Negotiation methods to reduce bills

Recently I tried to reduce my monthly Cox bill by the new $20 per month charge they added. I was not successful (I’m normally pretty good at this), so I gave the bill to “Billfixers” to see what they could do. After a few weeks they reported they were able to remove the $20 per month yielding $240 less for Cox, and $120 savings for me and $120 in income for Billfixers.

In this topic I hope there can be discussions on how to reduce your bills in do it yourself style without affecting your levels of service.

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Did you use the magic words? “I’m cancelling” when you called?

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I used BillFixers successfully for reducing a Comcast bill. They and the other companies that do this negotiation take about 50% of the savings.

That trick is not nearly as successful as it used to be.

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I recommend Bill Fixers for family members, but if you’re serious about cancelling that’s way more powerful.

And a similarly powerful tool is to cancel and have your spouse sign up for new service under a new customer offer.

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Don’t give up. If you can’t get a provider to reduce a bill, sometimes you can try again 6 months down the road and get a more favorable result.

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I’ve done similar. Got a small reduction for AT&T, called again after 6 months, and got an additional reduction.

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You don’t need to involve your spouse, just sign up under a made up name. Most service and utility providers don’t require your real name or SSN to start service, they only use them to check your credit to determine if a deposit is required. I pay the deposit by CC or in person and get it back automatically after 1 year of on-time payments. From what I recall over years of moving, only the gas company required proof of identity, but that’s not a bill you can negotiate.

Really we’re only talking about cable and internet bills here, right?

Has anyone tried BillTrim? They only charge 25% instead of 50%.

https://www.billtrim.com

Offering the vendor a budget and minimum level of required service seemed to work in one of my cases.

Data point: I threw nine bills at Bill Fixers, and the results were:

2 out of scope (natural gas, monthly parking)
1 unable to authenticate
5 failed to negotiate better deal
$30 one time credit from Comcast

Not too surprising a result, but also not too sure how these guys are making any money.

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Maybe they created a chatbot that is more annoying than the CSRs? :laughing:
Or maybe they’re employing cheap labor.

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Perhaps they are prioritizing on the low hanging fruit. Tons of people never call after years of increases. If you call yourself and switch occasionally there might not be enough savings for them to make it worth their while.

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When Google Fiber set up for me last month, they sent out an email saying to call them and they’d have BillShark cancel the existing provider for me. Seemed like a weird cross promotion. No financial benefit and obviously you have equipment to return (and it would take the same amount of time to just turn in the equipment if you’ve already “cancelled” as to cancel at the same time), so I’m not sure what they could even “help” with.

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I stumbled upon this by accident. I currently use Comcast for internet service. $29.99 per month which expired at the end of 1 year and then it goes to $69.99 per month. I called on the day it ended and asked for any current offers. Yes 29.99 per month for a 1 year contract. Use the 866.671.5645 number to call.

This is exactly what Sirius XM does. It came free with my new vehicle and when it expired at the end of 6 months they gave me a deal for $30 for 6 more months. at which time it automatically goes to $15.99 per month. They say you can cancel at anytime. So, I ask while I am signing up "can I pre-cancel effective at the end of my “deal”? They give me another number to call to cancel. They lady says “you can cancel at anytime” I say “I would like to cancel at the end of my deal”. She says OK. I call on the last day and say I want the “1 year for $60 deal” It works. Now they are adding in “artist licensing fees” but it is just barely worth it as they compress the music so much in their limited bandwidth, but I like it when I travel.

I use an app called “Life Reminders” to send me a notification on the due dates of these expirations. There are many other similar apps. BONUS This one also sends out “Happy Birthday” yearly to my friends on their birthday.:birthday:

Download some podcasts on your phone. They’re free, you can fast forward through the ads, and you could learn something.

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Sirius has NPR, and I also use Amazon Audible when I am in learning mood/mode, but thanks for the suggestion!

I live in an area where there are three internet/TV providers. So, not only do I threaten to cancel, I actually do cancel and switch to take advantage of new member promos. Since I have one Tivo with a cablecard and connections to all three providers, switching is relatively easy.

Of course, after I cancel, I get great offers from whomever I switched away from, but they’ve gotten much more stingy in giving me those offers before I switch.

My typical all-in internet/TV bill including equipment has been $75-$85 for the past several years. Obviously that is market and competition dependent.

For auto/home/umbrella insurance, I shop around every year and have switched when another provider saves me more than a couple hundred or so a year. On average, I have switched about once every 3 years or so. There’s no negotiation since rates are set in advance, but it does pay to shop around.

For mobile phone, it just pays to be on top of what current offerings are. Often, you can switch plans with the same provider to take advantage of current plans/discounts.

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I live in an area where there are three internet/TV providers. So, not only do I threaten to cancel, I actually do cancel and switch to take advantage of new member promos. Since I have one Tivo with a cablecard and connections to all three providers, switching is relatively easy.

Of course, after I cancel, I get great offers from whomever I switched away from, but they’ve gotten much more stingy in giving me those offers before I switch.

I used to switch back and forth. I may not have made my point as clear as I could have. My point was you call/cancel on the exact day it is due/ending. That is the prime time they seem to want to give you any current offers or new member promos. One operator told me “I can’t give you a promo if you are already on one” when I called 1 day early. In the past I have had to use my daughters name etc as a new member. You also have to ask if there are any one-time fees (that occur annually LOL) or any other fees that need to be waived.

The small gamble is that you may be without service for a day or so if you reach impass. But the savings in my case was $500/yr for Comcast/internet and $150/yr for Sirius XM.