Pay TV providers compete harder for fewer subscribers

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MONEY-SAVING MOMENT: As I’ve been out and about around the country with the tour for my new book, Clark Howard’s Living Large in Lean Times, I found that my suggestions about pay TV have been very polarizing.

I suggest a variety of alternatives to the high fees from the pay TV providers like cable, satellite or even Verizon and AT&T — the monopoly local phone companies that offer TV in some of their service areas.

One company after another has been reporting fewer subscribers. Of course, the economy is partly to blame. But the other reason for the decline in subscribers is that the younger generation just watches free or cheap programming from the Internet on their computers or flat-screen TVs. The lack of a new subscriber base has really put the pressure on the pay TV providers.

So this is the time to put all the pay TV players in play for your business. If you like traditional pay TV service, know that your business is highly sought after. Even if customer no service has been an issue, pricing is now in play to your favor.

No matter whether you’re with cable, satellite, Verizon and AT&T, go shop the competition. Get their best offer and then call back to your current service provider. Tell them you’re ready to leave them and tell them what you’re being offered by their competition.

You’ll then be transferred to a customer retention specialist. They’re the ones given authority to bargain with you. At that moment, you can make your best deal. Right now, with subscribership dropping, that deal will be the best it’s been in a long time.

The people who pay the most are the people who don’t go and shop.

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