Frugal Hack #16: How to Negotiate a Great Deal with Dish Network

Updated September 3, 2020 by Kyle
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If you’ll recall, and nobody will, that my first ever Frugal Hack was about a secret Dish Network programming plan that they don’t advertise which gets you 50+ channels for only $19.99 a month. Pretty darn good deal, right? I know many of my frugal readers have already cut the cable cord, but if you’re a sports fan, like me, your options are pretty darn limited.

After all, you’re not going to get ESPN with the $19.99 plan, or the Discovery Channel, or Fox News, or TBS, or TNT. By knowing how to negotiate a deal with DishNetwork, you’ll learn how to get many of those channels without a significant increase in your bill.

Also, it is worth mentioning that the strategy I’m going to describe will work for any cable or satellite TV company. If done correctly of course!

Here is what my goats think of my once expensive Dish Network bill:

Do Your Research

The first thing you have to do is analyze your situation. Are you currently under contract with your cable or Satellite company? If so, this hack is going to be much more difficult to pull off.

Next, find out what the competition is currently offering. If you know this info like the back of your hand you’re going to get some serious street cred when talking to the rep.

In my case, DirectTV was offering a special promotion of $29.99/mo. for 12 months for something they call the “Choice” package. It offered 150+ channels, including ESPN, and was going to used as my ammo when shooting for a better deal.

UPDATE: – DirectTV is ridiculously expensive these days and doesn’t give you much power to negotiate anymore. Instead, when you make the call to Dish to negotiate, tell them you plan on using Hulu Plus and Netflix along with an HD Antennae. I just did this and got the screaming deal of $45 off my bill for 12 months with the America’s Top 120+ package.

Make the Cancel Call

Next, you call the DishNetwork 1-800 number and tell the first person you speak with that you want to cancel your account. They’ll ask “why?” and you’ll say “I have found a better deal with a competitor of yours.” They’ll immediately put you on hold and send your call to the customer loyalty or customer retention department.

The name varies by company, but the bottom line is you’ll want to talk with these guys as they are the ONLY ones authorized to give you the kick-ass deal you’re going to ask for.

Be Polite, But Persistent

Here is how the convo went:

Me: “Yeah, hi, I want to cancel my service today.”
DishTV Rep: “I’m really sorry to hear that. Is there any particular reason you want to cancel?”
Me: “I found a better deal with Direct TV and want to switch.” I then explained the package I mentioned earlier.
DishTV Rep: Silence. Then she says “Well, we’d really like to keep your business. For you to get a similar package with us, it would be the America’s Top 120 and it typically is $49.99 per month. But today I can lower that to $39.99 per month. Would that be OK?”
Me: “Well, I appreciate that offer, but like I mentioned, DirectTV is offering a very similar package for $29.99 per month. So I guess I’ll just go ahead and switch.””
DishTV Rep: “Let me talk to my manager and see if we can come down any further.” Silence and some whispering. She comes back on and say, “I have authorization from my manager to offer you $35.99 which is $14 off the regular monthly price.”
Me: “Well, I appreciate that but I think I’ll just go ahead and switch.”
DishTV Rep: “Let me ask again if we can meet the $29.99 a month deal.” More semi-silence. I don’t think she was actually talking to anyone, just playing solitaire on her computer while pretending too. She finally comes back on and says,”Yes, I have authorization to offer $29.99 a month for a 10 month period.”
Me: “That is awesome, thanks so much! So, after the 10 month period I’m not put into a contract to pay $49.99 a month or something?”
DishTV Rep: “No, you are not under any contract at any point.”

I got off the phone, immediately did my happy dance, then wondered how low she would have gone. Maybe $19.99 a month? Maybe a bunch of free movie channels as well? Has anyone gotten a better deal than the one I got? I’d love to hear about it and how you pulled it off.

After the ten months are over, I plan on calling them up and doing it again.

I was on the phone for a total of 5 minutes and ended up with a $49.99/mo. programming package for only $29.99 a month. I saved a total of $200 over the 10 month period.

So stoked to finally have ESPN, especially with the start of the college basketball season!

Ask the Reader: Do you pay more than you would like for cable or Satellite TV? If so, it’s about time you did something about it before your goat takes matters into her own hooves.


By Kyle James

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DC @ Young Adult Money

This is encouraging, because I do need to switch plans or get a lower price. I have been paying far too much.

