When it comes to negotiating a lower rate with your Internet service provider (ISP) or telephone service for your business or home, you should make it well aware that you can switch providers for a lower rate. In fact, this is one of the many effective tactics you should can out during the negotiation process. Here’s a closer look at the top seven ways to negotiate with your service providers to save money on your bill.
1) Don’t give into moving fees
One of the most frustrating fees that people complain about is having to pay moving charges when moving into a new location. Fortunately, though, there are many phone service providers that will waive these fees, and all you have to do is ask. You can easily save more than $100 off your bill by talking with one of your ISP’s representatives and explaining your situation. When you call in, make sure to say something similar to “We are moving to a new home and would like to keep the same service, but we’ve already made a budget and we can’t afford to pay the moving fee. Can I please get this fee waived?” You should also mention that you have searched for local competitors and some of them are willing to connect you for free once you get to the new house. This will entice the current ISP to waive the fee.
2) Ask to be locked in
There’s nothing wrong with being locked into a contract as long as you’re getting a good deal. A two-year contract often scares people away, but when you get a decent deal, you should definitely take advantage of it. It’s better to be locked in at a decent price than to get two months at half-off and then have your rate triple. Keeping this in mind, the next time a lower rate is secured, ask if you can have it locked in for at least two years.
3) Ask for an automated billing discount
Your car insurance provider most likely offers some type of discount for setting up your policy on an automatic billing schedule. And although your ISP may not advertise this type of discount, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for it. Many ISPs will be more than willing to lower your monthly bill — possibly by as much as five percent — if you set up automatic payments.
4) Being rude will get you nowhere
Many people are under the wrong impression that being rude will help them save money on their Internet bill. Truth is, though, ISP representatives are specially trained to deal with rude people, including those who use profanity. Saving money on your Internet bill is either a representative or managerial decision, so no matter who you are speaking with you need to be polite. This doesn’t mean you can’t voice your concern, though, such as “My Internet has been down for the past four days. What type of compensation can I receive for those four days?” By being polite, representatives will be more enticed to correct the wrongs of their employer.
5) Be prepared
ISPs keep track of their competitors. They usually know the price rates of the competition, meaning you can’t quote some cheap price and think that you’ll automatically get the lower rate. If you’re going to call your ISP and ask for a lower rate, be prepared with the price rates of other ISPs. And make sure you know the details of these price rates, as well. For instance, if a competitor is advertising the same deal you have with your current ISP for $20 cheaper a month, you’ll need to know for how many months the competitor’s price rates are good for.
6) Know which words to avoid
If you sound like you’re unsure as to whether or not you should be given a lower price rate on your Internet bill, then the representative will likely be unsure about giving you a good deal. This is why you should be confident in what you say. Steer clear of the words “I feel,” “I believe,” and “I think.” Instead, stick with words such as “I want,” or “I need.” For example, don’t say, “I believe I deserve a discount on next month’s bill because the Internet was out for five days this past month.” Instead, say “I want to have my bill discounted for the five days that you were unable to provide me with service last month.”
7) Don’t threaten unless you’re willing to follow through
When you make calls to your current ISP, there’s a good chance the call is being documented with notes. If you call in and threaten to cancel your service, you should be prepared to do so. If you make empty threats to cancel your service, the ISP is going to view you as a hassling customer, which is sure to get you nowhere in regards to a lower Internet bill. If you are willing to follow through, make sure you state this to your next ISP and let them know that if they cannot meet your needs, you will gladly take your business elsewhere because you’ve already done it before.