Who else has the spring cleaning bug? I don’t actually think mine has anything to do with the fact that it’s spring, but rather that I’m trying to put back together everything that’s fallen apart during the past few months of my insane work schedule. And in case you’re wondering, my first day post-quitting was pretty weird. I kept having these alarm bells going off in my head because I hadn’t checked my work email or gotten on my laptop. But now I’m itching to get things organized around the house and around our budget. We’ve gotta see where we can save some dough, folks! And two of those areas are our monthly cell phone and cable bills.
As I’m typing this, Johnny’s been on the phone for the past half hour, haggling with our cell phone provider. This is nothing new in the OFB household. With any monthly subscription service, Johnny calls every few months to renegotiate our monthly rate. Currently, our monthly bills are Internet, cable, and cell phones, and he’s recently called to inquire about lowering the bill for all three since a variety of short-term promotions have expired. Here’s how it usually goes:
Hi, I recently got my bill in the mail, and it’s a little higher than my budget can currently afford for [insert service here]. I was wondering if there’s a way to lower my monthly payment before I decide to cancel the service or go with another provider?
The sales rep starts punching the numbers and always comes up with some money savings. For our cell phone plan, for example, she suggested that we combine our data plans and share 10 GB of data, which would save us about $15/month. But after looking at our data usage, Johnny asked about lowering the shared data to only 2 GB (since we don’t use more than that), which would save us another $35/month. Say what?! And with one phone call, Johnny dropped our monthly cell phone bill 40%. Not too shabby.
With satellite and cable, they usually hit you up with a great deal in the beginning, and then your bill goes up within 6 to 12 months of signing up. At that point, we make sure to call and cancel any and all packages or channels that we don’t watch. For instance, now that most of Johnny’s sporting events have dried up for the next few months (hallelujah!), he called and canceled the sports package we had. And he recently downgraded our channels, too, since we weren’t watching most of them.
By talking with customer service, you can usually find ways to save money. And it usually doesn’t even require much sacrifice (if any) on your end. The customer service reps you talk to have at their disposal a slew of promotions and deals just waiting to be used. If you’re not getting anywhere with your first contact, ask to speak with the customer retention department. Their only job is to save customers. Let them know that you’ve been loyal to their brand and you’d like to continue to use them, if they can just lower the price. Every time we’ve been routed through that department, we’ve always been offered some sort of cost savings solution to keep our business.
Any fellow hagglers out there? How do you feel about calling customer service to save a few dollars each month? Just from Johnny’s two calls tonight, we’ll be saving an extra $60 each month. Cha-ching!