Friday, February 6, 2009

How I saved $192 a year with a phone call. (updated info)

Ok so there's been so many news stories recently about how to reduce your monthly bills without changing a thing... Basically, calling into the companies that you do business with and asking for a lower rate or some kind of a discount. I was skeptical at first, because I know around this time last year I attempted the same thing with my Zales credit card to no avail. Too bad for them, because I took that rejection and turned it into revenge!! I noticed that the minimum monthly payment they were asking for was about $10 LESS than the monthly charges. I thought that was insane... I mean if I paid ONLY what was required of me, it would take forever to pay. So I paid it off and haven't used it since. TAKE THAT!!!

Well - yesterday I decided to call DirecTV, our satellite provider. Every week or so, Comcast sends us postcards tempting us with their great discounted bundle deals... So I took that information with me to the phone call. The main thing I have to underscore is to stay calm during this process, make them want to help you. After surviving the voice menu that you have to go through before you're allowed to talk to a person, I was sent to the billing department. I explained that I was hoping to stay with DirecTV, and wanted to see if they had any way of reducing my bill - having been a good customer for a year now. She transferred me to their "Account Services" department.

I explained that I like the parental controls (which I LOVE btw) offered via the DirecTV receiver, and that we didn't want to lose any services or receiver boxes. I also mentioned that Comcast sends us weekly postcards trying to convince us that the grass is greener on their side. After a long (and VERY VERY friendly and helpful) conversation, I ended up with $16 monthly savings, and free HBO, CINEMAX, STARZ for 3 months!! We haven't lost ANY channels at all, still have 5 receivers, DVR and HD... The gal (who was super great) apologized that she couldn't save me more money. Are you kidding?!?! I told her that $16 is great, and that if they had decided that I'd be charged $16 MORE a month it would be a huge deal.

I then asked to be transferred to her supervisor where I sang her praises. I think that might be the most important step of this process. Make sure that the representative who helped you is immediately rewarded. I think it makes that person so much more likely to want to help the next caller... and it's just a good idea. As a rule - any time I get great service - I ALWAYS make sure I leave a comment or an email or SOMETHING.

Result: $192 back in my pocket this year!

So because I'm lovin' them at the moment... Here's a little plug...

Get DIRECTV. And save $50.

With DIRECTV, you get 100% digital–quality picture and sound, exclusive programming and much more. And as a new customer, you also get:

  • FREE standard professional installation of a 4–room DIRECTV® System
  • FREE DIRECTV DVR OR HD receiver upgrade
    (after $100 INSTANT rebate. Programming, DVR and HD Access fee commitments required)
All that plus you will each receive 5 nonrefundable/non–transferable credits of $10 each over 5 DIRECTV billing cycles totaling $50— how can you beat that?

Offers end 3/3/09 and are based on approved credit; credit card required.

So if you're interested... we'd BOTH get $50 in bill credits... just shoot me an email with your first last and email address, and I'll send you a referral.

UPDATE: I got a great email from an actual employee of DirecTV with the following info:
To help someone redeem the referral, be sure to have them visit to purchase online or call this special number 1-800-507-4045 If you call the main number, you may not get credit for the referral.

Talk about customer service!!! Next stop: Verizon Wireless... I'll let you know how that one goes. I have a family plan with 5 phones, one of which is a Palm Treo with unlimited data... Fingers crossed!


Paula said...

great job. we have direct tv too. Maybe I will give that a try. Thanks.

Ginger said...

Saving cost on your current services can be addicting.

Let me know how the whole Verizon thing turns out. We are new customers. I have about all the bells and whistles on my account, 2100 minutes, unlimited text, Internet - blah, blah, blah. We have two of the LG Dare phones.

I could cut the minutes back and reduce our bill but as sure as I do, I'll be paying 59c a minute.

Best of luck!