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Cable TV checklist

The universe of cable TV is ever expanding, and now with CRTC mandated choices, more confusing than ever. The CRTC offers up these pointers to help you navigate the TV world.

The universe of cable TV is ever expanding, and now with CRTC mandated choices, more confusing than ever. The CRTC offers up these pointers to help you navigate the TV world.

• On the CRTC website you'll find a checklist to use before shopping around for TV services. The checklist suggests you make a list of your needs as a TV viewer, your favourite channels, your budget, tec.

• Do your homework. Read your cable bill carefully, then go online to see what deals your service provider offers to new customers.

• Take your time. Whether you contact the cable company via phone, or online, you'll need time to sort through all your options. Your best bet is to decide what you want online first, then call and tell the cable company what you want.

• Negotiate. Cable companies are in a fierce fight for dollars, and they are often willing to make deals. Ask about special promotions and compare them to other providers. Reminding your existing provider of your loyalty might help. If you get a representative who won't budge on anything, don't be afraid to ask to speak to a supervisor.

• Be prepared to change. If you're not happy with your provider, be prepared to move to another company. Your new provider will certainly offer you a tempting package of goodies, often in the form of new TVs or deeply discounted packages. But watch for long-term deals; you might save in the short term, but maybe not in the long run.

• Keep up to date. Every six months, examine your TV habits and make some changes if necessary.