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A Reader Saved $270 With a Phone Call

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I received an email from Tabitha the other day. She wanted to share her awesome story on how she saved some serious money!

I have been with Qwest for my home line for over six years and my internet for the last eleven months. My contract price for my internet is about to expire, so I started doing my homework. Well, I checked into Charter and they were able to quote me $29.99 a month with no contract. I called Qwest and told them the deal that Charter offered me. They put me on hold for about 8 minutes. (I hung on, b/c it has to be good, right?). Finally, Rhonda from the Loyalty Department comes on and asks me what I need. She said to hold on a little longer…… Five minutes later, she comes on the line and says, “Erin, we really appreciate your business and want to keep you as a customer. We are going to offer you 6 MONTHS of FREE internet as long as you keep you basic landline for the next 6 months.” I said, “What’s the catch, really it’s free as in NO CHARGE free?” She said, “Yep, it is a special gift we’re offering b/c of your loyalty.” Of course, I said, “SIGN ME UP!” The 6 months of free internet will save me $270 in internet charges. I am so excited I just had to share it with you. You can feel free to share this story with your readers, too.

I have to thank Tabitha for sharing her story. I have tried a few times to call our phone/internet carrier to see if they have any deals we qualify for. I’d be on hold for about 10 minutes and then something would pull me away so I never got an operator. This success story is motivating me to lock myself in my room to finally get through to someone and wheel and deal. I’ll also have handy a flyer for phone/internet deals from another company πŸ˜‰

Anyone else have success stories like this to share?


16 Comments

  • Reply Mr Plasectomy |

    It’s amazing what you can get if you threaten to cancel or just ask. We did this with our cable provider about a month with our internet service they provide. We were being charged $44.95 for internet and I was not happy with the price. I called them and explained to the person on the other end that the local DSL provider was offering similar speeds for $19.95. The cable company came back and offered $29.95 for a full year no strings attached. I have never had any issues with them and the service has gone down maybe twice in the 3 years I have had it. I thought for $29.95, faster speeds and reliable up time was worth the extra $10 a month. Oh, DSL wanted a contract and I wasn’t down with that.

  • Reply Dawn/FFL |

    As a worker in the telecommunications field, a couple of thoughts:
    1. If you threaten to cancel, follow through – notes are left and you may have less power the next time you call

    2. Competitive pricing is always the best way to go to get a better deal.

    3. Call a couple times, at different times of the day to get different agents who may be more flexible

    4. Be nice and understanding but firm. It will get you on the agents side better than being pushy, rude and complaining.

  • Reply mapgirl |

    Not to be too nosy, but does Tabitha live in a rural area serviced by Qwest? I am curious because getting the rural service subsidy from the gov’t may be a reason to offer her service and not lose her as a customer.

    They could be offering this sort of thing to anyone who asks, but just a thought on what their upside is for the discount.

  • Reply Bee |

    This strategy sometimes works with insurance too. If you call you insurance company and tell them you have found a better price and want to find out what you need to do to cancel, they will usually miraculously offer you a better price even if it is just a temporary one. However they do tend to increase the price up again once your renewal comes annually.

  • Reply CanadianKate |

    No great deals to boast about (except lately I’ve been emailing hotels directly, with my dates, and asking for their best deal and getting about 1/3 off the internet booking engine rate) but here’s my strategy for long hold sessions.

    I have mending to do. I like to do Sudokus. There’s nothing like sitting there with a cup of tea and reading the paper. If I’m on a cordless phone I can dust, do laundry, even clean bathrooms (I just need to be able to hear when the operator comes on.)

    I have both a speaker phone and a cordless phone with a headset and so can free up my hands for those long holds (mine tend to be airlines or the credit card company when disputing charges.)

    And most service desks are open long hours so you can sit on hold after the kids are in bed or when they are at school (if you are an at-home parent.)

  • Reply Emmi |

    >They could be offering this sort of thing to anyone who asks, but just a thought on what their upside is for the discount

    Possibly they count for the subsidy, but any industry with a high fixed cost should be loathe to lose any customer.

    And great advice CanadianKate. The internet rates have not seemed as great a deal the last half year or so. I’ve been using google maps to find the little locally owned places. When you call them they are pretty good about quoting a great rate, but email would be less hassle.

  • Reply My Life ROI |

    I do this ALL the time.

    The only thing, though, is that this should not be confused with a loyalty offer. This is a retention pitch.

    Had they been giving you a loyalty offer it would have been offered to you on a one year anniversary (or the like). But this wasn’t offered to you… you took it from them by knowing the competition’s prices.

    In 6 months don’t feel loyalty back to Qwest if you can find a better deal elsewhere.

    Being a smart consumer makes cents. πŸ™‚

  • Reply James |

    I had Comcast cable for $25 for 6 months, then it went up to $43. Then they raised their prices and it was $60!

    For four months I put off calling. Two weeks ago I got a flyer offering free basic cable (we’ve been using the antenna for years) AND internet for $25 for a year.

    I called, threatened to cancel, got the “loss prevention” person who figured out a way to offer me the promotion.

    When they installed it they put on at least a $60 package with On Demand!

    Now I’m paying 60% less than before, with added free cable for a year!

    I’m happy with them now….

  • Reply Tabitha |

    Hi, this is my story. I live in town in a rural area. Our town has about $16,000 people and we’re surrounded by farm country on every side. Don’t know if this helps.

    Also, I am in the hotel industry. As long as you are nice to me, and give me a little info on why you need a lower rate (traveling with children, traveling for a funeral, celebrating a wedding anniversary, etc.) I will give you the lowest rate allowed by my company. Especially if you are traveling with children. πŸ™‚ Just remember to be nice when you check in!

  • Reply Kevin Morris |

    Threatening to cancel works wonders for customers in good standing.

    In the past I’ve gotten $25,000 and $20,000 0% interest loans from credits. One waived the transfer fee and one limited it to $100. I took that and bought a CD for 6 months and made about $1,200 in interest.

    I’ve gotten cable rate, internet, home and cell phone bills slashed. Come to think of it,that cable bill has crept up again. It’s time for another call threatening to quit to satellite.

  • Reply Tabitha |

    My Life ROI – I fully intend to switch to whichever company has the best rate. I like to think being a smart consumer makes dollars! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Betsy Bargain |

    Sometimes people focus on ways to save a few pennies here, a few pennies there, and overlook the opportunities to save serious cash! This strategy can work for cable companies, newspaper delivery, cell phone companies, and credit card companies. It never hurts to mention what the competition is offering, and ask for a better deal!

  • Reply Bocarat |

    One thing I discovered is that you can get out of your expensive cellphone contract if the compnny changes its terms.

    Like when Sprint changed its charges for texting, I called them and was able to cancel my contract!

    They won’t tell you, of course. You have to ask!

    I turned around and got a pay in advance phone from Net10 and only pay what I can afford up-front.

    Good deal!

So, what do you think ?