Readers Share Stories Of Trying To Save By Threatening To Cancel

Yesterday we told you about a man who saved $238.92 per year on his Comcast bill by threatening to cancel and getting a discount to keep him around. Numerous readers chimed in in the comments with their tales of victory using the same method, tales of failure, and a few company employees shared their insider perspective. Ive rounded up the comments and sorted them by the aforementioned categories so you may learn from their tips and tricks to save on your cable bill. Some of the same tactics can be applied to other services, like cellphone or credit cards, as well…

TALES OF VICTORY:

rpm733: “My 12-month HBO/Starz deal that I had with Comcast expired, and they sent me a flier offering some different TV packages (all of which which happened to be more expensive than what I had had). I called them to drop HBO and Starz, and they countered with a package that allowed me to keep HBO/Starz, and save $30/month. I didn’t even have to threaten to cancel the service. Also, I was not roped into a contract with an ETF. “

JohnDeere: “i did the same with direct tv. first time a week before my contract expired, they gave me all the movie channels free for 6 months and no new contract. after that first week i called to cancel anyway they cut $20 off my bill and gave me a big credit to last till next year still with no contract. i got it all in writing.”

econobiker: “you might be able to switch around the “new subscriber rates” between the spouses. We did that due to moving from one apt to a new one. Wife had old account in old apt, I got new account in new apt.”

gawngi: “I called them up and told them I was being let go from my job (believable in the economy). I now pay $42 less a month for 1 year.”

HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: “I did this with local SureWest and got my bill loawered $180 a year. My technique, told them over and over that I was satisfied with their service but that I felt it was too expensive and that I knew their competitor was offering a promotion.”

Clobberella: “I did this recently with Comcast and it was incredibly easy. I have their “VIP” deal and I naturally found myself paying a lot more than I wanted to after the promo period wore off. So I called them and mentioned I was thinking of switching to Direct because of the price. That is the only thing I said, and the CSR immediately offered to cut the price for my entire package down to less than what I had paid at the promo rate AND give me my DVR free AND lock it in for two years. Almost $60 a month, just like that. The rep sounded like she’d done this many times before. So it’s definitely worth a shot, at least if you’re in an area where Comcast has any kind of competition.”

xxoo: “I own a small business in NYC and called Verizon and told them I could do better elsewhere. Voila, they reduced my bill by $50.00 per month (25% reduction). Just like that.”

jojo319: “The key is to ALWAYS set the cancellation a few days out. That way if they call your bluff, you can call back and “change your mind” before they actually shut you off. Works like a charm.”

One of our readers, David bookbinder, and our pal Edgar Dworksy of Consumerworld, appeared on WCVB Boston talking about the best tactics for lowering your service bills by threatening to cancel (watch the clip here.)

TALES OF FAILURE:

testicles: “when I was moving I tried a version of this where I said, I’d rather just transfer the service but I think it costs too much, if I could get the special intro rate for the next 12 months, I’d like to just transfer, if not, then I think I’ll nee to cancel. I was hoping for a reduced rate but I got, “OK, you’re canceled. HAve a good day.””

ShikhaCadimillac: “When Comcast took over for Time Warner in the Houston market they raised their rates almost immediately. When I called and tried the ‘Threaten to Cancel’ approach, I got just what testsicles mentioned, the ol’ ‘OK, we’ll see you later.’ I had been a customer for several years and the CSR could not have cared less. I used rabbit ears for the next year or so until I moved to an entirely different market. It wasn’t so bad, I saved upwards of a thousand dollars over the course of the year.”

The Great Aussie Evil: Got the insta-cancel kind here. No antenna reception in my suburb means no TV.

TALES FROM THE INSIDE:

Suulia: “If a customer 1. pays their bill on time every month and 2. has been with us for years, then yes, we are more than happy to give you a promotional price for a while.

However, if you 1. don’t pay your bill on time, and 2. threaten to cancel every time your promotion wears off, then when you threaten to cancel again you get 3. cancelled at your request.

And asking for a supervisor/manager doesn’t work, because the supervisor/managers follow the same rules that the phone/lobby agents do. Talk to the Retention department. They’re the ones that try and retain you as a customer and if you’re a good customer, they’ll give you a great deal as thanks for staying with us.

[Obligatory disclaimer: “I work for Comcast but I am not a Comcast spokesman; these are my own comments and opinions” “

Dragonfire: “My advice to people who do this is to make sure the company sticks to their promises.”

Valarmorghulis: “From somebody who used to do telephone customer service; it is unlikely that the person on the other end of that phone even cares what you get away with provided you treat them with respect and listen to them. Seriously.”

