Cable bills have been increasing at triple the rate of inflation and it’s a good bet that your wireless bill has shot up in recent years too thanks to the rise of mobile data plans. Rather Be Shopping, however, contends that lowering your bill for these services is surprisingly easy as long as you’re willing to play hardball with your service provider.

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The shopping blog this week has posted an in-depth guide for negotiating better deals with several different service providers, including Comcast, Verizon, Dish, AT&T and DirecTV.

Broadly speaking, Rather Be Shopping says there are five important keys to renegotiating any bill: Knowing exactly what competitors are offering, being polite with customer service reps, not being afraid to ask about lowering bills, not becoming emotionally attached to your service provider, knowing your history with the company and whether you’ve ever missed any payments, and not being afraid to try again if you fail the first time.

These sort of tips don’t do you much good if you only have one service provider in your area, which is in particular a problem for wireline Internet services. However, the wireless and pay TV markets are significantly more competitive, which means you should be able to more effectively use these kinds of tactics with them to score better deals.

From there, Rather Be Shopping posts some tips and tricks for negotiating with several individual companies. For Dish, for example, it really helps to tell them that you’re already a subscriber to Netflix and Hulu so they know you have options outside of their own pay TV package. With AT&T, meanwhile, Rather Be Shopping recommends you really go over your monthly bill with a microscope because “AT&T is notorious for adding in a bunch of extra monthly charges” that you can contest in your phone call with the company.

Rather Be Shopping’s whole guide for lowering your bills is fantastic and you should check out the whole thing by clicking here.

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