Have you checked your cable bill this month? One Lubbock provider went up on their internet service, again. Having an almost $10 increase was a bit of a shock to me. But can you do anything about this?

Yes, you can, but it takes a bit of time and patience. And these suggestions apply to cell phone, TV and more. (Just don't try this with LP&L; you won't get anywhere!)

1. Be reasonable in what you want. The odds of getting your bill cut in half are slim to zero. Take a look at what other providers are offering, and also look at what your current provider is doing for new customers. Sometimes that is all it takes and your current provider will cut your bill down.

2. Don't go in swinging.  Remember the old saying, you'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar? The person on the other end of the line will probably react better to someone who is being calm and polite versus shouting and yelling at them. But of course, that doesn't mean you are going to get what you want.

If a front line rep can't help you, then move your way up the ladder to a supervisor. They generally have a little more authority to get things done than the front line folks, but this is also not a guarantee.

3. Be prepared to leave and go elsewhere. There's really only a couple of choices for internet service in the City of Lubbock. But if one company won't work with you, then pack up your toys and go play somewhere else. Sometimes this is a good method to get people to work with you. They would rather keep you than lose you, but some companies just don't care one way or the other.

4. Try a bill-negotiating service.  This is not an endorsement of any kind, but services like Trim can help negotiate on your behalf. They do take a part of your savings as a fee.

Just remember to follow through, and make sure they follow through as well.