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How I saved $750+ on my cable and internet bill by using my status as a student. Shaw has a great student discount on cable and internet but they don't advertise it.

Okay so maybe I’m not really starving, but I do like the alliteration.

As our Shaw Plan Personalizer deal that was in place for six months came to an end (it was $62 including tax for some HD channels, selected channels, and extreme internet), I started practicing my negotiation skills in front of the mirror (no, not really) to see if I could get the discounted rate extended or see if I could get some other promotion. If I didn’t figure something out, we would be paying $120 a month for cable and internet.

I called Shaw (after waiting for 20 minutes, no doubt) and asked to speak to one of their customer service representatives.  Because I practiced negotiating for my cell phone contract last year, I thought I had the upper hand.

I even tried to see if I could downgrade the extreme internet to “just” high speed internet and see if that would take the sting away.  It took the sting away by a  measly $10.  The cable and internet bill would still come to $120 or so a month.

I asked the representative if there were any promotions available.



“Miss, we often have free television channel promos that we give to our customers for free, right now, you can watch MTV Canada for free”

(my inside voice: I DON’T CARE ABOUT MTV CANADA! It sucks anyways and the last time I’ve watched that was 2 years ago when “The City” was on! I just want to pay less!)

I even threatened to leave Shaw and go to Telus.

This didn’t phase the customer service rep.  I guess it doesn’t help that I wasn’t on a contract, ha!

I then politely hung up and started brainstorming.

I thought that students must get some sort of a break on cable, seeing as students have no income and yet need some sort of distraction from studying.  Students also need internet.  They must give students a break.

I then called back and asked if there were any student discounts.


So for classic cable (which includes more channels than we were getting on our Shaw Plan Personalizer) and extreme internet, the bill would total $63 or so just because I was a post secondary student.  Regular price would be $130 a month.

And how long does this goodness last?  I thought it would be for another six months or something, but noooooo…

It lasts as long as I am a student! So for two more years, I will get cheap cable and internet.

That alone makes my miserable part time work and full time student life worthwhile!  Oh, and it’s not me who is addicted to cable, it’s my boyfriend.  Him and his Walking Dead episodes *sigh*.

Here’s what you have to do to get in on this deal:

  • First of all, Shaw said you can’t be a full time student (I believe it was only full time students who are eligible) and live in your parents home or even in their basement… because that would mean your parents are getting cheap cable.
  • Print out a copy of your tuition statement to prove to them you’re legit and in school
  • Print out a copy of your enrollment or acceptance letter or other proof to say that you are in post-secondary school (My program is online and it was still fine!)
  • Bring your student ID
  • Find the Shaw customer service centre (for me it is in the lovely Shaw tower in Coal Harbor- pretty fancy!)
  • Bring your student ID and your copies of tuition and enrollment to the Shaw Customer Service Centre
  • Speedwalk/race to the customer service line up alongside a mid-forties male who sees you in his peripheral vision and obviously doesn’t care that you are female and wanting to get in the line up too (hey, what about ladies first? Maybe I didn’t look like a lady that day?? lol)
  • Wait in line for 20-30 minutes with other people who look disgruntled
  • Show them the goods and they will look at you and make sure your ID is real and then give you the discount!

Et Voila!  $750+ annually saved on cable.

This alone makes me want to be a perpetual student.  Perhaps Million Dollar Journey should go to MBA school so he can get this deal too? 😉

Readers, are there any other “WOW” discounts you know of that gives students an advantage?

Article comments

Cait says:

I’m really hoping I can get the same deal, when I move out in January. I’m only in 3 classes at a time but take 12+ in a year, so the school considers me full-time… but will Shaw? Not sure yet.

young says:

@Cait- If the school considers you full time you’re good to go! My colleague is only taking 2 classes at a time but she’s paying full time fees and she got the Shaw deal! 🙂

Neil says:

I decided to go back to school for a second degree earlier this year, and in doing so am saving $1300/year in interest payments on the student loan from my first degree, since interest stops if you continue your education.

Fortunately now that I’m out in the working world, it’s easy to pay for both the loan and tuition! Also, because it’s a distance degree from Memorial U in Newfoundland, where tuition is roughly 35% cheaper, with the interest savings I’m only shelling out $2700 for 10 courses per year (5/semester). How’s that for tuition fees!

young says:

@Neil- Awesome. There are definitely a lot of perks to being a student! Distance courses not only save you tuition (for the most part) it saves you a TON of money in commuting costs etc. At first I was hesitant about this whole distance thing, but I’m loving it now.

Great post! Other places you can save are banking (student accounts should be free) and auto insurance (maybe not in BC I don’t know) but here you can get a full time student discount if you are on your own policy; and an “away at school” discount if you are on your parents’ policy.

young says:

@RossTaylorMoney- Thanks for the suggestions! I am with BMO (I used their free student banking) but then kept the minimum $2000 even when I got a job. I still like to keep the $2000 in there- it gives me a nice buffer for emergency cash. I’ll have to inquire at ICBC about the insurancy policy- sounds like a great deal though.

I LOVE students discounts (well, actually, any discount…).

Don’t forget about student movie passes. Our university had a deal with a local theatre where we could see independent films and (a limited selection of) movies for $5!!!!

Luckily, I still have my student card and it says that I am still a student until 2013 due to a glitch in the system. I may or may not keep this card in my wallet at all times 😉

young says:

@fabulouslyfrugirl- Haha, who doesn’t like discounts? Student movie passes eh? I don’t know if Cineplex will do them- should look into it. $5 films! Those were the good ol’ days. Don’t worry, FF I won’t judge! If my student card had an extended expiry date, I would milk it for all I can get. It is especially helpful when you’re traveling and visiting a museum or some other attraction. Student cards are especially helpful then. 😉

Leigh says:

Wow, that’s a pretty awesome discount for being a student and even more awesome that you get to keep it without negotiating for the next two years 🙂 I couldn’t care less about MTV either! Or Showtime, which my cable company likes to try and offer me.

I should really get on negotiating a new rate… I’ll do that when I move.

young says:

@Leigh- I know eh? One of the few perks of being a student. Hopefully they’ll somehow think I am in school for 4 years and then I will get to continue my student discount. 😉

Oh the joys of being a student. Miss those days.

I am glad though that companies make services like cable affordable for students. It is smart business sense really.

As non students we play the negotiation game every year with the different providers we have where we live.

young says:

@MIss T- Yeah, students need internet (fast internet). The negotiation game isn’t fun- I am getting negotiation fatigue too!

SavingMentor says:

Aren’t student discount wonderful?! That’s a darn decent deal for both high speed internet and cable combined!

Lately I’ve lost my will to negotiate. I’m tired of dealing with CSRs that screw up my services and discounts. I’ll probably go at it again sometime but I need a break for now.

young says:

@SavingMentor- What/???! SM losing the will to negotiate? That’s like your passion, your lifeblood, SM! I know what you mean though- it takes a lot of energy dealing with CSRs and negotiating. A lot of sucking up too. Sometimes I’m not in the mood at all or the person on the other end is being difficult.