Guwsytoe

I just spoke to dish rep. He kept calling me ma’am despite my correction. I am a male (boy) human being. Despite my correction, he still persists on calling me ma’am. I stated it’s sexual harassment and wanted to speak to manager. He said manager was listening to call. So I said I believe my grievance is worth at least $5.00. he repeated what I started, then informed me that the manager approved of the credit. If gender identity is mistaken by your voice, try it. Worked for me.

josh

So this frugal hack is a great idea. Ive worked at dish network going on 4 yrs now. And a common tactic to get what u want is to escalate ur call and threaten to cancel. That is until now. This is average everyday men and women taking these calls, so yes you can listen to the previous posts to gain a few bucks here and there, or you can be a human being and realize its your sole decision to have cable/satelite. Real

Robin

I don’t get what you’re saying. Are you saying if we negotiate and get a better price that we’re somehow not human beings, then???

Brittany

What he is saying is that when you ate calling in to cancel 9 times out of ten the person that transfers you to the retention department gets in trouble for that. And then if the retention person can’t get you to staywiththe company guess what? They do to.
Honestly you should knowwhat company you want to be with and make sure that it fits what you can afford at the time.
I’ve worked in call centers before and had a experience like what was suggested above happen to one of my co-workers. She was thecustomer service rep. We had and i mean HAD to find out therain forthe cancellation and needed to read off a script to get them to stay withthe client’s company. The customerwas so abusive withher that she didnt get to read past the first sentence. It was her second time needing to escalate a call to retention. She lost her job as a result.

Randy Holmes

I’m a loyal dish customer. I always get great service and they always make me a great deal and usually just offer it up without me having to be a sneaky snake. I was recently offered a better deal from direct tv. Because dish has treated me so well for years I had to decline. No I don’t work for dish or represent them on any way. I will however be calling them soon and bring to their attention the deal that direct tv has offered. I’m confidant they will automatically make it right all on their own just lime always.

Jonathan

So I think the key is being polite, being firm, and telling Dish that you are going to cancel the service.
I was a Top 120 package customer, paying about $80 a month. But I was sick and tired of that, so a couple of weeks ago I let them suspend the service and my wife and I did without television. We had a lot recorded on the DVR, so we watched those, and we turned on the public radio station and listened to music for two weeks. Then I called today.
Now, I had a back due amount – that is why they suspended the service, and I called and said I wanted to pay my bill but for them to NOT turn on the service again until I decided if I wanted it. “All we really watch are the Local Channels,” I said, which is true 90 percent of the time. The woman said I could pay the bill then and be transferred to someone who might help me with my concern with the expense of the package I had. I DID point out to her that right there on their website they offer the SMART PACK for new customers for $19.99 a month. (Google it; it is there.)
So I thanked her, complained for 30 more seconds (always nicely) saying I had been a good customer for a decade (true) and yet they are giving other people good coverage for $19,99 a month but soaking me for $80. “I really just want a digital television antenna,” I told her.

Then I agreed to pay the past due amount, and she transferred the call.

The next person was very nice. I explained my concerns to him, again saying I had been a customer for a decade but here they are charging others $19.99 for good service and I am expected to pay $80 a month. Sure, it’s less channels, I said, but all we really want are the networks and PBS and whatever else I get is gravy!
HE AGREES, and gets me the Smart Pack of 55 channels (a lot are crap, but I get MSNBC and FOX and networks and some variety, and sirius music.) FOR $19.99 a month. I also ask about the $7 ‘protection plan’ we have been paying each and turns out that is for who-knows-what, I couldn’t really understand, but I have paid it each month for a decade and I asked to cancel it. He said sure. We have the DVR which is very nice, being able to record stuff, so I agreed that that is worth $7 a month. So before taxes, the new Dish service I have is under $27 a month. And there is no expiration, he said. No “for 12 months only”. He said it is our standard rate forever…

So Betty Lou, try again. Tell them you want to cancel, that you want to just have a basic service (if that is acceptable) Go online and see what the Smart Pack offers. Good luck. My Dish bill is now under $27 a month, before the $4.42 in taxes are added on. So I expect a bill of $31.50 or so, total. I am happy.

Rick

I just did this and $30 Bucks off a month for 10 months!!!!! Yea Baby!!!!

joe

I’m currently getting America’s everything pack (top 250 plus all of the premiums such as hbo, showtime..ect) two hoppers w sling and two joys for 44.99 a month

Sandy

Key word joe, is “currently” have. Your price will change

Douglas P

They are charging me $ 99.00 a month for the 250 package.
Dish was never lie that. I have done the negotiating deal years ago, it works just fine. It looks like I’ll be on the phone when they open up. Good Luck everyone. Stick to your guns and sound like you really mean it, believe me it all really does work. I’ve even gotten a visa card for $150.00 before and cancelled 2 months later. Hang on to your contracts also.

