It is that time of year again – when I contact nearly everyone that is selling me some monthly service and see if there is a better deal.  I do it each year with cable, internet, insurance, credit cards… anything where they have some leeway to change what they are charging.

I usually have the best luck with things like cable/DirecTV etc. because they have the most freedom to modify your deal. Usually these companies have introductory prices for new customers and they are not available to existing customers.  The little-known secret is that they actually are available to anyone they decide.  Yes, it is a fifteen to thirty minute phone call that requires them passing you up the chain to someone with the authority, but it almost always improves your deal.

It is kinda like going to buy a car.  You have to be willing to walk away and make it clear that you are.  That said, you do get more flies with honey so don’t be a jerk.  They are much more likely to dig deep for discounts when you are someone they want to help.  If you’re a turdball, they won’t put in the extra effort.

I think my television provider has come to expect my annual calls as I whittle more money off my bill each year. While this year, Time Warner/Spectrum didn’t drop my bill at all, I did get much better service for only $3 more.    Yes, I added 125 channels and a DVR for just $3 more per month than my current bill.

My services were stripped down to the bare minimum after last years call.  My bill had a big increase before that call because many of my earlier deals were expiring.  In response, I just cut things way back.  Again, I was willing to walk away from my full package and the reward came this year when I added more stations than I had before and still have my greatly reduced price.

Had I just blindly paid the bill as increases came down the line, I would be paying about $50 more per month for less than I have right now.

Now grab your phone and start negotiating!  If you don’t, you are leaving money on the table.

by Chris Doelle