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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Chris

Just today I called Dish about my bill creeping up until it hit $106.xx per month. I don’t have a premium package. Being very polite saying, “if the cost isn’t lowered significantly, I will have to shop pricing” they immediately offered a bill $20 less per month for 5 months with no additional contract. I asked if we could get any closer to the original discounted rate that I had at $68.xx. Same story as detailed in the blog, short silence with her returning to say, “yes”, let’s do $30 which will put you at $73 total.

I was satisfied with that answer. She then told me that at the end of the 5 months that deal will expire and offered me the suggestion to call back in at that point and renegotiate that agreement.

Beverly

This worked great. I laid out the facts about the comparable package my local cable company had at a much cheaper rate and there was no hesitation by the agent, he offered $25 off my bill for the next 6 months and my added monthly room fee was taken off the bill also which made my dish bill lower than the local cable company’s bill and he told me to call back before the 6 month period is up to renegotiate the deal.

Thanks!!

Stephanie

Hi. I work for DISH as an account specialist in the loyalty dept. Congrats on negotiating your lower rate! DISH is committed to our customers and we truly strive to keep our longterm and loyal customers happy. One small clarification, though? I can guarantee that the agent you spoke with was not playing solitaire! It’s actually a very busy and demanding position. We have to stay up to date with all the products and pricing of our competitors as well as know our own programming and equipment inside out! And FYI, we handle so much more than just customer retention. The average loyalty agent has been with DISH a minimum of a year and has had very intense training in customer service as well as being certified as an advance tech agent. Usually a customer is transferred to the loyalty department because we are their last hope at resolving the issue at hand, be it a customer service, billing or even a technical issue. Sometimes by the time they get to us they’ve been on the phone for a very long time and are so angry that they want to cancel their service. Our agents have to be able to actively listen and be patient and empathetic while using critical thinking skills and creativity to arrive at a satisfactory resolution for the customer. Being a loyalty agent is not for the faint of heart. We get yelled at, cursed at, ridiculed and hung up on. For that one bad call, we take at least ten others from absolutely wonderful customers who need assistance and appreciate the service we provide. It’s challenging but at the same time extremely gratifying and a huge part of why I work in the loyalty department.

Thanks for letting me chime in!

Stephanie

One more thing! You are absolutely correct when you said that we don’t negotiate lower pricing during the first year. New DISH customers sign a two year contract and get new customer pricing the first year.

Also, any offers made are usually determined by the amount of time a customer has been with DISH and their payment history. For example, a customer who has had DISH for ten years and never been late with a payment is generally offered more savings and perks than a customer who has had the service for 13 months and pays late every month.

And finally, before coming to work for DISH, I had no idea that most companies and service providers have loyalty or retention departments. Using what I’ve learned on the job, I renegotiate my rates and typically save hundreds every year.

Not sure that a company or service provider will renegotiate? As my mama used to say, the answer is always no unless you ask! There’s no harm in trying and you have nothing to lose but a higher bill.

Sherrie

You are very right steph, some people just needs to be thrown on our line of work to know how it feels like to work as a service rep

Rick

Stephanie,

Your comments are very thoughtful and professional. Thank you for being honest and taking the time to provide insight into the unknown aspects of Dish Network.

On another note, I don’t blame you personally for all the past problems I’ve encountered with Dish Network. I blame hard heads like Charlie Ergen, the equipment designers and the quality control in manufacturing.

Betty Lou Palacina

I wish I had better news. 🙁 I’m so frustrated and feel like I always get taken advantage of – and NOT for lack of trying! Ugh. Plus I always remain polite in the process – even when doing my best to push hard for a better deal! On top of that I always pay my bills on time. This past time was also with Dish. The rates have been going up, up, up! I finally called and pointed out how much my bill had gone up just in the last 9 months. It was crazy! The gal was very nice and apologized and always “understood” my problem. (Ha!) The latest “big” offer was a whopping $79.99. I told I’d been a good customer for over 4 years, but knew many friends and neighbors were paying much less. I also gave her online quotes from AT&T, Comcast, and Direct TV that were much lower. She came back and said, I’m happy to say that I can give you $5.00 off every month for a whole year! (Be still my beating heart!) I once again pointed out this was nowhere near the other deals that were being offered, so I thanked her and said I would need to change services. She left again, this time for nearly 5 minutes. When she came back she claimed to have been working very hard on my behalf and was delighted to report great success! She could take another $3 off EVERY month for the WHOLE year! Yowsa! Strike up the band! Call the news stations! Once again, I went through the ritual. Her response was that she had surely done everything possible to get these 2 great deals for me and they would hate to lose my business. (They’ll likely go bankrupt offering these amazing deals!) I once again presented all of my evidence, even gave her website addresses to check it out. I told her I couldn’t understand why others were getting such a better deal than I was and asked if she could please try to see if she could find something better. She politely told me how much she “understood” my situation and apologized for the inconvenience. Nonetheless, there was surely no way she could get a better deal than she’d already offered. After all – I’d only be paying $71.99 for a full year now. (How could I possibly think of asking for a better bargain than that? Surely I must be temporarily insane!) I thanked her for her time and told her I would be cancelling my service. She took down the information and I’m going elsewhere. Same dog gone thing happened to me with AT&T before Dish. I must be doing something wrong! I’m certainly not rich or anything – so it’s not like the companies look at my profile and think, “Wow! She can pay anything for service!” Just going along working, paying my bills and trying like everything to keep costs down and I’m losing that game big time! I’m so bummed. Glad for all you other who got great deals, but I’m starting to get pretty ticked off about all of this and starting to feel like a sore loser! Ughghghghg!