Cathy

How long have u been a customer

qasim

But how??

Evan Lindeman

I called after being a customer for 6 years. I have been out of contract for many years, and haven’t really thought much about my bill since it is on auto pay and we love using the hopper. After taking a peek at my bill though I noticed that I was paying $102.67 a month for TV!?!?! I called and negotiated, after the examples I had read before this, and got $30 off my bill! It works, just be brave! Even if they start the cancelation process you can back out and take their final offer.

Good luck!

We had Dish Network for a few years and paid about $30/month as well. After the first year they raised the rate, but like you stated, I called and told them we wanted to keep our expenses low and asked if there was anything they could do and they gave in. Side note: we have since cancelled our Dish service in large part to Netflix Instant Queue 🙂

Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life

Thanks for sharing the step by step, I’m amazed you got it all done within 5 minutes, impressive.

Budget and the Beach

I see the goats are displeased. 🙂 I cut the chord a while back and love it! 🙂

Practical Cents

We’ve gotten a few discounts from our cable company in the past by doing something like this. Right now we’re on a contract until next october with verizon but we plan on calling them once that deal is over to negotiate a better rate.

Brent

Sometimes I wonder why I keep my expensive cable TV around… I mostly watch Netflix and Hulu. I guess I can’t give it up for the live sports. I did call and negotiate a really good deal so the cable, when bundled with phone and internet which I do need at home, isn’t much more than it would be for the phone and internet on their own…

sally

Hi, this really cracked me up because my uncle does this kinda thing, last year he got a whole year of the premium package without payment with a bunch of movie and sports channels. By the time it ended he had already called and gotten another free year!!

Joshua

So I just tried this method and I’m pleased to say it worked like a charm! I found a comparable DirectTV package, wrote down all the details, and when I called Dish, everything played out exactly like you said. I now have better equipment, more channels, and I pay $40 less a month than I did. Thank you sooo much!

R.Dave Hendershot

well 4/615 2maro my bill is due im going to try this if it don’t work im going to cancel anyways Im able to stream tv free it took a lot long time but found a lot of popular stations that let u stream free it takes time and patients and 2 sites cost me 16.00 total and I can watch movies,sports, and current shows : the next day they air plus music, history, and family channels but my device cost me 268.00 but it is a 1000 watt blu ray home theater system and I needed an a new 1 the old one was 8 years old and dvd stopped working and it would not stream very well but new 1 is a sony and excellent system.the money im saving each month by quitting dish will pay for its self in 4 months thank you very much for the info

Abr

I tried this with my internet provider…I did just as you suggested and it worked perfectly!!!

stoops

I called direct tv and had them hook it up n then called dish and told them I was going to switch n by the time I finally hung up because I had already got direct tv. She was down to 19.99 for 5 YEARS for top 120. Ya I was pissed I didnt call before I got direct…

Justin

i just got off the phone with Dish, gave them my alternative pitch and reason for leaving. The rep didn’t even consider keeping me as a customer (10 yrs strong). Didn’t even make me an offer to stay. Nothing. Just said your service is over as of Friday. We’ll send you shipping info for the receivers. What next?!?

Rick

That’s the way it should be done. I want to cancel should be all that needs to be said.

Donna

That is the kind of attitude I got when I had to lower my plan to cut expenses. There were no negotiations. I tried. But I plan to try again.

Pina

This method works like a charm!!!! I followed your directions to a tea and i was upgraded on my equipment ( only had 1 DVR at 1st now i have 2 more in each of my daughters rooms) and my programming package was discounted $20 a month for the remainder of my contract. They were even able to schedule the appointment to install the equipment upgrade for the next day!!! Thank you so much for the tip.

Chris

I just got off the phone with DISH. I did the research with directv and quoted a rate and got a hopper and three room hook-up for 12 months for $60 off my usual rate. Thanks

Christine

I want to lower my 85 yr old fathers bills. He has a 2 year contract with Dish. In 5 months will jump to $85 a month for Americas 120. I am thinking if I call to cancel they will just stick this with ETF . Was your contract past the 24 months?

Hector

Kyle,
This worked great. Had and kept America’s top 120 added the hopper and a joey for 43.99 a month for 12 months. I was paying 63.11. They also threw in cinemax and showtime for free (3 months). Really good deal IMHO.

Thx for the post.
H

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