My Personal Finance Journey

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One Nice Phone Call, And $240 Better Off

Contributed by mm | January 13, 2005 5:46 PM PST

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.

This Post Has Received 1 Comment. Share Your Opinions Too.


Nicole Commented on January 14, 2005

When I called Comcast last year to get my cable and Internet set up (in Chicago) I was taken aback by the outlandish price of $99.00 per month (not including taxes). I mentioned on the call that it seemed high, and the extremely friendly rep said, "Oh, wait a minute. I'm showing another screen here that says your area may be eligible for the sales price."

After supposedly "clicking through a few screens" the rep was able to offer me the $59.99 price as a "Special to my area" for one year.

I believe Comcast can offer this price to everyone, but they won't do it unless you ask. We're happy with our service and hope they'll renew us at the same price next year, otherwise we'll subscribe to DirectTV


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