Few Hacks in Lowering Your Bills
We, as consumers are now smarter when it comes to money – however, one of the fundamentals – getting the lowest price or cost possible – can ruin even the budgeting genius amongst us. Win the battle of budget hacks with these few tips:
> Use a service. Some companies will negotiate your bills for you. If the company does save you money, it’ll keep 45 percent of your savings (first year), and you’ll get 55 percent, though it plans to reduce the portion it keeps in the future.
> Make a phone call and negotiate. Many people take this work around. If you decide to do the same. For starters, don’t let yourself be sidetracked by free-trial service offers.
You called to get discounts and save money. Nothing else. This diversion is a common technique used by many customer service reps.
Don’t come right out and ask if you can get a cheaper rate on a bill. Open-ended questions, where you won’t get a flat no, are better. Ask “Where can you save me money?” Or: “What discounts are you offering now that I can take advantage of?”
> Call during off-hours. Earlier in the day is the optimal time, and whatever you do, avoid calling right before the lunch hour or closing. Customer service reps will be more likely to spend time with you on the phone. If they are less stressed out, you will have greater chances of success.
> Contact your insurance agent. Don’t assume your insurance premiums can’t be lowered, either. If you bundle several policies with one company, you can generally see savings; on average, consumers save 15.97 percent by bundling homeowners and auto insurance policies.
You may also be able to drop your bill in more creative ways. Like: Did some changes that make your home, your car or yourself safer. If you’ve quit smoking, let your health insurer know.
> Be polite and a good customer, use it as leverage. – It helps to build rapport and get them on your side. It can be especially helpful with getting interest rates lowered on credit cards and annual fees waived, as well as getting monthly cable and internet bills reduced.
An expert said: “We shouldn’t be afraid to pull out all the stops – threatening to close the account or switch to their biggest competitor – when we don’t get what we’re looking for. Companies often assign a score or grade to each customer, which affects how much they can discount, and payment history is one component of that grade.”
> Don’t forget to repeat the process. What goes down must come up, with bills. So it’s important to keep tabs on them. If you haven’t achieved success during the first go-around, it can’t hurt to ask for a better deal down the line.
It’s not as if we have anything more to lose – they’ve already taken our money. And without asking, there’s no incentive for them to give it back.