A household’s DirecTV bill can quickly turn into a budget-buster. Often, when promotional rates end, the monthly cost skyrockets. That can magically convert a reasonable expense into an unmanageable one, often with little or no notice. However, sometimes households have to adjust their budget even though the cost hasn’t changed. In either of those cases, finding ways to lower your DirecTV bill is a must. If you want to get yours to a reasonable point, here are some tips that can help.

Know What You’re Paying for Now

Your first step to lowering any bill is to understand what you’re paying for today. Look at your last statement and examine each part of the overall expense line by line. Keep your eye open for channel add-ons and equipment expenses. As well as the charge for your base package.

At times, it’s a plan addition that’s boosted your bill unexpectedly. Specialty channels are often included in packages for free. But only for a set time. After that, the regular price kicks in automatically, sending your bill up.

However, if you aren’t fighting against an unplanned cost increase or simply want to get your bill as low as possible. That might not give you enough information to reduce the bill. So, it’s time for more research.

Find Out If You’re Under Contract to Lower Your DirecTV Bill

Before you move forward, take a moment to find out if you’re under contract. Whether you are or not impacts the amount of leverage you have. So it’s critical to know whether you’re in a position to cancel freely or if you’d incur a penalty.

Look at New Customer and Current Subscriber Packages

Once you know whether there’s a contract involved, spend some time looking at any advertised DirecTV promotional packages for new or current subscribers. This gives you an idea of what’s been made available to other customers and can serve as a starting point for a quick negotiation.

If you find an option that meets your needs and have been a good customer up to this point (paying your bills on time, etc.). Then you may simply be able to request that package. Do understand that many of these require agreeing to a new contract term. So you may be locking yourself in for a while.

Scope Out the Competition

Finally, take a moment to see what local competitors are offering. If another company has a notably better deal for a comparable package, then you may be able to use that during your negotiation.

Usually, this route only works if you aren’t under contract. If there’s a contract in place and you’d have to pay a cancelation fee (which can be several hundred dollars), DirecTV may not take any threat of you leaving seriously.

Make the Call to DirecTV

With all of that information available, it’s time to contact DirecTV. You can either let them know that you’d like to cancel your service, allowing you to gain access to the retention department when you bargain, or can inquire about plan options.

Usually, the first approach is best if you aren’t under contract and have a good history with the company. The retention department usually has the most leverage, so they can often negotiate with you as a means to keep you on board.

If you aren’t under contract, you can try regular customer service. You can see if you can talk your way into a better package, cancel add-ons without penalties, or make other moves.

If the first rep you speak to doesn’t play ball, consider hanging up and calling again. You may get a friendly rep with this approach, but you do have to make sure it seems like you were disconnected by mistake and not hanging up in anger. Reps leave notes in your file, so you may want to “accidentally” hang up while you’re mid-sentence to sell it a bit.

Be friendly and appreciate while you talk, as this is a situation where having a great attitude works in your favor. Often, you’ll be able to get some kind of deal just by asking for one, especially if you’ve done your research and can show that your request is reasonable.

Once they agree to lower your bill, get it in writing. Request a follow-up email, confirmation number, or something similar. That way, if your DirecTV doesn’t go down like it should, you can call back and get it fixed.

Do you have any other tips on how to lower your DirecTV bill? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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