How to Lower Your DIRECTV Bill

charlie_imageThis past year marked our nine year anniversary of using DIRECTV for our TV service. This relationship has lasted a lot longer than I ever thought it would. However, that doesn’t go without saying that the relationship hasn’t had its bumps and bruises. Like any human relationship, it’s about give and take, and our experience with DIRECTV hasn’t been anything different.

Here is what our current service looks like:

  • “Total Choice Family Package” – 55 channels – $29.99/month
  • DVR Services – $0.00/month for 12 months (normally a $10/month service)
  • NFL Sunday ticket – until end of 2014 season – $0/month (normally a $325/year service)
  • Showtime – $0.00/month for four months (normally a $14/month service)
  • Taxes/Fees: about $2.22/month
  • Total Monthly Bill: $32.21/month

Some of you might be saying, “How is his bill so low?”, or “How is he getting all those extra services for free?” Part of that has been because I have been a loyal customer for nine years, but it really comes down to using The Disconnection Negotiation.

What is the Disconnection Negotiation?

lower directv billAbout 5 years ago I read of a number of people on Slickdeals.net that were getting all the things I listed above for $19.99/month for being a new customer of DIRECTV. That really irked my frugal bone, and made me wonder why I couldn’t get the same deal. Being the inquisitive thrifty guy that I am, I called in, and implemented my first trial of The Disconnection Negotiation. Here are the steps you too can utilize to lower your DIRECTV bill:

  1. Call DIRECTV Customer Service at 1-855-387-6898
  2. Press option #2 and option #3 to go to the cancel service center
  3. Greet the representative by name and state you’d like to disconnect your service
  4. They’ll ask for your first and last name, and the amount of your last bill. So have that on hand.
  5. State that you’d like to disconnect your service, because the bill is more than you’d like to spend.
  6. The rep will typically say that they are sorry to hear that. Ask if they have any promotional offers that would help you lower your bill and free services that might help you reconsider staying with DIRECTV.
  7. They’ll usually offer $10 off/month, but ask if they’d be willing to throw in some extra channels too.
  8. Talk it over with your spouse, and decide

Read how Matthew and his wife are saving 40-60% on their cell phone bills

It is at this point that you really need to consider, “Is what they are offering me a good promotion or can I get a better deal with Comcast, Dish, or Cox?” If you’ve done your research with your other local providers and have seen what their lowest price offers are, then it will help you make a decision when it comes to step #8.

I’ve used this technique to continually keep my DIRECTV bill low, and it keeps DIRECTV pursuing me as a loyal customer. Even though it takes a little research as to what other options I have with my local providers, the savings will add up.

To give you an example – with my current package – if I had done nothing, I would be paying about $120+ more per year. So basically, if I was lazy, and hadn’t fought for my bill, then I’d be out a lot of money over this next year.

This is one technique I use to lower my DIRECTV bill every month, but I’d like to hear your stories. How do you lower your DIRECTV, Comcast, Cox, or Dish bills? Do you frequently switch providers? Do you use online promotion codes? Please share your money  saving stories!

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36 comments

  1. Negotiating bills is one of my favorite ways to save money every month Charlie. I’d also add to do your research and know what the competition is offering, if they don’t offer a lot of ammo when negotiating they tell the rep you are considering switching to Netflix and an over-the-air HD antennae.

  2. Marcus says:

    Here are the salaries for the 5 top dogs at Directv. Use these salaries in your calls to Directv:
    Michael White Chairman $12,327,415

    Bruce Churchill $6,107,95

    Larry Hunter $4,610,296

    Romulo Pontual $3,386,320

    Patrick Doyle $3,503,189

    That’s a total of 30 million bucks a year for just five employees. Thing they can lower their prices a tad?

  3. That’s not too shabby of a bill. I’ve heard of people doing this from time to time to score better rates.

    However, I’m just not a big fan of cable companies in general. I don’t like the deceitful tactics they use to keep you on the hook for payments every month. I really hate that, after you threaten to leave, they offer to lower the cost of their service. It’s like they’re admitting they’ve been overcharging you the whole time.

    Anyhoo, I’m scared to death of cable companies now and switch to simple online streaming. I use a Roku to Stream Sling TV (I think it’s $25/mo) and I can cancel whenever I want and don’t have to beg for better rates.

  4. Heather says:

    Thank you for the tips. I simply called and asked if my bill could be lowered without mentioning anything about cancelling my service, and my bill went from $106/mo to $66/mo. All I had to do was promise to stay with them for the next 12 months, which we were going to do anyway. I ended up chitchatting with the service rep for about an hour. Do they pay certain reps just to chitchat with customers to keep them loyal to the company? LOL

  5. Julie says:

    I just called Direct TV and got a $100 credit on my bill! They also said to call back in the morning to ask for promos and continuing service credits!

    • Charlie says:

      Excellent Julie! I’m glad to hear that our money saving tip worked! Make sure you set yourself a calendar reminder on when to call back in 6-12 months to get more savings.

