You want the best value for your money, but you also don’t want to pay for services you don’t need. Start by contacting your local phone company, cable or satellite provider, and DSL provider. See if bundling is the way to go for you. Then:

1) Ask friends, family, and co-workers about the reliability of their services, such as whether installers maintain appointment times and how prompt repair services are.

2) When you’re thinking about switching over to a new company or companies, ask about any upfront or tack-on fees, as well as any cancellation fees from your current providers.

3) Make sure discounts are easy to locate on the bill.

4) Will anything be installed on your roof, underground, in your home, and how intrusive will the equipment be? How long will installation take? Is the cost of installation included in the sign-up package, or is it extra?

5) If you signed up under a promotion but the promotion has ended, haggle. You might lose features you enjoyed during the promotional period or pay extra to keep them, but remember that companies want your business, so negotiate.

6) If you would like to stay with your current service but want a better price, shop around and arm yourself with other quotes to make sure your provider listens!

7) If you decide to bundle, make sure the bundle price appears right away on your bill, not in a month or two.

8) Cable-company bundles typically do not require a contract nor investment in equipment.

9) If you’re considering a cable telephone service, consider retaining one landline phone with a telephone company for the lowest possible cost because Internet-based telephones are much less reliable calling 911 and will not continue to work during power outages.

10) If you’re considering a bundle that includes Internet connection, make sure it’s a high-speed connection rather than a standard-speed connection.

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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years as a remodeler and builder, Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort