Most companies with recurring services have a group of shiny sphincters known as the retention department, but doing battle with them and knowing how they operate can get your monthly bill reduced. They’re also sometimes called the “saves” department, because they’re supposed to “save” you from leaving for another company. Here’s how Jonathan recently turned the Tivo retention department to his advantage:..
…I called up Tivo, read to “Cancel” (I love my Tivo and would never give it up) knowing that they would transfer me to the retention department, I played hardball with them and told them that I just didn’t think there was enough “value” and that I wasn’t feeling that i was getting what i paid for. They bought it hook like and sinker, and what was 16.95 a month, they knocked down to 10.95 w/o yearly contract, in addition to a free month of service. Retention departments: Always evil, but sometimes profitable.
This same technique can also be more satisfyingly applied to outrightly adversarial companies like your cable or cellphone provider, or credit card company.
It’s not enough to simply say, “you suck give me $5 or I’m leaving.” Customer service departments are trained to weed out the garden-variety discount seekers. You’ve got to talk a good game and paint a picture of your dissatisfaction and sorrow before they’ll start throwing freebies your way. Put a little romance into it, you’ve got to take them out to dinner first before their pants drop.