Save Money On Your Bills Through Lies and Deception

Months back, we dismissed some advice on lowering your cable bill (try to cancel and then saying you change your mind if they don’t lower your bill) with a snarky retort. We viewed it as spineless capitulation of consumerist ideals

We understand where we were coming from, but we’ve since read enough reader horror stories to understand that we can’t expect a fair shake from any company, and going off to a competitor for lower rates just ends up with you getting reamed with a more alien protuberance. Consumers need to use every tool at their disposal — including lying, cheating and manipulation — to get good service. The days of Geneva Conventions and conscientious objectors when dealing with Corporate America are behind us: we’re at war, and if a company isn’t willing to give you fair service through diplomatic means, you’d better be ready to open their gullet with your teeth.

Having changed our minds, it’s good timing that the Personal Finance Advice Blog has updated their advice on lowering your cable bill through the art of misleading feints and strategic deception. 15 minutes on the phone with a CSR can net you the same amount that $4,500 in a 5% account will earn in a full year. Let’s all abandon our morals and just do it: at the very least, calling up and trying to cancel all our monthly bills in pursuit of discounts ought to supply us with prime ‘Readers’ fodder.

50% Off Cable TV Bill [PFAdvice]
Previously: How To Lower Your Cable Bill And/Or Self Respect

Comments

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  1. John Stracke says:

    These techniques can’t save me $225 per year, because I don’t spend $225 per year on cable. I have the statutory subbasic subscription, for $13/month, because I just don’t watch enough TV to be worth more than that.

  2. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    Well, yes John, they probably won’t save you much, but then again this article was directed towards people hemmoraging money to their cable company. Seems like you have it under control. For me, I have an HDTV, while I don’t watch many shows these days, I do watch a lot of sports which are great in HD.

    For me to have an HD cable box I need to first subscribe to their digital cable which isn’t cheap, then rent the $8 a month HD box. So I can’t get away with just basic service or I would.

    Now I could get the HD stuff over the air, but most Red Sox games are on NESN which is a cable only channel. I’m also one of the 72 people in the US who still watches hockey and the NHL is buried deep into the cable lineup these days.

    On top of all that I get internet through my cable company which is expensive. I could also go another route, but frankly I’m addicted to the shear speed of my connection. I can download a 200mb from a website almost as fast as I can copy it from my XP machine to my Linux box.

    So to sum up, I wish I could get by with basic service, but there are too many things I love about my current set up. If that article helps me save just $1 a month I’d be happy.

  3. desonos says:

    Yeah, I am in Hooray4Zoidberg’s shoes (although I haven’t bit the bullet and gotten the digital/HD setup; I suffer with Red Sox games in SD ;_;), I have internet/extended analog cable and this is really helpful. I’ll definately put the screws to my local companies when I move in september.

  4. thrillhouse says:

    There is nothing wrong with asking for a better price. I just don’t see why you have act immorally to do it. Services like cable/sat/phone providers will drop their rates (especially on internet service) when faced with a competing rate since the numbers are all artificial anyways.

    You can get a quote from another provider to leverage against them. Or when your contract is up, simply tell them you need a better price.

    Going into the conversation with a disingenuous plan makes you no better than the CSRs that you rant about on this site.

  5. desonos says:

    I agree with the author on this; telecom contracts are war. You said yourself the numbers are artificial; if they are going to make up artificial prices not based on competition, than I feel morally free to lie to them to get a better rate.

  6. thatabbygirl says:

    We are now at war with companies? We’re reaching our goal of better service, more understanding and respect between consumers and companies, by acting as if our only option is to destroy them through any means necessary? I guess the theory is that any company left after our onslaught of lying, trickery, and manipulation must have good service, or else we would have destroyed it.

    So how bad does customer service have to be to warrant this destructive reaction? One rude employee? Prices I consider too high? An annoying flyer in my mail? Where’s the line between justified trickery and unjustified trickery?

    I’m a believer that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I’m also a believer that good service is about respect for the consumer – and these tactics seem to make sure that respect will never exist, or be deserved.

  7. ModerateSnark says:

    Despite the good ‘ol “we” and “our” used (“having changed our minds”), I think there is a schizophenic two-headed editor at work here who disagrees with himself. Don’t worry, once some good war stories have been turned in as tips, the declaration of war will be revoked and we’ll be called on again to take out our Hello Kitty notepads during calls and express ourselves politely, clearly and honestly.

    I still wanna see good Cap’n Kirk fight evil Cap’n Kirk.
    Editor Fight! Editor Fight! Editor Fight!

  8. RandomHookup says:

    Editor is off his meds once again.

  9. Michael says:

    Bad writing and inane, nit-picking stories aside, I had grudging respect for this blog for posting, among other things, the now-infamous AOL phone call which resulted in the customer rep getting fired. This is good work, and to such endeavors I say tally-ho.

    I even agree that there’s nothing wrong with lying, cheating, and stealing from a company to get what you want. Might makes right in an evolutionary world, and one cannot expect the company or its other customers to give way for your good, so why should you?

    But in this post you’ve gone too far. “We’re at war”? If you’re at war with companies then move into the forest and live on wild berries and stop buying expensive computers you use to complain about the evil company that made it. Your attitude of entitlement disgusts me.

  10. Transuranic says:

    Hey, for everyone who thinks that companies wouldn’t screw them to the nth degree – there’s a keg of Kool-Aid right down the hall – FREE!

    For everyone else: this will work, but only for select weak-willed, bored, or soon-to-be-fired CSRs, and only for a certain amount of time at any company. At some point, managers will wonder why their profits aren’t as expected, they’ll read actual customer comments or listen to actual phone calls, and then they’ll up the ante accordingly – probably by promising to have a manager look into it, and then never calling back. Ever. Why should they – if they expect that any given customer is lying or browbeating into getting better treatment…

    But for the moment, they’ve already played their hand, and it’s our turn to up the arms race.

    To arms, bill payers!