Alas, the dreaded call to Comcast to once again renegotiate my monthly bill came around. See, every 6 months, I basically call them up, claim I’m going to quit and go to Verizon FIOS and see how much I can have my monthly bill reduced. What happens each time is that we play some cat and mouse, bluff a bit and then ultimately, they knock a portion of the charges off my bill by offering me various “promotions” which reduce the face value of the bill. Then, 6 months later, these promotions expire and my bill shoots up and I have to call them again and repeat the cycle. I figured by sharing my experience and talking points, it might save you a few bucks or even provide some ammo to use with other carriers from cell phone service to waste collection. Same theory applies – competition is good for the customer.
This week, my call went like this:
1) I asked to speak to a retention specialist. The customer service rep asked why and I explained my case (exact talking points below). She said, “Well, they’re not doing those promotions any more but I’ll transfer you if you want”. I said, “please do”.
2) I talked to the retention specialist and explained the situation. I was polite and matter of fact. I didn’t act as though they’re doing me a favor but rather, that I’m calling them to renew a long-standing agreement I’ve had with the company over the years. I basically said, “Hi, the situation is that over the years, as all my neighbors have already switched over to Verizon FIOS, I’ve remained with Comcast as a loyal customer with the understanding that I do so with a modestly reduced bill. Every six months, a representative grants me some open promotions to keep my monthly bill down and in turn, you retain my loyalty. Can you let me know which promotions are available today to renew this cycle?”
- He initially rebuffed and joked that it’s odd in that they’re getting a lot of calls lately for people LEAVING Verizon (BS or over-played). Anyway, I retorted with, “Oh, that’s interesting, see my lawn was just torn up this week for another neighbor switching over and I’m literally the last person on our entire block that still has Comcast.”
- He came around and then very easily relayed that he could reduce the bill by back to $143 a month (from prior $173 if I did nothing).
Now, many of you will probably say, “you could cut the cable entirely and live off Netflix” or “just use a cell phone”, etc. Well, none of those options work for us.
- Netflix is terrible. Seriously. Aside from the fact that the company is run by a baffoon who ran it into the ground by flip-flopping on pricing options twenty times and then issued absurdly insulting apologies while the stock price plummeted, the content stinks. They’re trying to push people into streaming but they haven’t added a decent movie in a year. Everything is from 1990 or fake movies with similar-sounding titles to the real movies. I’m convinced Netflix has created an entirely new market for scam movies that are knock-offs of Disney movies and blockbusters. Anyway, the bottom line is, if you can live off Netflix, more power to ya. I like to sit down, see some live TV, some good HBO/Showtime series, whatever.
- The cellphone lifestyle isn’t for us. Sometimes I need to do calls from home for work and the cell sounds crappy. And my wife is now 1 week without her cell because she dropped her last one. And the one prior fell in the toilet. I can’t have our entire household held hostage to a lost, stolen or damaged cell phone. Yeah, it saves a few bucks, but it’s no way to communicate in my mind. I like a segregation between work, friends, family and whatnot across our different phones.
- Add-ons – Yes, we pay monthly for a DVR, HD, Premium channels and such. If I got rid of all that, the triple play alone is still $125, then a couple bucks for phone converter and taxes and whatnot so for an extra $10 basically, I’m getting HD, all the premium channels and a DVR.
Anyway, at the end of the day, based on the stuff we use/want and what it costs, we’ve saved over 20% from the rate we’d be charged if I didn’t call up every 6 months and use a slightly modified approach each time (it’s never the exact same conversation or promotion, but the outcome is always the same). You can apply these same tactics to any other number of situations.
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