There are many ways to reduce costs in our everyday lives, so to help do just that each Monday I will post a money saving “Tip of the Week”.
This week’s tip involves…saving money on monthly bills by simply calling & asking for a price reduction!
How much it saved me…
I started with Comcast and DirecTV whom I have for Internet & television providers respectively. The reason I use both companies is a little complicated. Originally I had Comcast for both Internet and television, but was not happy with being changed an arm & a leg for service, so I decided to switch to DirecTV. Since DTV did not provide Internet service and because DSL is not offered in my new subdivision, I had to keep using Comcast for Internet. Regarding television, I skeptically entered into a 2 year contract with DirecTV because I didn’t really have a lot of other options.
Now over a year after all my shifting around of services I was paying $63.95/month to Comcast for Internet along with $75/month to DirecTV for television – and so there went my other arm & my other leg. Being armless & legless was making it quite difficult to get around so I finally decided to get off my lazy butt (pun intended), and make the calls to demand better prices!! I did just that and ended up getting my Comcast bill reduced to $37.99/month and my DTV bill down to $55 creating an additional $46/month for me to put into my savings!
Now I’m just going to buy an HDTV digital antenna and get TV for free!
Use these tips when calling…
The CSR’s (Customer Service Reps) are trained to try to dissuade you from your dream of reduced expenses so I will now give you a few pointers in dealing with them:
- Maintain an excellent spirit when dealing with the CSR – The old adage, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” is quite true. Just think of how you would like to be addressed then give the CSR the same respect and courtesy.
- Maintain separation between the CSR and the company itself – This is quite a successful tactic that I have not ever heard anyone else mention. Basically you want to create a distinction between the CSR and the company they work for. This allows you to voice your displeasure with the company, while not attributing any of the displeasure to the person you are dealing with on the phone. For example instead of saying, “You are charging me too much for Internet“, say something like…”I am just really unhappy with how much Comcast is charging me for service, especially with all the other options out there.“
- Get the CSR to empathize with your situation – Now that you have created that separation between the CSR and the company they work for, you are better able to place them in your situation. Say to them, “What would you do if you were me?” Or simply, “How would you feel if you were in my shoes?“
- Use the company’s competitor’s prices and services against them – If you use Comcast for Internet, talk about the low prices AT&T is offering on residential DSL service with similar speeds. Say to them, “I will stay with Comcast if they can match AT&T’s prices, otherwise I’m going to have cancel and go with AT&T. I mean, what would you do if you were in my shoes?“
- Be willing to discontinue the service – Ultimately if you are not truly willing to leave your current provider, you will be less authoritative and they will be less likely to oblige you. Make sure before making this decision you discuss it with your wife and/or family. Be sure to explain the alternatives, and also key on possible benefits of cancelling the service altogether.
- Be confident and persistent – Just as you are much more likely to listen to someone who delivers a confident and meaningful argument, so the CSR will be too. Before you call, make a plan of action. Write down the reasons why you need the price reduced along with price quotes from several other providers. If you are prepared and resolved, the CSR will have a hard time denying your request…it worked for me!!
I saved $46/month doing this…how much did you save by employing these tips? Make sure to let us know by leaving a comment below.
Have you already successfully gotten your prices reduced by calling? Let us know about that too.
Click here to see all our past DFA Tips of the Week.
Betterment is offering a $25 bonus for all new accounts! They've created an awesome way for the Average Joe to save and invest simply and effectively. There are no minimum balance requirements and no transaction fees. Read my Betterment Review or open an account to claim your $25 bonus now.