Are you tired of seeing your cable or phone bill creep up year after year? Do you feel powerless when it comes to lowering your bills? My cable bill jumped $7 this past month and my first thought was “oh, hells no” followed by a strong desire to remove my earrings, rings, and wristwatch in preparation to kick some booty. Once the desire to go all gangsta faded, I donned my real weapons: a headset and my determination to save money. So how can you become a money saving warrior? I thought you’d never ask.
Military Money Chica’s 6 Steps to Lowering Your Bills:
- Collect Your Data. Read your statements. Make sure you know exactly how much you’re paying and what services are included. If your bill goes up, try to figure out where the difference came from.
- Research Their Current New Customer Specials. Monitor your junk mail, tv/radio ads, and billboards to track the new customer pricing specials for your service provider.
- Research Their Competitor’s Specials. Do you have cable? Stay aware of the satellite pricing. Keep an eye on what other cell phone companies are offering their customers.
- State Your Case. How long have you been with your service provider? Do you always pay your bills on time? Are you satisfied with their service, but just not their pricing? If you’ve done your homework well, you should be able to let the representative know that you would like to take advantage of the new customer prices in exchange for your loyalty to their company. Or tell them you’re considering switching to a competitor. Chances are, they’ll honor it or quickly find you better pricing.
- Don’t Take “No” For An Answer. If they say no, ask to speak to their manager or even the cancellations department. If you get transferred to the cancellations department, chances are they have a few tricks up their sleeve to keep you loyal to their company.
- BE NICE. Remember, these are customer service representatives and not the Chief Operating Officer. The nicer you are, the better service you’ll get. If you find yourself speaking to a representative who is not very helpful, excuse yourself from the call, hang up, and call back. You’ll be able to start fresh with a new representative who will be more helpful.
Spoils of War: Lowering My Bills
I contacted my cable company’s customer service line and was promptly put in automated menu purgatory. I got bounced into automated menu after automated menu until I patiently stated repeatedly screamed “representative” at the auto-attendant five times (and I wonder why La Rubia Peligrosa chooses to express herself in stereo).
Once I made it through to the representative, I put my I-know-you’re-not-the-target-of-my-disgust voice and began to inquire about my current bill. I was quickly informed that my account no longer reflected the new client offer I’d received for a year a year ago (surprise, surprise) and that my pricing now reflected their standard pricing. I stated that I understood the situation, but that satellite providers in our area were offering better prices than they were and were they prepared to offer me better rates to keep me as a customer. All in all, I spent about 20 minutes on the phone and came away with $144/year in savings.
Here’s the final tally:
1st year of service: $113 per month.
After 1st year of service: $120.
Post Battle Bill: $111.
While speaking with my cable/internet provider, they informed me that I could bundle my home phone in with my cable and internet for $120, which was an additional $9 on top of the $111 they quoted me for my current services. Although I didn’t want to switch my current phone provider, it did give me ammunition to call my phone provider and do battle with them. Result: They knocked my unlimited world-calling plan down from $34.99 per month to $14.99 a month for a year. That’s an additional $240 saved! Cha-ching!
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