Save Money by Asking for Discounts

Save Money by Asking for Discounts

Last night I saved $228 (plus tax) with a 10 minute phone call. How? Easy. I called our DSL provider and asked for a discount.

While poking around on their website, I noticed that they were offering their 6 Mbps DSL service (our current level) at a promo rate of $19.99/month for new customers. Given that we’ve been paying $43/month, I was annoyed. Annoyed enough that I called and asked for a better deal.

Actually, I started with their online chat, but that turned out to be a dead end. His recommendation was to call the “business office” and ask for their help. When I called the main number, I was told that the $19.99 was a promo for new customers only, but that they could transfer me to the retentions department who might be able to help.

Once I had the retentions rep on the line, I explained the situation — $19.99/month for new customers vs. our current $43/month rate, and the fact that cable companies regularly advertise similar promo rates. I then asked if there was anything they could do for us. She briefly put me on hold, and then came back with an offer…

She said that they could drop our rate to $34/month plus give us a temporary discount of $10/month for the next 12 months. Score! That works out to $24/month, a savings of $228 over the next year, not including taxes. Not quite $19.99/month, but it was apparently the best she could do.

I quickly agreed, mostly because the cable thing was a total bluff… We can’t actually get cable in our neighborhood (hence our love-hate relationship with Dish Network), though I would switch in a heartbeat if I could.

And before anyone gets self-righteous about how I handled this, please note that I didn’t actually lie. Rather, I just pointed out that cable companies regularly offer similar promos for new customers, and then I asked if they could help me out with a better deal. 😉

Looking ahead, I’ll be calling again in 12 months to ask for another discount. And even if they refuse at that point, we’ll still be ahead of the game with a $34/month rate vs. our current $43/month.

And now… I’d love to hear about your discount-requesting successes. Have you cut your cable bill? Trimmed your telephone charges? Or saved on internet service? Please share the details in the comments section.

11 Responses to “Save Money by Asking for Discounts”

  1. Anonymous

    I always ask for discounts as well. Even checking out of the grocery store I will ask for one and sometimes works on a couple of items! Those check out clerks have a lot more power than you think! 😉

    Anyway…I’m glad you were able to drastically cut your bill, that is awesome!

  2. Anonymous

    My wife was able to get a 15% discount on a grill we wanted just because we asked. My wife is a shark at bargaining. I feel so sorry for the young teenage sales people that cross her path.

    Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Either way it never hurts to ask!

  3. Anonymous

    I’ve done this for about 5 years with Comcast now. The first time around I bluffed about switching to satellite and they bumped me to a “new customer promo” for cable and internet. The next several times I just called and asked if there were any specials/promos they could move me to since it was becoming too expensive for me…

    I haven’t had any issues. If the rep tells me they can’t do it, I just wait a month and call again.

    I also pay regular price for 1 month after the promo ends so that its an easier conversation when they look at my current rate.

    ALSO, they made us agree to a 1-yr contract this last time we tried this, so maybe they’re seeing this a lot lately and trying to at least lock customers in at these rates.

    I currently only pay about $85 for cable (sometimes we can negotiate HBO in) and internet (approx 6MB download) with Comcast in GA.

  4. Anonymous

    In a recent move I ran into a major headache with Dish Network. I asked what they could do to help me with the rate since they were offering the typical low-price deals for new customers. I received almost the same response and was transferred to the retention department who ended up having me cancel my service and order new service at my new address. Was it worth it? I am saving nearly $70 a month over what I was paying for tv and internet and now I have phone bundled also. That’s $840 per year savings!

  5. Anonymous

    I’m a big fan of asking for discounts. I call and ask all the time. Generally there’s very little that I wouldn’t switch for better deals, so I like to check in and make sure I am getting the best deal. It’s almost more annoying when I get a deal because I think of how long I was overpaying…

  6. Anonymous

    Why waste time? I just call every six months and hit the cancellation button. You’ll always be routed to e retention department where it’s “lets make a deal” . I routinely get discounts, and free HBO or Show time. Don’t wait to be offered, ask THEM if they can do a year at a discounted rate or add perks. They get paid to keep you because it’s much more expensive to get a new customer than hit the current ones with the same perks that hey offer new subscribers. I remind them of this if they get stingey with their offer. Haven’t had an unsuccessful call to Comcast in 12 years and have saved thousands.

  7. Anonymous

    I hate playing this game even if it might save us some money. We eliminated cable and home phone by switching to Roku/Hulu/Netflix and Skype, then expanded to 20Mbps. Annual savings of over $1,000:-)

  8. Anonymous

    I’ve had success with this technique too. After the umpteenth increase in rates from our internet/cable/phone provider, I called customer service. I had in hand a flyer from a competitor doucmenting a very compelling offer. After mentioning the name of the competitor, I was instantly transferred to “Customer Loyalty.” Within 15 seconds I was offered enough year-long discounts to save us about $600. The entire phone call took about 10 minutes. Competition works.

    Thanks for the post.

  9. Anonymous

    LOL! Calling & asking for a discount is how I got roped into a Qwest scam that practically doubled my bill. It took months and endless complaints to regulatory agencies, attorneys general, and the CEO of Qwest to undo the mess. From that experience, I learned to have as little to say or do with telecommunications providers as possible. 😉

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