Monday, March 5, 2012


There isn't a company out there that I won't force into a negotiation! For example, this past weekend I negotiated a reduced rate on my TV, internet and phone with our local cable company. We currently have our phone and internet service with the cable provider but we had our TV through a satellite company. We still had another 13 months left on our contract with the satellite company but the satellite service was poor and the price was about to increase significantly. I called the cable company and the best their first line customer service rep could offer was a 3 in 1 package for $135 a month. That would only have saved us about $10 a month and I still would have been on the hook for a $260 cancellation fee to the satellite company. I said, "Thanks, but if that's the best you can do I'd like to cancel my phone and internet service." For the record, I had no intention of cancelling our phone and internet service. The representative said that she could put me through to their Promotional Department and that they might be able to offer me something better.

The person to whom I was transferred in the Promotional Department offered to lock me in, for a year, to the same 3 in 1 package but this time at $125 a month. I reminded the rep that new customers are being offered $89.99 a month for a year. He said that wasn't available to me because I was a current customer. I said, "Thanks, but if that's the best you can do I'd like to cancel my phone and internet." He said he could transfer me to the Sales Department and that they might be able to help me further.

I explained to the next representative that I was willing to cancel my phone and internet and give my business to their competitor if I wasn't given the $89.99 a month for a year that was being offered to new customers. He also said the new customer offer wasn't available to me but that he might be able to get me into a "win you back" promotion. After waiting patiently for about 2 minutes, listening to the clicking of his keyboard, he said that he could lock me into the 3 in 1 package for $99.99 a month for two years AND that they would pay up to $200 of my cancellation fee from the satellite company. Now that's what I was looking for and then some!

I love negotiations, especially when I can save over a $1000 over the next 2 years!

Perhaps you can call your credit card company and ask them lower your interest rate; you'll be able to attack the principle more quickly. Maybe you can shop your car/home insurance to reduce your rates. While you're busy reducing your rates, you should consider raising your deductible from $500 to $1000 which will save you some cash. Call your cell phone company to see if you can reduce your payment. If you didn't know, Virgin Mobile offers unlimited data, texting and 300 anytime minutes for $35 a month; up that to 1200 min and it's $45 a month; unlimited data, text and phone and it's $55 a month. They're on the Sprint network so make sure they have decent service in your area.

Research! Call other companies or go their websites to see what they can offer you. Then call your current provider and tell them what you've been offered and that you're willing to switch. If the first rep doesn't help you, ask to speak to another. If the second or third rep can't help you, call the "other" company back!

Don't give up, don't be afraid to negotiate and don't be afraid to switch companies. The only loyalty that should exist, in this situation, is the loyalty to your wallet. Use the savings you just negotiated to build your emergency fund, add it to your debt snowball, fund your retirement contribution or throw it at your home payment. Whichever you choose, you'll be saving money just by making a few phone calls!

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