Do you ever think about all the bills you pay each month and wish you could pay less? I do.. every month. But often times we think of more extreme ways to reduce our bills like cutting the cord, getting an insurance policy with less coverage or canceling the subscription service you love.
But we often don’t think sometimes to just ASK to pay less. It seems almost too obvious right? However, the average consumer has never been more informed and more empowered than today. We can cancel and sign up for new services with a few key strokes on our mobile phones. This reality almost requires the provider you are doing business with to negotiate if necessary to keep you as a customer. So instead of figuring out what I could cut out, reduce or substitute. I started going through my bills and contacting each biller to ask if I could pay less than what I was currently paying.
I figured I would have the best luck (and most negation power) with providers that were not essential services and providers that I could substitute with one of their competitors. I began to test this theory first with my TV/Wireless/Phone provider, a monthly bill that had now swollen to over $200 per month.
I called the customer service department to tell them I was not happy with how much I was paying and that I would like to pay less. The rep told me that I could reduce my services to save on costs. I then said, “well I don’t really need TV anymore since I have Hulu and Netflix…What would my bill without that service.” After hearing this, the rep sent me to their “Account Retention Department.”
I thought to myself “Account Retention Department? They have a whole department dedicated to making to concessions to keep my business?” I knew I was on to something.. The rep in this new department told me that they have access to special promotions and can provide me plans that other customer service teams at the company cannot. It turns out they were able to give me a promotion that would reduce my bill somewhere in the amount of 10%-20%.
This was a great but I was really unhappy that my bill that was initally $89.99 had somehow skyrocketed to $200 without any additional value. Ultimately, I ended up telling my TV provider that I would be canceling the service. So I did. Two weeks later I received a call from the company saying that they could give me back my original 89.99/month plan with a few less channels. I took the deal as I only really use the TV for the major network channels anyways.
That turned out to be savings of $100/month or $1,200/year!
1. Always call and ask to pay less than you are paying. You will likely get a reduction in your current bill if the company doesn’t believe that they can keep you as a customer without making a concession
2. If you are denied the reduction you are seeking. Try escalating your request to a different department or cancel the service altogether.