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How to Cancel Your Cable Service

There are a handful of reasons why one might wish to cancel their current cable service.  Perhaps the economic downturn and/or an unexpected emergency has left one reducing unnecessary expenses, a move might be in the offing, or perhaps there are better offerings from the competition.  There may be other perfectly valid reasons as well, but before considering whether or not to cancel a current cable service, one should look at their reasons to ensure that they are not losing focus on their true goal.  In these aforementioned scenarios the true goals are (in order): saving money, moving to a new locations, and receiving a better deal on different package.  These same goals may be achievable in other ways, and one should not only think about these for their own benefit, but realize that retention specialists will have thought of them too.

This means that one can either prepare for arguments from the retention staff that is paid to keep as many customers with the cable service provider as possible, or relent.  It may be wise to listen to what these glorified sales representatives have to say in some cases, but knowing exactly what one wants before they pick up the phone or pay an in-person visit to their local cable company office is very important.  As is reading the contract.

What to Expect From Retention Specialists

As previously mentioned, many large cable service providers have retention specialists that take calls from customers that want to cancel their cable subscription service.  The job of these people is to save as many as possible while up-selling whenever possible.  This can be turned to one’s advantage in some instances, as it is not uncommon to receive complimentary upgrades or even discounted services.  If saving money is the name of the game, bundling may be a viable alternative.  The same holds true for those desiring to switch to another provider; there is a good chance that a comparable package is available with the current provider and one might be able to score a discount by staying with their existing provider.  Those moving to new areas might be able to transfer their service, or put it on hold for a discounted price while they establish themselves in a new city and/or state.

These arguments are all very common, so be prepared and act accordingly.  It is also worth noting that most of these specialists are excellent at what they do, and many have learned what Harvard Law professors refer to as basic ‘Negotiation-Jitsu’.  Surprisingly easy to teach and learn, these techniques render typical customer attempts to lie or bully past a well-mannered retention specialists who only seems interested in getting to facts will likely result in a customer sticking with their current provider.  Instead, come up with logical and honest reasons why quitting is important before contacting the cable service provider.

What if There Was a Bad Experience With the Cable Company?

An old expressions suggests that living well is the best revenge, and while bad customer service is certainly something that no customer should have to put up with, it still does happen.  Everyone has bad days and no cable company intentionally sets up an antagonistic customer service operation, especially in such a highly competitive environment.  Getting the service crew reprimanded or fired might seem like a proper revenge, but if that is the sole reason for canceling, consider counting to ten and make a plan to get something lasting and tangible rather than revenge.  Perhaps approaching the customer service manager with an understanding attitude and professional manner will win a concession in the form of a discounted month of service or a free upgrade to a higher-tier package.

For Those That Simply MUST Transfer: Look at the Fine Print

If the reason for the switch cannot be addressed in any satisfactory way, then it is time to look at the contract or agreement.  Many consumers may not realize that receiving introductory rates or short-term upgrades sometimes comes with a minimum duration service agreement.  These agreements often come with early termination fees, and such a fee should weigh into one’s decision making process.  After all, switching to another provider to save a few dollars a month may not be as attractive if a large lump sum payment is involved.  Then again, if the cable service has been out 3 times in 2 weeks or a favorite network goes offline while the cable service provider and the owner of that channel enter into protracted negotiations, then it might be a time for a change.  In such cases, a contract or agreement will almost certainly outline the termination agreement.  Never assume that unilateral termination is due to unsatisfactory performance on behalf of the cable company will negate early termination fees.  Contracts are not necessarily written for easy understanding by a broad audience, and many terms have different connotations in legalese.

Have a Backup Ready

Have a plan of action ready to execute before terminating service.  If no move is involved, then make sure to contact other providers in the area and shop around for the best deal.  Ask if they can install their service without waiting for the other service to be terminated.  After all, unless one is moving or cutting their entertainment budget to the bone, a new cable provider is probably part of a larger plan.  If this is indeed the case, pay close attention to the deals offered by the retention specialist, especially bundles.

Contact Your Company

Here’s the customer service contact information for the most popular providers. Use this list to find the contact information for your current provider, as well as shopping around for a new provider. While these aren’t the only providers on the list, this a good place to start.

AT&T U-Verse:

  • Check Status of Pending High Speed Internet Order
    1-877-722-3755
  • Customer Service/Tech Support for Existing Members
    1-877-722-3755
  • Business Accounts
    1-877-722-3755

Verizon DSL:

1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966)

Cable Internet Providers

Charter:

1-888-GET-CHARTER (1-888-438-2427)

Comcast

1-800-COMCAST (1-800-266-2278)

