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More Bang For Your Buck: Pt. III - Cable

WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Times are tight, and we're all looking to get the best bang for our buck.

All week, Newschannel 3 has been looking at ways to save a little cash.

Wednesday, we tuned in on trimming down your cable bill.

No matter where you look, every cable provider is going to tell you they have the best deals, so why switch?

You might have gotten the best deal at the time you signed up, but your bill just keeps climbing.

"You have to know exactly what they're offering, what they're not offering and use that to your advantage," said WMU Department of Management Chair Robert Landeros.

First, take a look at what you're subscribing to. When you signed on, maybe you bought the package with 400 channels.

Do you really need that many channels? Probably not.

Whittle it down, and you can save a few dollars a month.

Getting rid of movies on demand can also cut down your bill.

And maybe you have more equipment than you need.

"Do they have extra cable boxes that they're not using? Are they in a room that's maybe a guest room and you really don't need to have a cable box in there all the time," Landeros suggested.

If so, consider sending it back. You're getting charged for that equipment regardless of whether you're using it.

The same goes for modems.

It's an extra fee each month just to rent one from the provider, so consider buying your own.

And, if your bill just keeps climbing and you find yourself ready to jump ship, let your provider know.

"It works to fire someone sometimes, and you're basically just firing your provider," Landeros said. "Why do you fire them? Because you're not happy with what they're giving you."

You'll likely be put in touch with someone in the retention center.

"They'll do anything they can to keep you because they have an investment in you," said Landeros. "They have an investment in the equipment that's there, they have had you as a customer for a while and they want to maintain that customer base."

They might find you a better package, offer you a new deal, or even drop other added fees--which could save you a considerable amount on your monthly bill.

If you're currently shopping around for a new provider, be sure to ask about first-bill fees, like installation, activation, or one-time fees.

Stay firm in what you want, as well. If you want to keep your bill under a certain amount and refuse to budge, they might waive some of those fees.

To see previous installments, click below.