Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily
Are your credit card interest rates getting to you? Are those monthly cell phone bills a pain in the wallet? How about cable TV? Internet? Even the power bill? Would you like to reduce these charges without the hassle of changing suppliers? Read on, my frugal friend.
As Tisha recently pointed out, most suppliers will not be forthcoming with you about less expensive suppliers in the marketplace or new options within the same company that could save you money and be a better fit for your needs. But this does not mean that you aren’t entitled to save this money. You just have to ask for it.
Once my contract was up with my cell phone provider, I did a little shopping around for new plans. I didn’t actually intend to change carriers; I was just doing some research. As a matter of course, I was able to find another carrier that on the surface appeared to provide a better deal.
Armed with information, I toddled off to the telephone and called my cell phone supplier. In a friendly and conversational tone, I suggested that there were other providers that could match or beat my current plan. In the next breath I said that I would prefer to keep my business with this company, since I believe in loyalty and since they have given me no reason to leave. I finished off with the big question: “What Can You Do For Me?” And then I let them talk.
On that day, I received $150 towards a new phone, 100 free minutes per month, and a substantial reduction in my monthly charges. All simply by asking.
After this experience, I thought “this is too easy!” and looked for other ways to save money.
I called my credit card company with a similar pitch and ended with “What Can You Do For Me?” I hung up the phone with my annual fee eliminated and my interest rate reduced by 6%. Again, simply by asking.
I repeated the same procedure with my cable tv company, and walked away with a cable and internet package that far surpassed what I was previously getting, saving me over $40/month between the two.
Reducing your bills and getting discounts is really as simple as asking for it. When I had to get new tires for my car the other day, I was quoted a price and immediately asked if they could give me a discount for paying with cash. They reduced their rates by $10 and threw in free installation, rotation, and balancing.
If you want to save money on your bills, here are a few pointers to get you started:
Do Your Research.
By understanding the going rates across the market, you are in a better position to evaluate both what you are currently paying, and what is being offered to you when you call. Knowledge equals negotiating power.
Be Prepared to Walk.
If you are calling with a “holier than thou” tone of voice, suggesting that another carrier will give you a better deal, then you need to be prepared to walk if you really believe the other supplier is better. Calling with a bluff is bad form. Besides which, if you aren’t offered a deal and you say you are canceling your plan, a whole new wave of “please stay, we need your business” discounts sometimes become available as a result.
Ask for the Manager.
Sometimes the customer service representative you are speaking to doesn’t have the power to provide the discount you would like. Thank them for their help, tell them that you have no problems whatsoever with how they have dealt with you, but that you would like to speak to a manager to see if you can strike a better deal. They are usually cordially helpful in this manner, and the further up you travel on the company food chain, the deeper the discount possibilities are.
Even if you call to complain, be nice. You stand a much better chance of achieving what you want by treating the customer service representative like a human being. I once called to lodge a complaint about an online order mistake, and because I was nice about it, the representative (who had obviously endured a brow-beating day of nasty complaints) was so overtly surprised that our conversation was pleasant that she sent me $40 in coupons in addition to fixing the problem right away.
Anything is Discountable.
Truly – you can negotiate just about anything. Just because a website advertises specific rate packages does not mean that you cannot bend the rules. I recently signed up for internet access with a new supplier; in so doing I researched the packages available online, and then called to ask if they had any promotions available. Between the two people I talked to, I saved over $400 in posted connection fees, received 50% off the posted monthly rates, and got a $10 monthly reduction in my telephone bill too. None of these discounts were posted online, and I don't believe they would have become available to me if I had not asked.
Target Suppliers you have been with for a While.
The longer you have been with a supplier, the better a case you have for getting a discount to stay with them. Don’t be afraid to point out how long you have given the company business before asking what they can do for you.
I do believe that the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” as the adage goes. But I also don’t believe that the squeaky wheel has to be a whining, moaning, bitching one. You can pipe up, ask for a discount, and get exactly what you want quite effectively using these tips above and by keeping a smile on your face. Try it – and reduce your credit card interest rate and phone bills in the meantime.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank, card issuer, airline or hotel chain.