I have been using Comcast as my cable and broadband provider for over two years. Every month, I pay $114 a month for digital plus cable package plus high speed internet, or about 2% of my monthly spend. Yes, it is pricy, but it will be hard for me to make a change as my landline is tied to Vonage.
No more! I made a 10-minute phone call to Comcast today and received a $240 break in the next six months. How did I do this? I let service providers compete, and when they compete, I win.
Yesterday I found an advertisement from my (snail) mailbox. One local competitor, Millennium Digital Media is offering a six-month introductory price of $59.90 for basic cable and high-speed internet. My first thought: why don't I give Comcast a call?
I called this morning and picked the downgrade/cancellation line. A lady welcomed me and I explained I saw a competitive offer and wondered if Comcast can match it. "Of course." After asking me the details of the offer, the lady searched her computer and got back to me announcing I am eligible for $15 break in broadband internet and $25 break in cable TV for the next six months. This effectively brings my monthly bill to $70. I took it without hesitation. (Yes, I can still be $10 better off a month if I switch, but why the hassle to reconnect my TiVo, Vonage and everything?) When I hang up, I was thanked for "giving Comcast the opportunity to address my concerns before you choose our competitors." For a moment, I really feel I am a valued customer :-)
So, some tips for bargaining with your service providers:
- Bring a competitive offer. Be prepared to speak to the price and specific of the competitive offer.
- Go to the retention department directly. Don't waste time on first-tier customer service people who are not authorized to give you a deal.
- Be nice. You need the sympathy of the person at the other end of the phone. Give compliments as appropriate.