Cable TV allows you to watch television without using an antenna to receive a signal. They use optical fiber or coaxial cable to bring you signals, and you have to subscribe to the services.
The federal government offers certain essential utilities for free, but it’s doesn’t do that with cable TV services even to the less fortunate.
Therefore, without this free service provision, one has to look for an affordable option. Indeed, it can be a challenge to get a cheaper cable TV, especially for people with low income. Still, several cable TV companies are targeting the disadvantaged with special rates and discounts.
The article will provide you with details that can help you when securing these discounts and choosing the best cable TV based on your needs.
Best Cable Providers for People With Fixed Income
Cable services have been serving the Americans for several years, and for that, several households have enjoyed unlimited access to TV programs. In recent years these companies have witnessed increased demand for their services, and as a result, they have created new modules that overcharge customers or that are costly for low-income households.
As a result, many families are opting for fiber-based options to cut off their cable billings. In most low-income families, watching TV is one of the affordable sources of entertainment. Therefore, they want a cheaper service provider that they can afford to pay always. Consequently, they may prefer prices ranging between $50 and $70 per month based on the channel selection and the number of TV sets your household has.
The following are tips for identifying a cheaper cable TV provider.
Tip 1: All Cable Providers Accessible to Government Assistance to Low Income Households
Conduct research of all providers located in your area. During the investigation, you will discover new and existing providers, the companies with good reviews and the bad ones as well as the fraudulent ones. You can gather this information from the internet or their social media profiles.
Tip 2: Identify the Channels Your Family Prefers
Since now you have a shortlist of service providers, you can now list the channels you must have. First, you can write down what you want and then compare it with the list available on the providers’ website. Secondly, use this list to eliminate some providers and maintain the ones meeting your needs.
Tip 3: Compare their Plans and Costs
The main reason why you are conducting this research is that you want a cheaper option; otherwise, you can pick any service providers when money is not the issue. On the other hand, you don’t want to compromise quality; thus, you don’t want to go for a cheaper option with poor quality.
Another factor to consider when it comes to prices is that some companies have hidden costs, monthly billing fees, and extra taxes. Therefore, pick a company that guarantees you good quality and is transparent when it comes to prices. Additionally, prioritize a company that allows you to negotiate your monthly subscriptions.
People with fixed income who are seniors, veterans or disability can get big discounts on their cable tv. It’s different on a case-by-case basis that you qualify for low-income cable services in your area.
Tip 4: What are their Customers Saying about Them?
There is no perfect company, and their reviews will tell you that. However, read what customers are saying about them and then narrow down your options based on how they are ranked in terms of services and affordability. Some reviews will guide you on the provider’s application process and its requirements.
Tip 5: Evaluate their Customer Care Service
What do their customers say about the level of their services? You may visit their offices, call, chat with them on social media or website and see how they respond to your queries. Your first interaction with them will help you rate their customer service and determine whether that is how you would want to be treated when you become their customer. Another option is to talk to your neighbor or a friend that is using their services. Ask them how reliable is their services.
Tip 6: Select the Preferred Cable Serve Provider
Finally, pick the cable service provider with the best price in terms of affordability, good quality, and superior customer service. More so, don’t compromise quality because of the price. A cheaper option may end up being expensive in the long run.
Therefore, consider these steps before jumping into a cable TV service provider. They will help you to avoid the headache of switching from one company to the other now and then.
The Best Cheap Cable TV Services For Low Income Households
This is a name that been around for some years and known for its affordable TV plans. The cable service provider has exciting deals for your TV needs. For instance, the expanded basic package has 140 channels and goes for $49.99 monthly. On the other hand, its XI DVR may not be a superior one in the market; however, it’s one of the best options for low-income households.
Xfinity services you don’t need to qualify for any government program if you are considered or not considered as a low-income individual to be eligible for the cheap internet & cable services on offer. Have a look at their plans and see which of their low-cost plans and bundles they have available to you.
- The Xfinity‘s XI DVR has cool features like a voice-controlled remote and a Netflix integration.
- It can hold High-Definition recordings of up to 100 hours in addition to a record of six shows.
- You will get widely held channels and shows and enjoy no-contract entertainment. However, a not contract option attracts an additional $10 per month, which is a better option for families that can’t commit to a contract due to uncertainty in their income levels.
Cable TV Plan
- The digital starter plan has 140 channels at $49.99.
- The digital preferred plan has more than 220 channels at $59.99.
- The digital premier plan has over 260 channels at $104.99.
Pros of Xfinity Cable TV Option
- It’s an affordable cable TV option, and plans are set based on your area.
- It has a powerful XI DVR.
- You don’t need a contract.
- It has a simple installation process.
- It has extra fees if you don’t want to commit to a contract.
- Reviews show that the provider is not customer-centric.
- There is frequent internet service downtime.
Unfortunately, Spectrum doesn’t offer any subsidized plans for low-income households and unlike Xfinity, they have affordable plans, but Xfinity is the cheaper and more affordable option.
You can get peace of mind that there are no contracts, which means you can cancel at any time during the service period without paying exit fees and additional charges for the return of equipment.
It’s a reliable cable TV with several features that are offered with no extra fees or hidden costs. More so, this service provider doesn’t require a customer to have a multi-year contract with them like it’s common in other cable TV providers. Therefore, you can switch to another TV service at any time you want. The company has a wide range of options at a competitive price, phone, and intent services.
- You receive a DVR when you sign up.
