Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lowering our Internet bill with a simple call

Every few months, I make a simple phone call to lower my bills.  I consistently do this for my cell phone, car insurance, and any miscellaneous fees.

When I received my recent cable internet bill from Time Warner Cable, I noticed that my rate had gone up. I have been paying $41.99 for our high speed internet for the last 6 months.  Now our promotion expired and the rate had gone up by $2.04 for a new bill of $44.03.

It’s insulting to me that a company would offer their best promotional rates to new customers and not existing loyal customers.  I get it though; once signed up for a service, most people will just accept any rate increases without complaint.

Most people see a $2.04 increase in their bill, shrug their shoulders, and then pay the bill.  People generally don't enjoy negotiating their bill rates. 

Not me.

This rate increase was my chance to call and get our rate plan adjusted.

I looked up the customer service number and called it.

When the automated system answered, I clicked the prompts that directed me to "cancel my service."  This will instantly connect you to a company’s customer retention department.

Companies want to keep you as a customer and the retention department representatives have the capability of lowering your rates.

The representative on the line first try to sell us additional services besides high speed internet.  He asked if we were interested in bundling home phone or cable television services.  I nicely explained that we use our mobile phones to make calls and that we don't watch any cable television.  We canceled our DirecTV and purchased a Roku internet streaming device two years ago and never looked back.

I nicely explained to the rep that I have been a customer for several years and am upset about the rate increase.

The rep looked over my account and immediately offered me a $5 monthly credit for 6 months.

I immediately asked: "is there anything else that can be offered to me?"

The rep wouldn't budge, but I'm glad I tried asking.

The entire phone call took less than 15 minutes, and will save us $30 over the next 6 months. Whenever I call to negotiate a bill or fee, I make sure to document the name of the customer service rep that helped me, as well as the details of my offer.  I usually just email this information to myself so that I can review it later.  

When the rate goes up again, you better believe I'm going to call my internet service provider’s customer retention line.

Have your rates gone up?  Are you going to just pay the difference or are you going to make a simple phone call to do something about it?  What you decide says something about how you value your money.

As Mr. Money Mustache would say, a millionaire is made ten bucks at a time. 

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