Jonathan Reed

Use the promo code BAA0017451616 as a new customer and get a $50 credit off your bill, then after you sign up refer three friends and get a FREE PS4, just in time for Christmas!

Joe Nick Manchin Rahall

Men, let’s face it: The Welcome Package is $19.99 per month. Isn’t this really the maximum price that anybody should be paying for any satellite or cable TV? You’ve got TBS, TLC, Comedy Central, MSNBC and lots of others including locals. If you pay more than $19.99, you’re actually paying loads too much. I enjoy the Welcome Pack, and I also know that I’m paying a half-way reasonable price for it. And, for those of you who want more, and can pay more, try the add-ons like Heartland for $6, or Epix for $7.00. Welcome is the only sensible pack with a sensible price offered by anybody, satellite or cable.

Bridgette

I agree package prices are ridiculous especially considering all the junk channels you get, I just called Dish about this. Its not fair that new customers get great intro deals to start service with them while the loyal customers pay for all those discounts to newcomers. My son had a job offer putting up new equipment, lines, etc and they pay those people well. I knew many installation workers who told me they didn’t even pay for dish because you could get netflix, and hulu plus cheaper along with the HD antenna like the publisher pointed out.

Judi

I just called dish today and told them my bill is outrageously priced I was trying to see how about getting the bill lowered to 50 bucks a mnth as I was a loyal long term customer of theirs and will switch if i had too told them i really cant afford it as I am low income, but I love my tv
The rep had offered me a 200.00 visa card and 10.00 a month off my bill for 6 months no contract either …

Robert

Did you actually get your Visa card?

Bill C.

So I called Dish today. Told them I wanted to see if I was under contract (I knew I wasn’t) and then I told them I wanted to cancel; told them I was going with Hulu and Netlex.
They offered to suspend the account for 90 days in case Hulu didn’t work out. I told them, no just cancel They then offered me a $200 gift card and lowered my bill by $40 for 10 months.
$600 savings for a 8 minute call (better than GIECO)!!!!!!!

Larry

My direct tv bill just went from 90.00 a month to 130.00 a month. That want work for me. The satelite companies are unreal. I may be watching movies on DVDs because I’m not going to pay that each month for satelite.

Carolyn Brodersen

I could kiss you! Not only did this work–exactly like you said it would–they dropped our monthly rate $70 for 12 months. I still am reeling from shock. It was that easy and that fast! Thank you so much!!

Blake Skyler

I called today and just simply asked them to match a price that was $40 lower and they gave me $40 off per month for 10 months no contract and tossed in a couple free pay per view movies. Thanks for the info.

rochelle bailey

Well, im doing something wrong! I have Dishes top package on 2 tvs and DVR and i pay a whoppibg 163 a month!

Amber

Called and said I was thinking about going to DirecTV, which wasn’t really a lie. Told them I was unhappy with my SD programming and not having a DVR. They automatically offered me a free DVR and then sent me to a specialist. He was polite, but not impressed that I was thinking of going to DirectTV. He went on and on about how expensive they were and how I would be sorry after 12 months. In the end I got a HD DVR & installation for free. As well as 10 months of no DVR fees. No new contract. All I really wanted was the free DVR & installation, so I’m happy enough.

Lee

When I canceled my Dish service I had 12 years of on-time payments. Without really Negotiating, I was offered a $10 a month deal. I would need a DVR for $7 more a month and taxes, which would have been another buck or 2, So $18 or $19 a month.

I’m not sure what the package was, I assume it was the Welcome Pack, but since I have a cord-cutter setup, which cost zero a month, I turned down the deal. But I can say, the more years you have with dish, the better the deal.

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