- The DVR has High Definition storage of up to 75 hours and a recording of two shows.
- It allows you to overlook the weaker DVR and select a TV plan with the best rates.
- It has a one-time cost of $34.99 that you pay upon subscription. However, the charge can be waived if you negotiate with the customer service agents.
Cable TV Plan
- TV stream has 25 and above channels at $24.99.
- TV Select has over 125 channels at $44.99, including local broadcasting, educational materials, and news channels.
- TV silver has over 175 channels at $69.99.
- TV Gold has over 200 channels at $89.99, including premium entertainment, international channels, and kid’s channels.
Pros of spectrum Cable TV
- It’s an affordable plan.
- It has a reliable watch-as-you-go service.
- Easy to install.
- No contracts.
- It’s not customer-centric.
- It can’t be accessed in all states.
- It has hidden charges.
Cox Internet and Cable TV
The provider has the most competitive prices in the market for cable TV and internet services.
- The Cox’s starter package has crucial channels like FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS, as well as HBO for contour packages.
- IT has a strong Record 6-HD DVR.
Cable TV Plan
- The TV starter package has more than 70 channels at $25.
- Contour TV has over 140 channels at $64.99.
- 10 Mbps with unlimited internet at $29.99.
- 30 Mbps at $39.99.
- 150 Mbps at $59.99.
- 300 Mbps at $79.99.
- 1000 Mbps with unlimited data at $99.99.
Pros of Cox Cable TV
- It is an affordable plan.
- Easy to setup install.
- The provider is customer-centric hence superior customer services,
- Its cable TV services are reliable, and its internet services have no downtime.
- Cox services are not available nationwide.
- It has a costly DVR, which costs more by $19.99.
It’s one of the best brands in the market that offers cable, internet, and phone plans. The company provides services in more than 50% of states in the US; thus, you can confirm its accessibility in your region. Further, the company doesn’t overcharge its customers, and there is no internet throttling irrespective of the amounts of data units you have subscribed to.
- The higher the channels, the better quality time.
- Maintain a copy of your favorite programs and shows.
Cable TV Plan
- Optimum Core TV has over 220 channels at $59.99.
- Optimum select TV has over 340 channels at $74.99.
- Optimum premier TV has over 420 channels at $104.99.
Pros Optimum Cable TV
- You don’t need to sign a contract with Optimum.
- The option provides you with simultaneous recordings.
- It has excellent sports coverage.
- The Optimum premier services are only accessible in only states.
This TV network offers a cheap entertainment option available on cable TV and U-Verse internet. You need to sign up for the services to access these services.
If you qualify for the low-income subsidy program then you can get access to AT&T Acess which is a service that brings basic internet to fixed income household starting at $10 per month for either cable & internet
If you or a family member participates in the SNAP program then you automatically pre-qualify to enter into the AT&T Access program. However, DSL internet and cable are generally slower and restrictive.
- DVR with ready High Definition service upon subscription and can record up to 4 shows.
- You can store approximately 165 High Definition hours or 460 SD content hours.
Cable TV Plan
- AT&T basic package at $35. It has a DVR plus movies.
- U-Family option has over 180 channels at $49.99.
- U-200 has over 370 at $69.99.
- U-300 has over 485 at $74.99.
- U-450 has over 550 at $124.99.
- All plans have a free DVR.
- You can download its app, which is accessible on various devices.
- The service provider is not accessible nationwide.
A few honorable mentions
If you live in a remote or rural area where cable access is hard to get then you may want to check out Centrylink’s plans. They don’t directly offer low income options that have been subsidized by the government. However, they do have a few affordable options as far as satellite services are concerned.
They recently introduced low income services to Americans who are on fixed income social security which is apart of a national program directed by the government to subsidize affordable internet and cable services. Be sure to look into their options to see if you qualify for their program.
What to Avoid When Choosing Cable TV Plans
As indicated above, it’s not easy to find the right cable TV package for low-income households because a number of providers are not available nationwide. Another challenge is hidden charges that make it challenging to find a budget-friendly option. The following are things to watch out for when it comes to pricing.
You may have realized that most companies have an introductory price to new customers, which is slightly lower than the standard plan. With time the service provider, many reverts to its usual price, and the package may become a burden to the customer. Given that, you should keep tabs of your monthly bill and the price after three, six, 12, and 24 months after subscription because that is when the company is likely to shift you to the typical billing system.
Low-income Americans are entitled to heavily discounted internet & cable tv bundles. And if you qualify for social security benefits for disability, veterans or senior then you can get a much lower plan thanks to government subsidies.
Most service providers are not transparent regarding their charges. For that reason, a deal of $15 might end up as $25 due to equipment rentals, taxes, or installation fees that were not declared on the offer. Another tactic that most service providers use is the fees attached to the termination of a contract.
Therefore, companies will charge you for canceling the contract early because of an issue or something you didn’t like about the services. Therefore ensure that your provider doesn’t have such conditions before signing up. Further, explain to them your budget, which is applicable across the years and opt to change in case the provider is unwilling to accommodate you.
Buy What You Need
Don’t buy cable TV or internet services that are higher than what you need for this is impulse buying. Further, you may realize that you don’t have the necessary hardware to support the high speed or resolution.
Therefore as stated above, reflect on your needs and stick to the package no matter the amount of appeal through the advertisement. Sticking to your plan will save the double expensive of buying additional hardware while a basic internet plan could have served the purpose.