Cox

  • Arizona: 1-866-867-2629
  • Arkansas: 1-888-952-3278
  • Central Florida: 1-888-269-9693
  • Cleveland Ohio: 1-216-535-3500
  • Connecticut: 1-877-206-4210
  • Acadiana, Louisiana: 1-888-215-8474
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 1-800-457-8974
  • Gulf Coast: 1-850-478-0200
  • Hampton Roads, Virginia: 1-757-224-1111
  • Idaho: 1-208-726-4561
  • Kansas: 1-888-952-3278
  • Las Vegas: 1-702-383-4000
  • Mid Georgia: 1-478-784-8000
  • New Orleans: 1-504-304-8444
  • Northern Virginia: 1-703-378-8422
  • Fredericksburg, Virginia: 1-540-373-6343
  • Oklahoma City: 1-405-600-8282
  • Omaha, Nebraska: 1-402-933-3000
  • Orange County and Palos Verdes California: 1-800-234-3993
  • Rhode Island: 1-877-206-4210
  • Roanoke, Virginia: 1-540-776-3848
  • San Diego: 1-619-266-5474
  • Santa Barbara: 1-805-683-6651
  • Tulsa: 1-918-806-6000

Optimum

  • Connecticut
    • Bridgeport, Fairfield, Milford, Southport, Stratford: 203-336-2225
    • Easton: 203-452-0097
    • Litchfield: 860-567-3103
    • Norwalk, Darien, Weston, Westport, Wilton: 203-847-6666
    • Orange, Woodbridge: 203-562-4955
    • Redding, Georgetown: 203-438-7783
    • Stamford, Cos Cob, Greenwich, New Canaan, Riverside: 203-348-9211
  • New Jersey
    • Bayonne: 201-436-2500
    • Bergen/Cresskill, Bergenfield, Cresskill, Dumont, Fair Lawn, New Milford: 201-262-8600
    • Elizabeth: 908-353-0404
    • Hamilton, Mercerville, Robbinsville, Trenton, Yardville: 609-586-2288
    • Hudson County: Hoboken, North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken, West New York: 201-798-6060
    • Matamoras (NJ & PA areas): Branchville, Layton, Milford, Mill Rift, Montague: 570-491-4837
    • Monmouth Optimum: Freehold, Howell, Jackson, Lakewood, Manalapan: 732-367-2582 or 732-780-4868
    • Monmouth Seaside: Chadwick Beach, Lavallette, Ocean Beach, Ortley Beach, Seaside: 732-830-1103
    • Monmouth/Wall: Asbury Park, Farmingdale, Neptune, Ocean Twp., Wall: 732-681-4100
    • Morris County:  973-398-5757, 973-884-0027, 973-697-2839
    • Newark: Newark, South Orange: 973-622-6150
    • Oakland: Elmwood Park, Hackensack, Ho Ho Kus, Lodi, Kinnelon, Ramsey, Saddle Brook, Pompton Plains, Upper Saddle River: 973-279-6660
    • Paterson: 973-279-6660 or 800-877-8849
    • Raritan Valley: Bridgewater, Edison, North Brunswick, Old Bridge, Piscataway: 732-548-2400, 732-583-0606, 732-356-1300, 732-297-4946, 908-766-5008, 908-719-2770
  • New York
    • Bronx/Brooklyn: 718-617-3500
    • Long Island East: Babylon, Brookhaven, East Hampton, Islip, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Smithtown, Southold, Southampton: 631-267-6900 or 631-727-6300
    • Long Island West: Hempstead, Huntington, North Hempstead, Oyster Bay: 516-364-8400
    • Matamoras(NY area): Middletown, Port Jervis, Unionville, Westtown: 845-856-7738
    • Ramapo: Hillburn, Mahwah, Sloatsburg, Suffern, Tuxedo: 201-236-9712, 845-624-8200, 845-351-2916
    • Rockland: Airmont, Chestnut Ridge, Montvale, Nanuet, New Hempstead: 201-236-9712, 845-624-8200, 845-351-2916
    • Warwick: Chester Village, Florida, Stockholm, Sugar Loaf, West Milford: 845-986-2069, 973-728-0301
    • Wappingers Falls: Parts of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Ulster counties: 845-297-3333, 800-577-2225, 845-782-8206
    • Westchester, Northern: Mt. Kisco, Ossining, Peekskill, Putnam Valley, Suffern, Haverstraw: 800-577-2225
    • Westchester, Southern: Mamaroneck, Rye, Scarsdale, White Plains: 914-777-9000
    • Westchester/Yonkers: Dover, North Salem, Port Chester, Wingdale, Yonkers, Yorktown: 800-868-9840, 800-869-4909, 914-378-8900, 800-244-2328, 914-937-0774, 914-962-4444

Time Warner

1-888-892-2253

Verizon FIOS:

1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966)

Bundle Up!

Modern technology has produced some amazing bundled services such as Verizon’s FiOS and AT&T’s U-Verse.  These bundled services are far greater than the sum of their parts, and are often capable of saving consumers a great deal of money while providing an unmatched level of service. Our customers have found that these two companies offer the best value for their services.

Author: Jessica Sims

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Photo Credit: maplemusketeer
KilltheCableBill May 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm

3 Steps to Cable Freedom: Netflix + Hulu + Video Streamer = Big Savings
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