As 2016 comes to a close, a lot of us are thinking about how we want things to be different next year. A recent survey indicates that the most common New Year’s resolution for next year is to enjoy life to the fullest. Just one problem – living large costs money! As you think about the coming year and ways to find extra savings, consider one of the easiest ways to slash your expenses: negotiate your cable and internet bills.
In most cases, it’s possible to get the same service for less with a simple phone call. As our friends over at Wallet Hacks recently detailed, it’s pretty simple to start saving right away.
Do a Cable and Internet Bill and Service Audit
Check your cable and internet bill to see what internet speed and programming you’re paying for. Then, instead of scanning the endless options they offer, ask yourself what you actually need.
Check Out the Competition, Gain a Little Leverage
You can probably access the programming you like without paying premium prices to your cable company for the privilege. But if your preferences can only be satisfied with cable, do a quick internet search and check out the competition. Cable companies aggressively target new customers, so it’s likely that you’ll find a local deal superior to the one you’re paying for. Write down the details – they’re critical for the next step.
Call Your Cable Company
Calling to cancel service will get you routed to the department in charge of customer retention. Cable and internet companies know how ruthless the competition is for your business, and they don’t want to lose you. Tell the representative you speak with about the deals their competitors are offering, and give them a chance to counteroffer. There’s a great step-by-step walkthrough of the “negotiation dance” over at Wallet Hacks, but if you’re nice on the phone, you’re halfway there. And why wouldn’t you be nice when you stand to save a bunch of money every month?
Here are two important things to keep in mind when you’re ready to negotiate:
First, you’ll get the best results by calling and speaking with a representative; online chat reps don’t always have the same latitude to slash prices that phone operators do.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to call twice! It’s possible that your first call will get picked up by a representative who already met their quota or is having a bad day. In either case, it’ll be hard for you to get the best possible deal. If you don’t mind spending a little extra time on the phone, a second call can only help. As part of my research for this article, I went through the negotiation process detailed above and ended up switching from Comcast to CenturyLink. When I called CenturyLink a second time, the rep I spoke with offered me a better monthly rate than the one I was offered on my first call, and dropped the activation and installation fees I was prepared to pay. So don’t assume a single call will get you everything you could hope for.
Check out the step-by-step Negotiation Playbook provided by Wallet Hack, with extra tips and secrets to getting your cable and internet bill slashed as much as possible.
Happy holidays, and many merry savings in the new year.