I have been a DirecTv customer for years. We also have an HBO package which includes access to HBO Go. HBO Go is a great service, we can watch any and all HBO series, including past seasons and current seasons, on an iPad or iPhone anywhere (assuming access to WiFi) at anytime.
But, there is a down side of DirecTv and HBO and that is the price. While, I feel like we get a lot of enjoyment out of the service, DirecTv has been inching up and inching up in price. So I've developed a habit of calling once every 13 months or so and asking for a discount. I used to call armed with information from their competitors, but now I just call up and tell them I want to keep our same services but I want to pay less and it seems to work.
Last night I called, and I received a $10 discount on our DirecTv package and then I spoke to someone in the premium channel department and received a $10 discount on our HBO package. The general discount is good for a year and the HBO discount is good for six months. So in 5 minutes I saved us $180.
This is a good lesson for all who are working on killing debt, sticking to a budget or increasing savings. While you may have to cut certain things out in your quest for improved personal finances, there are also opportunities to keep the same services but pay less.
When we were killing our credit card debt in 2007 I regret that I never called, on the cards that were not 0%, and asked for reductions in interest rate or some other accommodations. Last year, we combined and redid our car insurance (more than 5 years after we got married). We dramatically increased our coverage and saved a ton of money (which we put towards our umbrella insurance policy). We could have saved thousands of dollars over the 5 years of insurance status quo, but we didn't make the time to investigate our options.