Dollars & Sense columnist John Ewoldt searches the Twin Cities and beyond for bargains and strategies to spare you time, money and hassles.
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Want free or cheaper HBO at Comcast? Just ask for it.

Posted by: John Ewoldt under Electronics Updated: April 11, 2012 - 3:37 PM

 

When I got my Comcast bill this month, I noticed it was about $10 higher than last month. But it was no biggie---I knew exactly why. The reduced rate I was getting on HBO had come to an end. I quickly got on the phone to customer service to ask a simple question, "Do you have any specials on HBO going on right now?" 

The customer service person started to talk about some deal on a cable package with hundreds more channels than I wanted. "No thanks," I said, but are there any specials just on HBO or another premium channel?  

"I can offer you three months of HBO free," she said.

"I'll take it," I said.

There isn't any magic word to get the free or reduced cost premium channels.  Sometimes I've been offered a premium channel for $10 per month for six or 12 months, regularly $19.95 a month. The free offers are usually for a shorter time period.  One representative told me that the offers are usually best at the beginning of the month, but I've never confirmed that.

I have friends who have gotten similar deals  after I mentioned my tip, but one skeptical co-worker thinks I'm getting special treatment. I doubt it. All that I do is ask nicely, always nicely, if there are any specials on _________ (fill in the blank with your favorite premium channel). 

And yes, there are times when I've been told "no" and times when the deal was revoked because of an existing deal already on my account. I'll bet I get a deal half the time when I call.

So, dealspotters, have you ever gotten a deal on a premium channel just by asking?  Prove me right or wrong.

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