To save on TV, Internet, and phone bills, many people get all three services from the same company.
Those "triple plays" get you steep discounts, but only for a limited time. Then bills often shoot up. But Consumer Reports says there are ways to save.
Consumer Reports' annual survey of subscribers shows 44 percent of those who bargained got up to $50 a month off their bill, and 7 percent got an even bigger discount.
If you use your cell phone more than your home phone, some companies are letting you make a triple play with your cell phone instead of a landline. And if you want to keep both, several major providers are offering "quad plays" that let you add your cell-phone service, too.
So don't stick with the plan you've always had. Explore new options. Your situation changes, and you might be paying for services you don't even use all that much.
And here's a negotiating tip from Consumer Reports. If you fail to get what you want from the regular customer-service representative, ask to speak with the customer-
retention department instead. They may be more willing to negotiate, as long as you are an existing subscriber.