Leveraging spend is one of the fundamentals of strategic sourcing. This concept is at the root of every negotiation in the business world, but is often overlooked during personal purchases. The fact of the matter is “everything is negotiable. “

Let’s look at cell phones; traditional AT&T and Verizon plans start at $39.99, add data for $25, text messaging for $10 and taxes and surcharges for about 30% of your monthly recurring charges (MRC) and you are almost at $100. That’s just for one phone... Imagine how many of your friends and family are doing the same thing? What if you combined your bill? Now imagine getting five of your most trustworthy friends and splitting a bill five ways each month. It’s pretty easy; since they're your 'bros', join a family plan. You are now paying for a bundle of minutes for $80/5, data $25, text $25/5, $10 for the number and taxes and surcharges 30% of MRC/5 bringing you down to $54. You just cut your bill by 56%. You can now afford an IPhone 5 and Angry Birds.

Now let’s look at your home cable & internet providers. This is the "I am going to cancel my service" call. The key to this is to make sure you are speaking with a customer service representative. If you try this technique against a billing representative, they may be less responsive to the threat. Billing reps do not have the same access to pricing profiles and promotions that the customer reps have. Just say “My bill is too expensive and I am thinking about leaving, is there anything you can do to lower my bill”. This technique is likely to cut 10%-40% off of your MRC.

Whether you are dealing with AT&T, Comcast or Verizon, their goal is to retain customers, they will lower your bill. All you have to do is ask nicely.
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Josh Lopez

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