Canceling Directv & Winning!
About 18 months ago I was switching television companies and decided to sign up for Directv. At the time they had the best price and overall package and they were also offering 25,000 AAdvantage miles as a sign up bonus!
Even with the decent price & bonus miles it was a difficult transition since I had been enjoying free cable television for a long time due to being employed by the local cable provider. I do prefer the Directv service to my former employer’s though.
The Move & Cancellation
This past weekend my family and I moved across town to a new house and thought it would be a great time to cut the cord. Our son pretty much only watches Netflix and YouTube and we just don’t spend that much time watching cable.
Instead of transferring my Directv service, I decided to cancel. Initially I was surprised that the retention representative didn’t offer me anything to stay, however since I wasn’t bluffing I didn’t really care. I had now cut the cord! Or had I?
Not So Fast – They Sweeten the Deal!
The next day my phone rang from a strange number. I didn’t answer initially, but I looked up the number on Google and found it was a Directv customer winback number. A few hours later the phone rang again from the same number and I picked up.
Once on the line the representative told me it was his job to get me back to Directv. He asked me about my package and mentioned that my already discounted rate before was $71. His new offer for the same package was $64, which didn’t seem too generous to me, but he was about to sweeten the deal.
Mo Money Mo Discounts
In addition to the discount, they would give me the movie channels free for three months, NFL Sunday Ticket free for the upcoming season and a $200 prepaid Visa card. (I love prepaid Visa cards!) I then asked if he could do more and he agreed to issue a one-time $20 credit!
When I cancelled initially my contract had 6 months remaining, meaning I would have had to pay a $120 early termination fee. By transferring the service and taking their deal, my contract was extended by 6 more months, to a total of 12 months. Not too bad.
So Does It Make Sense – The Math
By keeping Directv I saved $120 and was given $200 plus a $20 credit. Here is how I look at it. My service for the next year will cost $768, but I can subtract out the $120 ETF, $200 Visa card and the $20 credit meaning my cost is $428 for 12 months or about $35.66 per month. (Even if you don’t want to factor in the ETF, my new monthly rate is $45.66.)
I was already paying $71 per month, meaning I just cut my bill in half and I also have a free year of NFL Sunday Ticket (a product I will watch) and the movie channels for three months which I also enjoy. Wow! I should have cancelled before. 😉
While I am not advocating that anyone do this, I was shocked at just how much they offered to win me back. Some will argue that I should have paid the ETF in order to get a sign up bonus somewhere else, but that didn’t really make sense.
In the end I only have a 12 month contract meaning I am free to reevaluate in a year. Overall I have been happy with Directv, but $71 a month seemed too high. Luckily my true cost is about half of that for the next year and I can handle that.
I worked in television sales for quite awhile and know a few tricks of the trade. Is anyone interested in a confession of a cable tv salesman piece? Let me know!