How to Cut your Comcast Bill
I was 0-for-2 in previous attempts with Comcast to get a break on my cable bill. I had no leverage. Comcast (aka “Xfinity”) knows they’re the only cable provider game in town, which doesn’t give you much in the way of price negotiation power. But, in some locales, that’s not true anymore.
Recently, AT&T has rolled out their fiber internet and TV streaming bundles in my area. I decided to do some price comparisons. I found out that I could get an equivalent plan through AT&T for about $40 cheaper than what I was paying as a long-time customer with Comcast. A very similar service at a cheaper price? It turns out that’s Comcast’s kryptonite! Here’s how I got my total Comcast bill lowered and how you can too.
1. Replace your Comcast Modem with your Own
Comcast has raised their modem rental fee to $14 per month ($168 per year) for the privilege of paying them additional money to use their service. That’s crap! You can try to negotiate it away, but that just limits your ability to get other Comcast discounts to cut your bill. I recommend the Motorola MB8611 modem and TP-Link AX1800 router , which will give you just as good (or better) performance that Xfinity “xFi”, but will be paid for in just over a year (vs leasing from Xfinity). However, any of the following modem/router combos will work:
Recommended Modems (to pair with routers below):
- Motorola MB8611: up to 2330Mbps (DOCSIS 3.1)
- Netgear CM2000: up to 2330Mbps (DOCSIS 3.1)
- Arris S33: up to 2330Mbps (DOCSIS 3.1)
If you want Xfinity Voice, go with either the Netgear CM2050v (up to 2330Mbps) or Arris T25 (up to 949Mbps). Note: you can just as easily (and at a big cost savings) add landline voice (VOIP) functionality by connecting an Ooma device to your router.
If you want a gateway (modem and router combined in 1 device), I don’t recommend that because they aren’t as reliable and you can’t upgrade one half, but the Arris G36 (up to 2330Mbps and Wi-Fi 6) and Netgear CAX30 (up to 949Mbps and Wi-Fi 6) are good value options.
Recommended Routers (to pair with modem above):
All offer great value and top speeds.
- TP-Link AX3000 – Wi-Fi 6: up to 3000Mbps (2402Mbps on the 5GHz band + 575Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band)
- TP-Link AX1800 – Wi-Fi 6: up to 1800Mbps (1.2 Gbps on 5 GHz band + 574Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band)
- Netgear Nighthawk AX1800 – Wi-Fi 6: up to 1800Mbps (1.2 Gbps on 5 GHz band + 574Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band)
- TP-Link AC1750 – Wi-Fi 5: up to 1.75 Gbps (1200Mbps on 5GHz band + 600Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band)
These combos will allow you to cut your Comcast modem rental fee. The devices will usually pay themselves off in less than 2 years (vs leasing). Here’s more info on how to replace a comcast modem with your own.
I recently took a look at the new Wi-Fi 6E versus Wi-Fi 6 versus Wi-Fi 5 technology to determine if Wi-Fi 6E is worth the cost. Comcast has recently been advertising its Xfinity “Supersonic Wi-Fi” offering. Broken down, “Supersonic Wi-Fi” is really just Xfinity’s fastest (and highest cost) internet tiers (Gigabit or Ultrafast plans) paired with a new Wi-Fi 6E router (which they are marketing as the “Supersonic Gateway” as part of their package Xfinity “Supersonic Bundle” deal). Here are 2 of the most popular Wi-Fi 6E routers on the market at the moment:
- TP-Link AXE5400: up to 5400Mbps (2402 Mbps on the 6GHz, 2402Mbps on the 5GHz band, 574 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band)
- Amazon eero Pro: up to 1300Mbps
2. Don’t Pay for Comcast Xfinity Voice
Comcast Xfinity Voice is simple VoIP (voice over internet protocol). And it costs significantly more than other alternatives. My favorite is the Ooma device. I’ve used an Ooma for over a decade with Comcast internet and it works just as well. It only costs a few bucks per year in taxes, so you save significantly over Comcast Voice and allow yourself more negotiation power in the future. You simply plug the Ooma device in to the back of your router, plug your phone into the Ooma, and you’re all set.
3. Replace the Xfinity DVR or TV Box with Xfinity Stream
You can now replace your Xfinity DVR & TV Box with your own using Xfinity Stream and a compatible streaming device like a Roku Ultra or Smart TV, saving $8.50 per month ($102 per year) for the first device and $7.50 per month ($90 per year) for each additional device.
4. Research Comcast & Competitor Deals
As I highlighted above, you want to know exactly how much your current plan would cost with other providers offered roughly in your area. This is your leverage. Knowledge is power. You can try the nice and charming route or raise your hands and scream and shout, but if you don’t have pricing leverage, you won’t get anywhere. Write down specifics to reference on the phone.
5. Ask for a Comcast “Loyalty Specialist” or “Retention Specialist”
These are the Comcast employees who have the power to cut you a deal. A regular customer service rep won’t do anything for you, nor are they incentivized to do so, like a “loyalty specialist” or “retention specialist” is. These specialists have access to deals and discounts that other reps will not.
6. Tell Comcast that you want to Cancel
Be resolute. You’re not “considering canceling”. You are going to “switch to a competitor because they have lower prices”. If you’ve been a long time customer, often times, the Xfinity rep will offer you a loyalty discount if you stay. Most recently, I was offered the “new customer promo”, despite being an existing customer.
7. Get Ready for the Negotiations
Since, I was already half way out the door, I was offered a $50/mo. discount immediately in the negotiation with Comcast. Not bad for starters.
8. Watch out for Add-Ons
You will probably get offered something you don’t want (e.g. Showtime or HBO Max). Realize that this is just an add on masquerading as part of a package deal. It’s not. If you don’t want an add-on, be adamant about it. I was given another $5 off. I didn’t fight the higher tier because there were a few channels I wanted.
9. If at First you don’t Succeed, Try Again
This was my third attempt before success. The good news if you don’t succeed is that you can always try back again later, with more experience and knowledge about the objections you will get. Some customer service reps are more difficult than others. Some are simply having a bad day. Whatever the case, don’t give up, simply try again (and again, if need be).
10. Leave and Come Back Later (Maybe)
Xfinity likes to offer new customers better prices than long-time existing customers. It’s how they get you in the door. If you have an alternative, don’t be afraid to switch and come back later (at the lower new customer rate), if it financially makes sense to do so.
Practice all of these steps and I promise you will save money with Comcast!
Comcast Bill Cutting & Discount Discussion:
- Have you had success in negotiating with Comcast or a similar cable provider?
- Have you given up cable completely due to their rigid price structure?
- Have you switched to AT&T or another Xfinity competitor, or will you at first opportunity?
- What tips do you have to save money with Comcast Xfinity?
- How to Opt Out of Comcast Using your Modem as a Public Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Xfinity Mobile Review
- The Lifetime Cost of Cable TV
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