I used to faithfully pay the monthly service charge on my wireless Internet plan without questioning its standard cost of over $58 each month. Then I became self-employed and that bill each month was just too costly. But I couldn’t just go without Internet service since I relied on it for work.
One day, I received a flyer in my mailbox advertising a $24.99 a month introductory rate with a different wireless Internet company. On a whim, I decided to call my current carrier and end my subscription with them. The result? I ended up staying with my current company for the lower amount of $24.99 per month. That saved me half the cost I had been paying and the inconvenience of switching to another carrier. Here’s what I did:
- Have a backup plan. When I called my wireless Internet provider, I had the competitor’s offer in hand and was ready to switch over if I couldn’t lower my monthly rate. The first thing I did after being connected to my provider was ask to cancel my plan. By doing so, I was immediately put in contact with what is called a “retention specialist.” These people are trained to stop current customers from canceling their plans by offering discounts or other incentives to stay.
- Be polite — but firm. Once I had the retention specialist on the line I politely stated that I had recently changed jobs and couldn’t afford to pay $58.01 per month for my wireless service. When I was asked what I planned to do without an Internet connection, I mentioned that I was going to try another provider since they were offering monthly service for just $24.99. I had nothing against my current provider per se, I just couldn’t make the payments anymore.
- Think about the initial offer — and refuse. At this point, the retention specialist put me on hold to either talk to the supervisor or to look up lower rates. After I’d been on hold for maybe 5 minutes, I was given the offer of paying $24.99 for the next 3 months until my financial situation “stabilized.” I thanked him for the offer, thought about it for a minute and politely refused. I needed something more permanent because I didn’t see my new job taking off anytime soon.
- Take the final squeeze. I was again placed on hold by my retention specialist, after which his supervisor came on the line to speak with me. Again, I explained my situation politely but firmly. The supervisor asked if I had any other reason to cancel my current subscription besides its higher cost. I said ‘no’; I actually liked my current carrier. At this point, the supervisor offered me a 2-year service contract at $24.99 per month, with the stipulation being that I could not switch to another carrier for 2 years or I’d pay a hefty termination fee. I happily agreed to the much lower 2-year service plan.
After I negotiated this lower rate on my wireless Internet plan, I decided to try the same tactic with my cell phone carrier. I ended up saving $21 per month on my cell phone plan thanks to having a competitor’s offer that I could refer to while “canceling” my service. Thus, by “canceling” my Internet and cell phone services, I ended up saving $54 a month! I am considering “canceling” my mother’s satellite dish service next month.