Whether you’re moving to a new town or hooking up cable for the first time, you’ll have several choices ahead of you. A simple Google search for “cable provider in my area” will give you a list of companies to choose from, but it won’t tell you much beyond their names and phone numbers. To make a good decision, you’ll need more than that. Signing up for a subscription plan is a long term commitment worth putting some serious thought into. The type of coverage the company provides, their prices, and the quality of service they’re known for should all come into play. Here are some things to think about as you move forward.
Cable Provider in My Area: Looking at Your Options
Smaller towns may only play host to a single cable company. While this certainly reduces the effort you’ll need to put into making a decision, it’s not the best situation for consumers. With no competition to speak of, the company is free to raise prices as they wish, provide any level of service, and risk little in terms of customer defection. If you do have several companies that offer service, however, you hold the cards when it comes to choosing amongst them. Expect better sale promotions, better service, and all of the consumer benefits that come with increased competition.
This is one area where you won’t be able to compare simply by exploring each company’s website. Get out there and talk to people. While an online search is sure to turn up some reviews (particularly if you’re looking at national service providers), people tend to post rants and criticism much more frequently than praise. Talk to your neighbors and friends. Ask them about their cable company and if they would recommend their service to others. Don’t wait until after you’ve signed a contract to find out what kind of service you’re going to get.
Pricing and Tiers
This is where things can get complicated. A simple search for “cable provider in my area” may give you plenty of choices, but it takes some effort to ensure you’re comparing apples to apples. Most cable companies today offer a number of different pricing options, various bundles, and optional tiers that customers can choose from. As you see, choosing the right provider is only half the battle. After you’ve made your choice, you’ll still have plenty to decide. You may not relish the thought of spending the next week immersed in your cable TV options, but the upside is increased customization.
Questions to Ask Local Cable Companies
It’s easy enough to find out who’s offering what in your city, but to make the right choice between them you’ll need to ask some questions. These are some of the most important:
What are your connection fees?
Cable companies price their installation services in one of two ways: by connection or by room. If a company is going to charge a separate connection fee for each TV, you need to know beforehand. Don’t get caught with a bigger bill than you intended.
What bundles are available?
You may have gone into this with the sole intention of purchasing a cable package, but if you can save money by bundling phone and Internet, why not? At least give their bundles a look and make sure you aren’t leaving money on the table.
What kind of cancellation fees are there?
What if you decide this cable company isn’t for you after six months? Make sure you know what kind of cancellation fees you’ll have to pay should you break the contract early. Most companies will have some such fees attached to the contract, so it’s better to know in advance what you’ll be dealing with should you wish to go elsewhere.