questionshave you ever negotiated your bills down?

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I've had good luck with cable, you can always talk them into some deal they are offering that you aren't technically eligible for at least, never really tried anything else

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Yup, I lowered my Comcast bundle by $60 a month. A cable/phone/internet competitor just moved in and Comcast lowered my bill to their price to keep me from switching.

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I've found the best time is when signing up, especially after a long discussion with the sales guy. Once they've put so much time in they need to close the say positively.

Personally, I just outright state my requirements, and tell them I'll pay if they meet them.

I've had great deals from Verizon and Optimum (Cablevision) that way.

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I've had success with Comcast and Tivo and Directv. That's about all I've ever tried on.

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Newspaper, anything that is printed is ripe for negotitions

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I do this all the time. By the way it works really well on medical bills. Lots of providers expect prolonged periods of payments or negotiations if you can call and offer to pay it all at once you can usually get at least 5% off sometimes more.

In one case I saved almost 1000 bucks a on a 2500 bill by offering to pay it all up front. They wanted cash rather than a credit card so I had to mail them a cashiers check but it was well worth the effort.

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Same here, I do it pretty often. Mostly with my cable company, mobile provider, and sometimes dental/medical. Especially when you've had a long relationship or account with a company they are more willing to give you a deal to keep your business. It can be a hassle sometimes but if you like to save money and are willing to take the time it is totally worth trying.

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Phone, cable, and recently with the annual fee on my two Citibank cards. They couldn't refund the fee, but they put me on a special program where I got the fee money back for using the cards 3x in 3mos. I have to go look at them and see that I got my refund, it's about now when I should be getting it.

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Wow. We tried threatening to switch to Dish Network one time, and DirecTV all but said "see ye!" Been their customer since 1998 too.

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@tsfisch: Switch, they will then send you a "We want you back" letter and will pay $200 to get you out of your contract and you get the really cheap plans for a year.

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I've tried with my ISP. They pretty much said "Well, do you have a better alternative?" The answer is no. We have overpriced cable internet with halfway decent speeds or overpriced DSL with terrible speeds and latency....

My cousin on the other hand has gotten Sunday Ticket for free for the last 3 years from Direct.

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I got my U-verse internet down $10/mo with a bump in speed recently. But for other services I'm getting better results by just switching to much lower cost alternatives: landline to Ooma, cable to antenna, Verizon wireless to Page Plus.

Negotiated savings: 33%
Switched service savings: over 90%

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I used to do this when my promotional rate expired with Comcast. Then they changed the person who was authorized to give you a promotional rate so that you had to be transferred to the cancellation department where that person would try to keep you by giving you the promotional rate. I finally got tired of it all when I would have to call after 3 months because someone put me on the wrong promotion and I would have to start the process all over again. I switched to FIOS about 6 months ago and am so glad I did.

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Negotiated? Yes. Successfully? No.

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cable and satelite companies are usually willing to bend if they think they will lose your business. Verizon will not bend under any circumstance. you could hold a rep at gunpoint and they'd still tell you there was nothing they could do. in fact, they called my bluff one time, and i was stuck with Alltel for 2 years, jsut to have Verizon swoop in and buy them up. now i'm back to verizon. they're expensive and they are also dicks, but i've found they have the best coverage hands down. the one time i switched i was miserable for 2 years and couldn't wait to give verizon my money again. as much as i hate them i'd rather just pay the bill than try to go somewhere else and not get service.

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Call Comcast, say something about Century Link, save $10.

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I just negotiated a lower rate with my electrical power supplier. I compared the three lowest fixed rates and called each company. The company I decided to go with gave me a $25 gift card if I signed up for 1 year and matched the lowest rate.

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I need too since I have had a cable repairman out 5 times since the year started.

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Once I have negotiated the lowest rate with my TV/Internet/Phone provider and locked it in, they typically make you sign a 1 or 2 year contract, I follow up with a phone call to inquire about free premium channels. They almost always will give me free 6 months for one of the premium channels. You just have to remember to cancel before the introductory period runs out.

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tried with Dish Network, no go.

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Just saved $26 a month for the next 6 months on my cable bill, that made my day.

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I do it all the time. As others have said it works great when signing up or renewing a TV/Internet/Phone plan. I have also had a lot of luck negotiating my bill down when I have experienced problems with their service. Verizon has been pretty good about compensating me for service problems with a couple free months here and there on my internet.

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Just called my cable company and gonna save $20.00 a month on my internet for the next 6 months. :)

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@djbowman: This works great. I had a $190 bill from a local doctor and because THEY goofed and filed it wrong it took them 8 months to figure out I owed it and not insurance company. When the guy called and apologized and explained I would have to be billed for it...he just out of the blue said "...but if you walk in and pay we'll take $100 cash..." Since they are literally 5 blocks from my house I said sure. Last time I went to have a tooth fixed (getting old sucks) I told him just to pull it. Back molar and it was $1800 !!!!!!!! with root canal and crown. He was so adamant that pulling was 'medievil' that he offered it all for $780 (Pulling is $250)...so it does work.

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I never have any luck. I just signed up for Time Warner Cable Internet last year and it was an absolute nightmare just trying to sign up for the promotion on their website. I got an email confirmation that I had signed up but they had no record of it when I called, and were absolutely unwilling to give me that price over the phone. When our first year is up I'll be calling back to ask for a better price but I'm not getting my hopes up.

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I managed to get a pretty decent deal out of CenturyLink because "all I want is a no frills landline and internet". Once they managed to realize there was no possible way on the earth I would ever want a fancy combo package of any kind, they knocked a few bucks off my internet. This is the only time in my life I've managed to do this.

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I've done it 3 or 4 times now. Started with verizon. got tired of paying $175 a month for two smartphones with data plans when we hardly used any minutes. Got our plan knocked down to a plan that isn't advertised and also got a month of service free. This only worked because my contract was over, I have been with them for 8 years now and I held all the power.

I also did something similar with Cox, for my cable and internet. They raised cable rates so I called to ask about digital cable. They said I couldn't get the new customer rate (since I had been using their service) but I found that the new customer rate also applied to those upgrading from basic cable to digital. Once I went into a store and spoke with a manager, it was simple to figure out on their end. With that, I was able to score a year of half priced internet and a free wireless router.

I've also done it when I had trouble paying my CC bill. I was able to make payments as I could, without going into default.

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I find that it's best to have something on your side: competitor, coming out of your contract, bad service on their part, etc. If you have something you can verify and show them, it gives you all the power. don't be afraid to say you want to walk away and quit their service, thats when they send you over to the deal makers. In my case, I had to say no to the first couple of deals with Verizon until I got what I wanted.

If you are using the competitor scenario, make sure to get an invoice or sample bill from them with similar services so you can show them how much you would save if you switched.