How to Talk Your Way Into Lower Media Bills

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Customer retention is crucial for any service provider, especially in the media industry. They want you as a customer, which allows you the ability to negotiate the cost of your media bills.

Paying bills is the least fun and most avoided part of each month, but what if you could make it less painful by lowering your phone/internet/cable payments? You don't need Jedi persuasion techniques -- just your phone and some carefully selected words. The secret? Customers who speak up often get a break. Here's how you can get a break on your bills:

Call Preparation

Before you get on the phone to your service provider, be sure you can answer the following questions: - How long have you been with this provider? Telecom look especially kindly on long-term customers with a history of on-time payments. - Which services do you want? It's easy to get talked into more than you need when there's so many options for bundles and add-ons. - What does the company list as the package's official cost on their website? Pay attention to promo pricing for new customers. Often, you can get this price too, just by asking. - Is there buzz on the company's social media feeds related to service complaints? If there is, the company may be inclined to sweeten current offers. - What do competing companies offer? If your provider doesn't want to offer you a deal, suggest that you will take your business elsewhere. Be specific if you want them to match a competitor's offer. - Is your promotional rate about to expire? You may be able to get the carrier to agree to extend your plan. - Have you had issues with their service in the past? Make a note of them. They may insist their service is spotless, at which point can now show exactly where they went wrong.

Make the Call

With information in hand, make your phone call and follow these steps. 1. Don't just talk with the first person who answers. Convince the customer service representative that you need a deal in order to stay a customer. Ask for the customer retention department. 2. Don't take the first deal offered by customer service, unless it's too good to turn down. You might have to do a verbal dance first with the customer service representative, but it's best to hold out for customer retention. 3. Tell customer retention that you don't feel you've been given good value. What evidence do you have that you aren't getting your money's worth? Show the research you did above.

Potential Issues

Even if you do all the above right, you aren't guaranteed an easy victory. Here's what you do if you run into these common problems: - The retention department offers you a good deal, but it only lasts three or six months. Ask for a longer term, and if the representative can't authorize it, ask to speak to a supervisor who can. - You just aren't getting anywhere with the representative. It's okay to end the call and try again later. You may get a more helpful employee. Be persistent but be pleasant. This is a negotiation, and the person on the other end of the line is just doing their job. Once you've found an offer you like, seal the deal and get it in writing.   References: Consumer Reports: 5 Tips for Cutting Your Cable BillUSA Today: Negotiate Your Way to Lower Cable, TV, Cell Phone BillsEHow: Negotiate With Cable CompaniesKiplinger: What You Need to Know About Telecom Packages 


Sue S.

Most days, when I'm not spinning my own words or editing someone else's, you can find me contemplating the fresh veggies at the farmers market or gazing into tide pools. Not what you needed to know about me? OK then. I have a master's degree in library science, and I've been w...

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