Today’s article is another killer guest post by Alli over at financiALLI focused. She is recently debt free and is teaching how to negotiate your bills successfully! Enjoy!
Negotiating your bills can be frustrating and time-consuming. Sometimes it is easier to just leave them alone and not go through the hassle. Trust me I’ve been there. You might need to do some research, talk to a few people, and spend some time on the phone but you could save a few hundred (or more) a year. You could then put that money toward your financial goals. Here are my five tips for successfully negotiating your bills.
Negotiate 1-2 Bills at a Time
Don’t try to negotiate all your bills at once. That is way too overwhelming and stressful. You also might settle for less than your goal because you are trying to do too much. I recommend writing down all of your monthly bills. Then pick 1-2 that are the easiest to tackle first. By easiest I mean you have the most room to negotiate. This might be your cable/internet bill, Sirius XM radio subscription, phone bill, or car insurance. This month I was focused on only negotiating my Sirius XM subscription. I use Sirius XM radio every day so it was a subscription I wanted to keep. My promo was about to end and I did not want to pay $30/month.
Look at Their Competitors
Before calling the company, take some time to research their competitors’ pricing. This way you can see if their competitors have any specials going on and how much you can save if you switched to their competitor. For example, if you are a current Verizon customer, look at with Sprint or AT&T is offering new customers. If Verizon will not lower your bill you can tell them you will switch to Sprint because you will only pay $X per month. Make sure this is accurate and you are not just making up numbers. They might have a list of their competitors’ promotions.
Know Your Desired Outcome
Before you call or go into the store, make sure you have an idea of what you want. How much are you trying to save? Are you trying to get more included? Are you trying to lower your subscription? Do you have any non-negotiables? You want to have the desired end goal before you begin negotiating. For example, they might try to throw in an extra channel you don’t even watch but keep your cable bill the same. If that is not the outcome you are looking for, don’t settle for that. When I lived in Indiana my cable and internet provider was Comcast. I was calling to negotiate my cable and internet bill and they tried to get me to add a home phone line because I would “save money” by bundling all 3 services. I did not need a home phone line at all and I ended up lowering my cable package but kept my same internet package. It saved me $40/month by making that switch.
Stand Your Ground But Be Ready to Walk Away
It is so important to stand your ground but you also need to have a point where you are willing to walk away. Are you willing to do without this service or are you willing to continue paying what you are paying? In other words, if they do not budge at all, will you cancel or will you keep the same amount? They might tell you at first there is nothing they can do but if you press a little more they might make an exception.
For example, like I said earlier, I just renegotiated my Sirius XM subscription. I was not about to pay $30/month for it. Even though I use it every single day, it was not worth $30/month. I called to see if I can get the same promo that I currently have. At first, he said sorry there are no promotions available but I kept pushing and asked if there was anything he could do or if I could speak to a supervisor. Then he said he checked with his supervisor and was able to give me the same promotion I had $30 for 5 months. If he ended up saying there was really nothing he could do, I would have canceled my subscription and tried again in a month. I was willing to walk away. You need to make sure you have your walk away point but don’t be afraid to push back and ask for what you want.
Review At Least Once a Year
If you end up getting a promotion that expires, make sure to set reminders on your phone or calendar. You do not want the promotion to end and you get charged the full amount. If you have any annual subscriptions you should also set a reminder on your phone you can decide if you want to keep that subscription (example: Amazon Prime) or if you want to cancel it. I recommend reviewing your bills at least once a year. The service provider might not give you a discount or promo every year but it cannot hurt to try. Most companies want to keep their customers so they will end up doing what they can, within reason, to accommodate you.
Alli Rosenblum is a personal finance and lifestyle blogger at financiALLIfocused.com. Her blog focuses on saving money, making money, and how to reach your money goals. She is also a Customs and Trade Manager for a Fortune 500 company and is pursuing her MBA in Finance at the University of South Carolina.
Until next time, spend safely!
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