My husband and I like our cable, DVR, and high speed internet. Yes, I know, half of you think cable is a stupid expense and are mocking me in your head. That’s okay. I don’t mind. We use our services daily, so it is an extra expense we absorb voluntarily. 🙂
But AT&T believes the two services together are worth $130 a month, but I rather never pay more than $110. This means that every 6 months, I call AT&T to get my U-Verse cable and internet bill lowered. I don’t lie, but I do explain that I am willing to look elsewhere for a good deal if I can’t get a better rate. And I am willing to look elsewhere…I just rather not if I can get a better rate with them.
Here is how I keep our bill below $110 a month including fees and taxes for their best internet plan and the U200 package with 2 DVR’s:
- FIRST STEP, I find something to fill in my time while on hold. Seriously, cable companies are the WORST with hold times.
- I call their 1-800 number, answer all the silly automated questions, and get put on hold for the Billing Department.
- Once I finally get a real person (this last time it took 27 minutes of holding…), I ask to speak to the Retention Department.
- I then get put on hold again (another 25 minutes this last time) and get a real person again.
- I politely explain that I don’t think the service is worth $130 and would like a discount so I don’t have to start looking elsewhere.
- I receive a $15-$25 credit for 6 months and thank them profusely.
It has worked every time for more than 3 years. I even have a cheat sheet with the 1-800 number, my account number, and my phone password ready to use each time. I also mark my calendar 6 months in advance to remind myself to call again, although I sometimes still put it off and have to deal with one bigger bill than I like.
The biggest drawback is I hate how long they put me on hold (although they aren’t as bad as Comcast), but have learned to do other things and leave them on speaker phone until they pick up. This last time, I answered 3 emails and replied to Yakezie forum threads while holding, so they didn’t waste my time completely.
I would highly suggest that everybody try getting reoccuring bills lowered regularly. Companies want to make easy money and retain the customers that pay on time. It just take a little organization to stay on top of it.
Do you call in like I do to get lower rates? What has worked for you?
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FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 a year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, a rental home, and professional pet sitting. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. This all gives me the time to be with my aging family members, the flexibility to stay close with my friends and family, and it should help if we finally get pregnant too! Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!