How to Choose the Best Cable Provider: The Complete Guide

Hoping to sign up for cable TV? A few decades ago, choosing a provider was as simple as looking up companies in a yellow directory book. Those days are gone and you’ll have to find a cable provider online now. 

Unfortunately, websites get pretty complicated. You might not find what you want on one page or might get annoyed with all the ads. 

Don’t worry though, it’s not a total loss. We’ve got a guide below to help you find the best cable and internet providers in town. Read on below to learn more: 

1. List Down Channels You Want

Don’t contact a cable provider without first listing down all the channels you want. This can help you quickly scour through their packages and see if they offer what you need. 

Do you want a cable package that comes with HBO, the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, CBS, and ABC? Will you prioritize getting the Discovery Channel and National Geographic? Make sure to list these down so you can check if the provider offers these in their most affordable packages.

2. Stay Local

As much as possible, stick with local cable providers. If you have to sign up for a bigger company like a national cable service provider, make sure they have an office in your town.

Why is this important?

First off, it guarantees they’re close enough for regular repairs and maintenance needs. You don’t want to wait for days simply because the provider has to travel from a few towns over. 

Secondly, it’s always nice to support local businesses. They’re your neighbors, after all. 

Third, their proximity proves they’re a legitimate business.

Scammers often like to say they don’t have a local address. Once they steal your money, you won’t have a means of tracking them down. Sticking local prevents this issue.

3. Study the Bundles

If you don’t have an Internet connection at home, you might want to look at cable bundles. Ask the providers on your list if they offer any bundles. This simplifies things since you can get both cable TV and an Internet connection for one bill.

However, make it a point to study the bundles and compare cable plans. Check to make sure you get a decent deal. Verify if you get the channels you want and decent Internet speed.

Also, make it a point to calculate if the bundle indeed saves you cash. 

4. Look for Reviews

Listed down a few cable providers you like? The next step is to get online and read a few reviews. It would be better if they have listed reviews on a Google My Business page. 

Reviews matter; you can read whether or not previous clients had any issues with the providers. You can discover if there included hidden fees not listed or if the cable providers are as good and as affordable as they claim. If a company claims they’re the best cable provider, they should have reviews that can prove it. 

Checking reviews can also indicate if a provider fixed any problems. Small businesses shouldn’t run and hide if they committed a mistake — they should own up to it and attempt to do better. Reviews can showcase whether or not they did. 

5. Ask the Neighbors

Done reading a few reviews? Did you cross out the companies that don’t seem friendly or as great as advertised? Your next step is to ask your nearby neighbors for network cabling recommendations.

If a majority of your neighbors subscribe to the same cable provider, ask why. If they can all provide multiple good reasons and benefits then you should bump that company to the top of your list. You might even discover a provider that has good reviews and is one your neighbors prefer.

6. Ask for Promo Deals

Were the prices too high? Don’t scratch those cable plans off yet! Make sure you ask about promo deals first.

Some cable providers offer deals like a one-year plan for a lower price than usual. Others won’t charge an installation fee. These little deals can go a long way in cutting down the costs, especially if you’re getting both cable and Internet. 

While asking for promo deals, take a moment to check how long these last. They might only last for a few months before you get charged the full price. 

7. Know Your Budget

It’s important to know your budget. The average cost of cable nowadays is at $107 a month, give or take depending on your plan and bundle deals. 

Does this fit into your budget? If you have to, look for cable plans below this average. If you can afford it, why not go for something a bit more expensive but filled to the brim with channels, 4K UHD resolution, and Internet bundles.

Can’t find a cable provider that offers something within your budget? The first solution is to ask for a promo deal. The next step is to negotiate.

8. It’s Okay to Negotiate

Yes, it’s okay to haggle a bit. Big, national companies might not budge but local providers could offer some leeway. They might be able to offer you a special deal or lower the price specifically for you. 

That said, don’t push too hard. They’re trying to earn and make a living, after all. 

If possible, ask if they have old promo deals. See if you can avail of those even if the provider no longer offers them. 

Get the Best Cable Provider!

Choosing a cable provider isn’t as difficult or as tedious as some people assume. Simply follow these tips to find the right provider, ensuring you get the best channels for a good price. 

Of course, an amazing cable plan is only the beginning! You could get additional shows with the right phone, the best streaming network subscription, and more. If you don’t know which ones are worth a dime, check out our other guides here for all the information you need!