      • Julie says:

        I did call back and got my HD channels on a promo for a few months.
        The first guy I talked to told me that I can call every week to see what they have going! I have not been calling…. I really should bc I am broke, hahahah!

  6. Karl says:

    I must be doing something wrong. I can’t really cancel since I’m only 12 months into a 24 month contract. Their base package listed online is $90/mo. I asked 3 different times through the call if there was any way to lower it even more and they said there wasn’t. They said there was another one that would give me even fewer channels, but it was $89/mo. Should I try again tomorrow and hope for a different rep?

    • J says:

      You have to actually cancel sometimes . My buddy did this today he cancelled service they called him back after 6 hours gave him a 200 gift card. Sunday ticket for free and 53 dollars a month off the bill . They are getting smarter so you really have to go the extra step sometimes .

  7. Dionne Taylor says:

    I feel like Karl, I have been with directv for almost nine years and my bill is terrible. I do have a past due balance, but its still terrible. I have called several times and was only given $5 dollars for 12 months. It’s very frustrating but I will keep trying.

    • Charlie says:

      Dionne – you are right. You need to be persistent. They are getting clever. Make sure you ask to be transferred to the cancellation department. That is the group that will be able to lower your bill.

  8. PK says:

    I have been a DTV customer for 10 years, and I agree that the cost is outrageous. I just celled them to lower the bill and went through the cancellation process. They let me cancel. I gave it a 2-week shut-off window, so it will be interesting to see if they call me back and make an offer. If they don’t, it’s no loss on my part. I can get all of the programming that I want elsewhere.

  9. Rue says:

    I tried this and kept getting the response of “this is why they print the discounts on the bill so you know how much you are saving,” whatever that is meant to do. My bill went from around $32 (start up price) to $70 within a year. She said there was absolutely nothing she could do for me. She refused to even try. Her only option was to get rid of one of my TV’s.

    • Charlie says:

      Sweet Judd! Make sure you set yourself a calendar reminder 12 months from now to call back in and save some more money after your 12 month discount expires! Glad to hear it worked! Thanks for letting us know.

  10. Dan says:

    Thanks for the information and tips Charlie. Your article was very insightful and provided me just the motivation I needed to get a lower bill.

    Here’s my story… after my 12-mo DTV promotion expiring in Jan/Feb my bill went from approximately $60 to $110. So I called DTV on Friday. The lady was nice but would not provide additional discounts and said she would have to transfer to a special promotions number. After speaking with the second person, he still would not provide any discounts. At this time I thought I would need to cancel my service (which I did mention to the second person I spoke to).

    On Monday morning I called back after doing a little research… when prompted by the IVR, press /or say “Cancel Service”. Once connected with a very friendly customer service rep, within two minutes she says “well it looks like we have a special promotion for you… I can save you $52 a month. Would that be good?” And she also included HBO and Cinemax for 6-mo’s. Also, since I bundle DTV and ATT wireless service, she offered to look at my data plan and gave me an extra 1 GB of data and took $10/mo. I bet their software tells them that there is a high likely hood that I was going to cancel service on my second call. And rather than having me go through the “cancellation discussion”, the rep preemptively was able to provide me with new promotions. Needless to say I will continue to be a satisfied DTV customer.

  11. Shell says:

    Dear Charlie,
    I have been a direct Tv user for 6 years and my bill jumped from $99 a month to $155.80 a month and we don’t have any moves or internet or phone service with them. We can go to the cable company and get all 3 for $150.95 a month. My husband has tried for months to get it lower. When we called tonight about the bill and told them we where going some place else. They said we are sorry to hear this and my husband told them to cancel it and they did. We have the cable company coming out on Sunday.

    • Charlie says:

      Shell – if you had waited a few weeks, then I almost guarantee that you would have received a phone call, email, and mailing, with some type of discounted price to get you back. That is what they do in order to get you to come back, and they realize that you were serious about canceling. Sometimes that is what it takes to get your bill lowered. Thanks for leaving a comment. Let us know if DirecTV tries to reach out to you again with a discounted price.

  12. Misty M says:

    I have been with directv since at least 2005 and usually they lower my bill eveytime I call. This month it shot up to $117 a month and the retention department would only drop it by $14. I usually pay $76 a month. I told them I would cancel and they did not care. I asked to speak with a mgr and they said the mgr could not do anything. Blows my mind that I have been with them for over 10 years and they just did not care.

    • Aaron says:

      Hi Misty. I would try calling again and ask for the retention dept / cancelation dept right away. This could help you get to someone whose main aim is to retain customers.

      • Misty M says:

        That is who I spoke with and they flat out just didnt care. Usually the retention dept acts like they want my business.. I am always on time with my payment and a loyal customer. I cancelled and figured they would call and they havent. I also posted a message on their website and they asked for my account # and phone # so I will see if they call.

        Really even if they do drop my bill back to what it was I dont know if I would stay with them after the way that agent treated me.

