It pays to haggle over your cable TV contract, says Consumer Reports

On average, American households pay $186 a month for their TV, internet, and home phone services. That's too much, and you can often reduce the bill with a phone call to your service provider, according to a new article in Consumer Reports.

Seventy percent of the people CR polled said they attempted to negotiate a better deal at some point, and among that group the overwhelming majority — 80 percent — were able to get one or more perks, including a new or extended promotional rate and outright price cuts.

About a quarter of those who [haggled over the phone] were able to get their pay-TV company to cut their monthly bills by up to $50. And a decent number were able to get either premium channels such as HBO and Showtime or a boost in their internet speeds at a discount, if not free.

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