How 5 Minutes Can Save You $120

March 27, 2007

Talk about easy money! I spent under 5 minutes on the phone with Comcast today and dropped my cable bill by $20 a month for the next six months. Here are some ways I saved some quick cash with minimal effort.

Choose the Right Technique
I opted for the “Best Buds” approach (how to ask for a lower price) with the customer service rep and it worked nicely. When I called Comcast for a better deal six months ago I relied almost exclusively on the “Mention the Competition” approach and found it effective as well. Every time I contact them I try and read the person I’m working with and feel out the most appropriate tactic.

Be Persistent
Whatever method you use don’t take no for an answer. Today the guy offered up the promotion to me with no prompting, maybe influenced by our friendly banter. However, in the past, I’ve had to ask for a discount and my first several requests have all been turned away with one excuse or another. Repeated attempts at getting a better deal have ended successfully for me so far.

Get a Name
This is a new one for me because in the past I’ve had to put the heat on the customer service rep to get what I wanted and probably burned bridges. However, at the end of the cordial call today, the guy gave me his name and said to call if I ever had any problems or questions. Since he was so agreeable, you’d better believe I wrote down his name and will ask for him when I call back in six months.

On the flip side, if they’re difficult to deal with and make you really work for your discount, you may want to avoid them in the future. Make note of their name and if they answer the next time you call then hang up and try again.

Save Some Money
As you can see, its not hard to do and only takes a few minutes. If you’re paying too much for cable (if you’ve never called Comcast before then you probably are) then give it a shot and put the extra money to work for you instead of them!

Ben

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Ben

Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn’t like the other kids… His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he’s helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.


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Comments

34 Responses to How 5 Minutes Can Save You $120

  • Girish

    Great article. I was paying around 70$ for internet (1mbps) and phone with US calls only option to verizon, later I switched to dsl extreme for net (3mbps) pay 25$ and voyage VoIP 25$ which even gives me make free calls to India where my parents are.

  • Ana

    I had a similar recent success story. After a 2 year contract with my internet provider (think “Ma Bell”) I found a better offer – telephone and internet for about 1/3 my current monthly expense. Whew ! ! ! It was a real pain to switch – but the money saved will definitely be worth it.

  • Elle

    Very smart.

    Thank you for the great post. =)

  • The Best Money Blog

    You can do this on more than just TV services. Really almost every monthly bill you have can be negotiated.

  • Ben

    mr clean, thanks for the updates on the process. I guess it doesn’t hurt to try. If they won’t give you a better deal, it might be time to really cancel and try a cheaper option.

  • Mr clean

    Also, they keep records of every interaction you have with them (chats, phone, etc) and pull it up and review everything you did or said with them, while you are talking to them.

  • Mr clean

    I tried this recently, twice, and it didnt work. It used to work. The reps just sat there and were like “alright. you can cancel your TV, but the phone rates gunna go up, and you’ll get a $29.99 fee for changing your subscription..” then just silence. They must be retraining these people or something. Which really infuriates me, the prices are ridiculous, if it were solely up to me I would cancel.

  • Griff

    I’m definitely going to try this. I have both internet and cable through comcast. I’ve been trying to figure out the best ways to negotiate prices down… I look forward to sharing what I learn with my readers. Thanks for the tips.

  • Joel

    I like your concept of ‘Choose the Right Technique’ but it seems a little short on details.

    When I call in to ‘customer service’ it goes something like this:

    Service Rep: What’s your account number? What’s your address? What’s your DOB? Etc

    Me: I answer the questions.

    Service Rep: How can I help you today?

    At this point, I have no idea how to read the person I’m working with.

    Do you beat around the bush?
    Make small talk?
    Talk about the weather, what they did on the weekend???

    Any suggestions???

  • snooks

    you need to do research before doing this and find out the final price after the promotion and also see what you are signing up for. you need to sign up for the right thing and not leave it open to an increase in your bill after 6 months. the promo you signed up for is digital preferred… usually $15.00 more than expanded basic/digital starter price.

  • Neil Shearing

    Great tips on reducing outgoings, thanks.

    Of course, it’s important to mention that by *saving* money you’re better off than if you’d earned the same amount extra. Why? Because reducing your expenditure doesn’t result in extra tax to pay… earning more money does. So, be smart and save. 🙂

    Neil.

