Is Your Cable, Internet, & Phone Provider Raping Your Wallet?
I meet with families all the time to go over their expenses to come up with creative ways to reduce their monthly spending and increase their monthly cash flow. Last night, during one of these meetings, I realized that most people have no idea that they are dramatically overpaying for their cable, internet, and phone services. They also lack the skills on how to talk to their service providers in order to get them to reduce their monthly payment for that service.
My goal with this article is to teach you how to keep your cable, internet, and phone bills the same as they were when you signed up for the promotional offer that hooked you initially…like Comcast’s triple play for $99, or whatever.
So, first we need to discuss why they offer these intro offers in the first place. It’s pretty simple….people like a deal and they don’t really think about what happens when the deal expires. These service providers know this and use it to their advantage by raising your bill after the intro offer expires and then in small increments after that.
Personally, I think this is the worst customer service in the world! They get you hooked with a great offer and then expect you to accept the “regular” price after the offer expires. The problem is that only those that are willing to accept the “regular” price will have to pay it, while those that get angry usually get switched back to the intro price or at least a better deal than the “regular” price.
The difference between the intro offer and the “regular” price is often more than $50 per month! That’s an additional $600 per year to get the same thing you had before. Can you see any reason why you should have to pay $600 more per year for a cable that is already connected to your house? I hope not…lol!
So, here is what you are going to do. You are going to call your service provider and tell them you are thinking about switching to their competitor or canceling your service all together because of the increased price. Bring up the fact that you believe their customer service is disingenuous when they offer a random new person, that they know nothing about, a great deal, but then they treat you, someone that has been paying them on time every month for 12 months, as if you did something wrong by raising your bill.
Depending on who you talk to, they might tell you that the regular price is what it is and the intro offer is for new customers only. If they take that stance, ask to speak to the “Retention Department.” I find that when I call it’s usually a 50/50 shot as to whether you will need to speak to the retention department because usually the first phone rep will take care of you.
However, if you do get a firm “No” then you’ve got to step it up a notch and bring the “empty threat” into the picture. The “empty threat” is basically doing a little research and pricing out the competition for comparable services and then calling your provider back and telling them you are going to switch to the competitor because they have a better deal.
This should put you in connection with the retention department but if it doesn’t you’ll have to push harder. If they still won’t budge, what you need to do now is set up a cancellation date for two weeks away. This will usually prompt a conversation with the retention department because they now know you are serious about to canceling.
The retention department understands that it’s in the service providers best interest to keep you as a customer because it doesn’t cost them a thing to retain you. The cable line is already installed and typically if something goes wrong the customer has to pay for the service call anyway. Why would they want to throw away the free money by letting you disconnect and get a new service provider? They won’t.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you may find out the competitor has a better deal and its time to switch. Now I will tell you that I’ve had people tell me they did not want to switch providers because they would have to learn new channels. If you think like this you are stupid and you deserve to pay $600 more per year for the convenience of knowing your channels.
You really need to understand what the $600 per year, or $50 extra dollars a month, can do for you financially. Did you know that if you apply an extra $30 per month towards a $100,000 mortgage with a 5% interest rate, you can save over $20,000 in interest and pay the mortgage off 44 months sooner? That’s just $30 extra, it almost double with $50 extra!
So don’t let these service providers steal your hard earned money. Call them up and take it back. Also, you can look into other alternatives for the phone like Skype or The Magic Jack and for Cable you can look into Hulu and Netflix. I hope you use this article and save some money!