      • Starr says:

        I have been a Directv customer since 2007. I just got off the phone with them, trying to get my bill lowered. It went back up this month, after having a $40 a month discount for the past year. They flat out told me that my current package (Choice Xtra Classics) has been discontinued, so they didn’t have any discounts to offer me.

        Their only suggestion was…choose a lower priced package. When I asked to be trans to the ‘retention dept’, the rep told me that that’s who I was talking to. Finally got her to give me a supervisor to speak to, and he basically told me the same thing…no discounts available – call back next month and see if they have anything. I told them I will be checking with Dish, cuz I know I can get a better price there.

  13. Denise says:

    I believe your account must be in good standing and not interrupted to be able to get any deals at all. I tried calling to cancel and they would not transfer me to the cancel department because my account is interrupted right now. I also pretty much begged the representative to lower my bill or give me some credits and all she would credit me was the late fees of six dollars!

    • Charlie says:

      Good point, Denise! You are right. You need to make sure you aren’t in a period of an existing contract with discounts already appliied, because then you don’t have any rights to cancel or face a penalty. If you cancel anyways, then more than likely they’ll call you to offer you a deal to attract you back.

  14. Nancy Weislogel says:

    I have been a Direct TV customer since 2004. I was on a “promotions” plan which took $20 off my bill for the last 12 months. Those 12 months passed and my bill shot up $20/mo ($106.81/mo.). We’ve been on the Entertainment Package. I called Direct TV yesterday and was told that no further promotions were available. I asked to negotiate as I have been a loyal customer, but was told no promotions were available. I told the woman that I would need to discuss this with my husband and would call back if we intended to cancel.

    I called back today and asked to cancel. I was sent to the “Loyalty Department” and spoke with a nice rep who talked about options. By switching to another plan (the Family Package), he knocked $15/mo. off my bill for the next 24 months with no contract. I also decided to return the 2nd receiver for our 2nd TV, and that dropped another $7 off the bill. All in all, for the next 24 months our total bill will be less than $50. He told me that I should always ask for the “Loyalty Department” in the future if I am hoping to negotiate. They are trained to help keep customers and seem to have more negotiating power. Yes, I had to drop a few channels, but he asked me which channels were typically watch, and the Family Package will meet our needs. I was very pleased in the end.

    Thanks for your website – it gave me some very helpful tips for the negotiation!

  15. Andrea says:

    Must say the phone number didn’t work for me but the artical worked. Used your advise. Bill was cut in half and this months bill was credited 52.37! Thank you for you help.

    • Charlie says:

      Glad to hear it worked! Thanks for leaving a comment! I encourage other people who find the article to do so as well.

  16. Misty M says:

    I still wasn’t able to do anything. Maybe its because I was speaking with the retention department and not the loyalty department. I went ahead and cancelled.

  17. Kathy G says:

    Usually this works for me too but the last 2 times I tried, All I get is that I can move to a lower package. I am also paying $23 a month to “rent” a receiver. Anyone have tips on how to avoid $10 a month for HD receiver $10 a month for DVR receiver $3 a month for whole home receiver. I only have 1 receiver and 1 television so why is this $23 a month. Over and over she said all she could do was much me to a lower package. Can I buy a receiver somewhere else and use it instead of renting?

  18. ctsechre says:

    I followed these instructions and they happily canceled my service after only offering me a $15 discount. My bill had doubled overnight and they told me there was nothing they could do so I told them to cancel and agreed to pay the $220 fee to cancel early. The next day I hadn’t heard from them but got a standard flyer in the mail from DIRECTV and Dish offering a price that was half what I had been paying for 24 months guaranteed price lock for new customers. I called directv back and asked and was told that was for new customers only and if I had no further questions that they couldn’t help me since I canceled already. I hung and called right back to get someone else, they referred me to another department (can’t remember the name, but it started with a P) and they helped me instantly. I politely told them I had already canceled and was curious why I couldn’t take advantage of the same low rate as new customers and the lady immidietly said she could take my monthly price from $120 per month down to $55 per month, give me free movie channels for 6 months, credited me $50 to my account to help with the high bill last month, and dropped the $220 early cancellation fee from yesterday. So if you cancel and they don’t seem to care, like they did with me, just keep calling back and getting tansfered around. Eventually you will get in touch with someone helpful. I talked to a total of 6 representatives over the course of 4 phone calls. One offered me the $15 discount, the rest offered nothing, and finally the last lady offered me all that I got. I told her she was the most helpful person I’d spoken with and she said, “thank you I try not to keep people on the phone any longer than they have to be so I just go ahead and do all I can up front”, so it really does matter who you get in connected to. Thanks so much for the article! Persistence pays off!

    • Charlie says:

      ctsechre – thanks so much for leaving a comment on what your experience was in trying to get a bigger discount! It is comments like yours that encourage us to be persistent and let the media providers know that the consumers are in charge.

      Also way to use the person’s name while talking to them on the phone! I know that I’ve gotten a better response with their customer service when I use their name and treat them well!

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