Are you streaming TV? Then you probably got a price hike
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — In consumer news, it’s time we all did some spring cleaning. I’m not talking about our closets; I’m talking about our streaming services. I want you to know that we hear you.
Many of you have written News10NBC because AT&T TV NOW is hiking your monthly fee by ten bucks, from $55 to $65. And the price hike frenzy is contagious. It seems that all the streaming services have caught it.
Hulu is hiking prices by $10.00 from $55 to $65. Netflix standard customers were hit last month with a hike of a dollar raising their bills from $13.00 a month to $14.00. Disney+ is picking another dollar from your pocket hiking your monthly fee of $7 to $8. But the folks feeling the most pain are those of you streaming YouTube TV. Last July your bill jumped 30% from $50 to $65.
And here’s the thing. They’re a bit like pickpockets. Unless you’re paying attention, you don’t even know the money is gone. That’s because these subscriptions renew automatically annually. If you want to cancel, you have to call them.
It’s true that your streaming bill is likely still less than a cable bill. According to a recent survey, the average cable bill is about $217 a month.
But streamers may still be paying more than you should. Now is the time for us all to do an SSA, subscription service audit. Think about it. You’re likely also paying monthly fees for cloud storage, apps and gaming. The list is endless. So take about an hour to sit with your credit or debit card statement; identify all the recurring charges, and cancel anything you don’t use. Sound tedious? There’s an app for that. The lifestyle online magazine, Lifehacker, points to three useful apps: TrueBill, Bobby, and Subscro.
Those are just a few of the apps that connect to your bank account, identify your subscription services, and you track them on a custom dashboard. But be careful. These apps usually offer tiered services, so if you upgrade you’re then paying yet another monthly fee.
And a final word for all you Netflix fanatics. Are you using your buddy’s password? Media research firm, Magid, says a whopping 33% of folks watching Netflix aren’t paying for it. So Netflix is surprising some of those moochers. You might get a message on your screen that reads, "If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching." A Netflix spokesman said the test is to ensure those watching are paying.
So because I like to practice what I preach, instead of movie night on Netflix, I’m making a date with my bank statements to do a complete SSA. Have you made a date?