One of the many things my job has taught me is that the price of everything is negotiable. It’s basic supply and demand. If you don’t give someone the price they want, they’ll go find it somewhere else. The bottom line is whether or not they want to make a sale and keep you as a customer.
That’s the little story I tell myself about every six months. What happens every six months? My TV service goes from the promotional price back to the normal price. And when it does, without hesitation, I call the cable company and politely ask “Is there anything you can do for me?” I don’t yell. I don’t stomp my feet. I simply ask the question fully understanding that the worst thing they could tell me is “no”. But they usually don’t … because the worst thing I could do back is cancel my service and go elsewhere.
This week was the week my TV service went back up. So I made the call and you know what I got for my efforts? My cable bill was reduced by 45%! Altogether this year, that will equal a savings of $720. But that’s not the best part … This is probably the 10th time in a row that I’ve done this.
Negotiating your bills is not just limited to cable service. It has worked with my auto insurance, cell phone, and even the rewards program for one of my previous credit cards. On that last one, I asked them if they could extend the promotional 5% reward on gas, groceries, and travel for another few months. A few weeks later, I went on vacation and earned $75 worth of points in a single month!
If you want to get your bills reduced, you don’t need to be a fast talker or even good looking (no one is going to see you on the phone anyways). All you need is a little patience and to keep a few basic steps in mind:
1. Just make the call.
That’s right – just do it already! If you just sit around angry at how much you’re spending on everything without doing anything about it, then who is really to blame? Don’t be afraid either. Like I said, the worst thing they can tell you is no and you’ll just keep paying the same price you were anyways – you have nothing to lose!
2. Be polite.
Think about your own job. Do you help out the people that scream and yell at you or the ones that ask for things nicely? The same goes for these people working customer service. If you’re willing to work with them and make their jobs pleasant, I’m sure they’ll be more likely to work with you.
3. …But Be Assertive.
So they tell you no? That’s okay. Hang up and start looking around at the promotional deals from their competitors. Now you’re armed and ready with statements like “I really like you guys and your service, but you know, AT&T U-verse has got this really good deal going right now. Are you sure there isn’t anything we could work out?” No one wants to lose a customer, so this is usually when they start to buckle.
4. Be Prepared to Make Good on Your Bluff.
If they still won’t budge, then maybe it really is time to drop their service. After all, it’s not that big of a hassle to switch cable providers, cell phone carriers, credit cards, etc., and the Internet just keeps making it easier. You don’t owe anything to anyone, and every person is entitled to get the best deal out there for what they need. Besides – you gave them the chance to keep you as a customer, right?
Remember, as a consumer, you’re the one with the money. Therefore, you’re the one with the power.