When it comes to my home’s service providers, I try to avoid making phone calls as much as possible. I also dislike having to use an excessive number of buttons (at least ten) to reach the correct machine or individual. As a consumer, the only thing I hate more than being put on hold is being treated badly by an unknown person.
However, I enjoy finding ways to cut costs and save money. When I can save a substantial amount of money, the hassle of dealing with automated phone systems and irate customer service reps is worth it.
Follow this six-step phone call guide to ensure you’re not overpaying on your monthly bills.
1. Mortgage Firm
How well you keep in touch with other business professionals might open doors to excellent bargaining positions. Even though it’s been a decade since my first home’s closing, I’m still in touch with the individual who helped me.
Since he is both knowledgeable and helpful, I make it a point to network with him and other business associates. Every few months, I check in with my mortgage broker to see if we can get a better rate by refinancing.
You can potentially save tens of thousands of dollars by appealing your property tax assessment, and your mortgage agent can provide you with all the details you need. On top of that, he will inform you of the current state of the housing market and whether or not you should consider refinancing or opening a home equity line of credit (HELOC).
2. Insurance Broker
Don’t neglect your insurance broker as you network for new business opportunities. An insurance agent can give you the individualized attention that you won’t get from a large corporation when you need insurance for your car, home, health, or anything else. For fifteen years, I’ve worked with the same insurance agent.
Since I trust her to provide me with objective guidance, my independent agent and I have become very close. Whenever something happens in my personal life that potentially results in financial gain, I give her a call to let her know.
If you’ve recently gone through a major life change (such as getting married, divorcing, or losing a family member), moved, made significant changes to your house, or changed jobs, it’s important to update your insurance agent.
Periodic check-ins with your agency will provide you a chance to learn about cost-saving modifications to laws and regulations, even if you don’t think you’ve had a substantial change.
3. A Cell Phone Provider
Once or twice a year, I give my cellular service provider a ring to see if I might get by with a less expensive plan, or if I am eligible for any discounts or special offers. New devices are occasionally included in these sales at a steep discount, if not for free.
Keep in mind that even if a new discount becomes available that could save you money, you probably won’t receive a phone call about it. Don’t let the prospect of a price cut trick you into signing a new annual contract that you didn’t intend to enter into.
Always try to get a better deal if you’re ready to renew, and if you aren’t, make sure there are no commitment requirements in the fine print of any promotions you’re considering. Here are some additional novel approaches to reducing your recurring cell phone costs.
4. Internet Service Supplier
Always remember to monitor your broadband Internet service provider. Every few months, they’re probably going to increase your fee by a few dollars, so make them justify the increase and see if you can negotiate a lower rate.
When I was last contacted to find out whether there were any ongoing discounts for current customers, I was given a discount of $10 off of each of my monthly bills for a period of six months.
The last time I upgraded my service, I was eligible for a $50 gift card. The savings each month weren’t large on their own, but when totaled up, they were rather substantial.
5. Provider of Cable or Satellite TV
It’s important to check in with your cable or satellite TV provider on an annual basis if it’s not the same as your Internet service provider. Like your Internet service provider, they are constantly charging more and charging more, and they will only refund clients who have the gumption to ask for it.
I had to give DIRECTV a call lately because a $15 monthly credit I had been using had run out. The gist of what I said was that I wanted to cut back on my channel package because I couldn’t afford the extra $15 per month.
I was so dissatisfied that I went as far as to suggest switching to a rival provider. Well, what do you know? They added six more months to the credit period. Everybody is aware of how cutthroat the industry of cable and satellite TV is. The major corporations are aware of this fact as well, and they will do anything they can to prevent you from leaving.
6. Subscriptions To Films, Publications, and Other Items
It’s possible to take advantage of businesses that worry about competition in other areas. If you utilize a DVD subscription service (like Netflix or Blockbuster) and you receive a promotional offer from a competing service, you should contact your current provider to see if you qualify.
Get ready to switch providers and let them know that your rate has increased but your service has not. Warn them that you’ve been with the company for a long time but that you’ll soon be leaving. The offer you received in the mail is often matched.
Subscription losses are a nightmare for magazine editors. That’s why plenty of things are 90 percent off or free. Call the magazine first to determine if you qualify for a renewal discount before automatically renewing your subscription.
So there you have it; a list of six numbers to dial to lower your monthly expenses. Pick one every two months or call them all once a year, and your overdue balances will start to go down.
Although each individual savings may seem insignificant, if you can find a method to save $100 per month, that’s $1,200 at the end of the year. Having to call these firms for anything is irritating, but if I can save $1,200 a year doing so, it’s much more bearable.