  • College Loans

    I thought this was going to be something about how you canceled your tv service and ended up using your computer to watch television shows — not only do you save money on the cable bill, but you watch shows in less time because there are fewer commercials. And since time is money, you’ve just saved even more.

    But I digress…anyhow, thanks for the helpful advice. Unfortunately I have Cox (and yes they are about as pleasant as their name implies) but I will give it a go.

  • bill

    I like your idea. I do this regularly with my satellite and dsl provier, and my phone service. I’ve always come away with a better deal.

  • Chris

    Thanks, I just called Comcast and saved $420 for the next year by getting on their “promotional” plans for cable tv/internet!

  • ProBlogReviews

    Thanks for the great idea, I didn’t even know that renegotiating your monthly payment for internet was possible. I’m calling my provider right now.

  • Ben

    Awesome Dangerman! I’m actually due for another call, my Comcast discount has run out so I need to call them up.

  • Dangerman

    Just wanted to share… I called Comcast today and did this… and saved just under $40/month for the next year.

  • MyOwnMillions

    So what was the $20 promotion for? Maybe if you let us know we can all call our cable company up!

  • Credit Cards Advice

    Another great way to save a few bucks on monthly bills is to call your credit card company and ask for a cut in your APR.

    The same tactics… Mention that there is tons of competition and you hope to continue as a customer of theirs, but if you don’t get a cut in your interest rates then your off to another bank.

    Most credit card companies will instantly cut your rate. If you carry a balance on your card this could save you tons of cash every month

  • Hazzard

    I absolutely hate paying full price for Comcast high speed internet access. I also call them and use a bit different technique. Here’s how it goes down after I make the call and choose “cancel your service”. This always routes to a customer retention agent who has the best deals:

    Me:
    “Hi, I was wondering if you have a 1 megabit service”

    CSR:
    “Oh no sir. We only have one speed and it’s fast. Don’t you like the fast speed?”

    Me:
    “I don’t use all that speed and I just received an offer for 1.5 megabit service for only $25.95 a month”

    CSR:
    “How about if I lower your price to $29.99 for 6 months?”

    Me:
    “Oh gosh. That would be great. I guess I won’t call my phone company for this 1.5 megabit deal”

    In fact, the last time I did it, they changed the price for a year. I’ve even made the call for my sister from her house. Works like a champ!

  • Patrick

    I recently did the same thing with my cable bill (TimeWarner) and was able to get a $24 discount for 12 months. Recently Dish Network has been doing a lot of expansion in our area, so that’s why I think I got the 12 months vs. 6 months.

    Also, if you own your house, you can challenge your tax assessment and possibly lower your tax obligations. That saved me about $60/mo and was good until the next time the county does its tax assessment – in 2008!. Those two phone calls saved me $1000! 🙂

    Here is the article I wrote about how I saved the money: http://cashmoneylife.com/2007/03/28/2-phone-calls-1000/

    It is definitely worth looking into for anyone whow ould like to save some money!

  • Ben

    I get many more channels than I’d ever watch so usually start off the conversation letting them know that I don’t need all the channels in our package and want to pay a lower price. ESPN always seems to be the sticking point, they don’t offer it in the base packages.

    Sometimes if you ask for a lower price enough times they offer the discount, other times you have to threaten to cancel your service before they’ll do anything. My neighbor used to work for Comcast. She said all you have to do is mention DISH network and they’ll be happy to work with you. She’s been right so far.

  • Jeremy

    I didn’t say I wanted to cancel, but I said cable was getting a bit expensive and the dish network had some good deals and that I was shopping around to see what the best option was before making a decision.

    I think it depends on who you get as to what method works best, but that is the tactic I had success with.

  • junger

    Do you think it’s better to go straight up with the “ask for a discount” approach, rather than saying you want to cancel? I tried the cancel method once, and the guy was ready to turn my cable off.

  • Jeremy

    Good deal, I did this back in November and saved a ton for the next 6 months. Like you said, persistence will be required. One rep will gladly cancel your account if you say you’re upset with prices while others will be willing you give you a discount right away.

    One thing I have heard is that you can generally only do this once a year. The last representative I spoke to that was able to help me said that as long as there wasn’t a promotion used within the past year they can adjust your prices on that particular service.

    I don’t know how accurate that is but regardless, if you can save a few hundred bucks on cable every year it is worth the effort!

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