Long-time readers of this blog know that I like to negotiate deals and discounts with my cable, wireless, and insurance providers. Barring a radical change in the future in which we will no longer need to have Internet streamed into our homes, talk on a cell phone, or to protect ourselves from liability, we will need some combination of these services. So, if you must have a service, and will likely keep it for the foreseeable future, keeping the cost low is key.
Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to find a discount from my cable provider that I didn’t know about that not only saved me money but enhanced my service as well. I had been subscribing to HBO for really one particular show and once that was over, was planning to cancel that add-on. When I called the provider to cancel, they thanked me for being a long-time subscriber. Just out of curiosity, I asked if I were receiving the top Internet speed. She checked and said “no” and that there was a higher tier that I could get. Thinking that the hard sell was coming, I was prepared to decline politely and end the conversation. But then, she ran through a few screens and saw that if we re-arranged the cable package, she actually could lower my rate and increase the Internet speed. Oh yeah! This wasn’t a “just for 3 months” type of deal but permanent.
After a few more minutes, she confirmed the change which ended being about a 10-15% drop from my current rate. I’ll take it. Today as I write, I still need Internet and would be unable to watch some MLB playoff games without cable. Negotiating insurance is a little more tricky, but plan on taking another crack at that, too. Negotiating with your wireless provider is probably the worst of the three to deal with. My carrier provides the best coverage for this area so my negotiating power is limited because I won’t leave them.
Uncover hidden discounts now
Here’s the takeaway and your homework assignment. I would like you to compile a list of your recurring service providers, call them up, and see if you can negotiate a discount off your current bill. There are many tactics to choose from. You can go the loyalty route, the disloyalty route (threaten to leave), or see if an additional benefit can be added to your coverage as a compromise. So, for my example, boosting Internet speed if the company is not otherwise willing to lower your bill would be one option. Bonus tip: call back and speak to someone else. This recently worked for me when I negotiated a discount off of my credit card’s annual fee. The first call was unsuccessful but the second made the difference.
If you would like my help in negotiating a strategy to save money on of your recurring service providers, just ask!