Today I called the cable company who decided to up my bill by $20 a month. I spoke with two people, who both were very nice, but also professionals. “Let’s see what’s going on with your account…” They both knew exactly what had happened – The promotional term had ended, and no one had informed me that there was a promotional term. They know that because they get hundreds of calls a day from people just like me, complaining about the very same rate hike, yet they pretend to commiserate and try to “figure out” what could possibly be happening with my bill. They ask if there are any other problems with the service, they ask if maybe I have more services than I need. This is the tactic they use to try to get people to back down and agree that the services provided really are worth the extra money.
They don’t fool me. I have my own techniques. I stayed calm, and kept repeating that I would have to go to their competitor to see if they could offer a better deal — this was how I got the first person to switch me to the “loyalty department”. The second person tried to get me to see what a deal I was still experiencing, as I was still $15 under “retail” by asking if I had any issues with buffering or picture quality. I finally told him, “I don’t have any problem with the service, I have a problem with the price.” At this point he offered to “split the difference with me”. I took his offer, but in the meantime, got all the pertinent facts about how much Internet and basic cable were costing (each), when the cost would go up again, and the mbps speed, so that I can go to their competitor and see if I need to make a change.
Before I became a single mom, I never would have picked up the phone to make this call. I still do not like talking to people (businesses) on the phone, but now I can play the game and save myself some money when I have to.
What tips do you have for saving money on bills?