Comcast Today: How to Get Cheaper Internet

Threaten to fire your provider.

Over at Vox, former Philadelphia writer Timothy B. Lee writes how his Xfinity Internet service nearly doubled in price over its original monthly rate — and how he argued it down again.

The secret? Threaten to take your business elsewhere:

“It pays to play hardball,” says a customer service representative who worked at an Oregon call center from 2002 to 2009. “Threatening to cancel will get you further than outright asking for a discount.”

So just say “I’d like to cancel my service please.” You’ll almost certainly be transferred to a “retention specialist” whose job it is to change your mind.

In making that decision, it’s a good idea to figure out how much alternative services — like DSL Internet or satellite TV — actually cost. That will help you figure out how big of a discount to ask for. And it will also make you sound more convincing when you insist that you really would like to cancel.

This might be difficult in Philadelphia, which as  home to Comcast works mightily to keep other competitors more-or-less in the weeds. Services like FiOS are available in some parts of town, but not others. It’ll be harder to threaten to fire Comcast if they know you have little to no alternative.