Status Quo is How We Go.

Getting the most from your internet, cable TV and phone companies can seem like a battle!  Often, then will sign you up for a fantastic rate that gets you into their service at half the cost of "the other guy".  But after that rates promotional period has passed, do you really want to cancel with them and start a new service with another company?  Or is it just easier to stick with your new status quo, with the features that you know and are used to?

For most of us, the status quo is the only way to go!  Having to swap out equipment and take another day off from work to make another appointment for "sometime between noon and the end of time" for the technician to show up, just doesn't seem worth it to save $20 over the next 6 months!

This doesn't mean that all hope of getting a good deal is lost, however.  With just a little research and the guts to actually ask  for what you want, you can save some pretty substantial cash on your monthly bill.

Research is Key

First, you need to know what your rates are for your current service, and how that stacks up to the competition.  If your company has different tiers of plans, knowing what is available and how the features compare across different companies is important.

Let's say, for example, Company A and Company B are competing for your internet business.  Company A has a $30 a month deal for 25MBps download speed, and a bandwidth cap of 100GB per month (this happens a lot in Canada and has been the subject of much debate on limiting internet usage).  Company B, however, has a deal for $24 a month, but they only offer 15MBps download, with a 300GB cap per month.  Now, you need to decide what is more important to you:  the speed, the price, or the amount of data bandwidth you are alloted per month?  If the comanies also have different plans that have similar prices, you need to put the features to the test and compare to figure out what is most important to you.  If you download a lot or watch a lot of Netflix, then your data cap may be more important than how long it takes to download.  If you are into online multiplayer games, though, the faster speed might mean the difference between winning and losing.

Time to Talk the Talk

So your research is done, and you know what comparable services and price points are available at the competitor.  Now you need to call your service provider and let them know what you want.  

Of course, the longer you have beeen a customer, the more chance you have of getting the best deals possible.  But if you don't ask for it, you will never get it.  They will simply keep taking your money and are unlikely to call and let you know that there is a better deal to be had!

There are a few possible approaches to getting a better rate, and I have used two of these:

  • Explain you want to cancel a service, or number of services.  Inevitably they will ask you why: they don't want to lose your business, and upselling or keeping a customer can help the agent as much as the company.  When you explain that Company B has better this or that, they will look at the options available to keep you as a customer.  Sometimes, this can include available discounts to keep your business, allowing you to pay a lower rate.
  • Tell them that Company B has a better range of options at a better price and you want to match it or better.  This will prompt them to check the list of pluses you have noted for the competitor, and find the best rate to give you the same thing at a better price, or more options for the same price.  Some people have told me they've outright lied about competitor deals, but this could always backfire, so it's best to research and get an honest deal.
  • Outright tell them that you want to pay less and want options on how to do this.  They can, again, look through the options available such as downgrading services, or giving free addons that add value and - in the end - save you money for a better product.

There is nothing wrong with any of these options, and if you are ready to commit to cancelling services if the competitor does have better options for you (as in the first option), all the better.  If you are not, then it's best to straight up ask for a better deal or give comparisons that they can work with.  In the end, you can thank yourself for asking for the best price and saving yourself some money on the services you are already using.