How to Get Cable TV With No Activation Fees

Cable service providers charge various fees at the time of installation. Activation fees, as their name suggests, cover the cost of turning on services. Not every cable service provider charges "activation fees" or, if charged, bundle the cost of the fee under the generic label of "installation fees." With research and bold negotiating that includes using reverse sales tactics on cable service sales agents, you can easily get cable TV with no activation fees.

Step

Collect cable service offers that interest you into a file. In addition, collect information on offers similar to or better than any packages you've already considered or reviewed with your primary local or "preferred" cable provider. Given the competitive nature of the television services market—especially between cable service providers and dish/satellite/telephone television services providers and the many free services offered on the Internet—it is a buyer’s market.

Step

Call each cable provider, in reverse order from last consideration to the first, and ask if any package promotions exist that do not include activation fees. Often all you need to do to have activation fees waived is ask.

Step

Ask for a reduction of services in exchange for waiving the activation fees. Sales agents can "package" service ala carte to match a similar pre-packaged offer without whatever service you gave up in trade.

Step

Request to have activation fees waived because of a life event. A positive or negative life event can negatively impact your finances. Whether you switched jobs, got married, moved, expect a baby or just welcomed a new child into the world, your life event may make it incredibly difficult to pay additional fees. Sales agents receive training in "befriending" customers. Use this concept to your advantage during negotiations to create empathy to your situation.

Step

Agree to sign a contract in exchange. Although a binding agreement, a contract can actually serve you better than short-term introductory offers as it can "lock in" pricing during a set period protecting you from inflation.

Step

Pull out your competitive offers and advise the sales agent that you must go to another provider unless your package includes waived activation fees. Sales agents make commission from sales and have no desire to lose a customer after working hard to "sell" and "befriend."