Dansc29625: “I know a guy that is in the retention dept at a cable company. If someone actually decides to cancel their service, the retention agent earns a negative commission. That means that he looses commission that was earned on previous transactions.”

Why not give it a shot right now during your lunchbreak? Let us know how it goes in the comments.

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. javi0084 says:

    I threatened to cancel my Target Visa account because they wouldn’t lower my interest rate. They offered me 500 points towards a 10% off coupon (need 1000 points for the coupon) to keep the account opened. I said no and they closed it.

    Oh well, it didn’t work :(

    • Illusio26 says:

      @javi0084: I had a visa card with an $6000 balance. I called them up and asked for a lower rate. They said no, I told them I would cancel the card if they didn’t because another card offered me a rate 2 points lower. They still said no. So I canceled the card and transferred my balance (paid off now).

      I guess they would rather have had $0 a month in interested then a 2 percent less. Make no sense.

  2. Illusio26 says:

    I was able to do this with my XM radio. I had a promotional rate for a year (50% off). I called up when it was time to renew and asked for the same rate, if not I would cancel. The CSR said no and sent me to the cancellation department.

    The cancellation department asked why I was canceling and I told them their service was too expensive. They offered me the same promotional rate for the next year and I took it.

    • closed_account says:

      @darkjedi26: Same here. And if you are really good you can get them to give you a payment plan! Granted it is a small amount of money anyway, but why not keep the $60 longer if you can…

    • hills says:

      @darkjedi26:
      I called to cancel XM and they gave me 3 more months for free – First they offered me a promo rate, which I declined. A couple months later XM called about my husband’s account, which is not linked to mine, and the rep didn’t believe I had recently gotten 3 months free and didn’t give us any deals…

  3. Travis Hudson says:

    I did this to replace a Sirius radio player and get a month free. Some of the buttons on my radio didn’t work so I called and tried the cancellation line to save myself the $50 for a new player and activation fees and all the jazz. Worked like a charm.

  4. kmn842 says:

    I did something similar with Vonage. I never used it, but thought it was nice to have in case of emergency, so I was able to talk them down to 2 months free plus $5 a month for no minutes, but still unlimited incoming. I believe they only offer this if you’ve been a Vonage customer for over a year, but if you simply receive calls and want it as an emergency backup phone, then it’s a good deal. Note that they offered me about 6 other options before that, so you have to be persistant. First it was one month free, then $10 a month with 1 month free, then $10 a month with 2 months free, then $5 a month, then $5 a month with 1 month free, and finally $5 a month with 2 months free.

  5. Lothar of the Glenallen Hill People says:

    Just tried this with Comcast and got $20 knocked off my bill for the next 6 months. Not huge, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Thanks!

  6. yaced says:

    Get a new credit card with an annual fee? Before you activate it, get Customer Service on the phone and tell them you want to cancel. They will transfer you to the retention department, which will try to convince you to keep the card, and will most always credit you for the Annual fee, or at least cut it in half if its a high one. Works on cell phone compaines as well

    • samurailynn says:

      @yaced: Speaking of activation fees on cell phones – Verizon will waive their activation fee if you sign up for a prepaid phone and put $100 on the account. Then you can switch to a monthly plan later. (At least, they waived our activation fee, and I was told there would be no fees for switching to a monthly plan later on.)

    • hills says:

      @yaced: I only have 1 card I pay an annual fee on (mileage), and they wouldn’t budge on the annual fee – but I did get 0% for a year.

  7. gqcarrick says:

    I worked for Adelphia before TW took over in the Buffalo market. I worked in tech support but I told everyone I knew who had Adelphia to call in and cancel and they would get a much better rate. All my family and friends enjoyed the big discounts.

  8. rockstarjoe says:

    With Comcast I’ve always found that the best approach is to immediately ask to speak with Retention. They don’t even ask why, they just transfer you. Then tell them that you are thinking of changing to Verizon FIOS because they offered you a good deal, and you wondered if they would be able to match the deal? They have always done it for me, and they are usually very pleasant about the whole transaction. Let’s face it, Cable is a rip off and they know it… if you are paying full price for it they are just making extra money off of you. Even at the “discount” rates we are probably paying more than it is worth.

  9. dollywould says:

    I had signed up for AT&T’s Uverse but changed my mind before the installation. After trying to call for a couple hours, it rang directly to a nice woman in retention.

    Not only did she cancel the installation with no problems (I am in a DirecTV contract and didn’t feel like dealing with the cancellation drama at the time), but she also upgraded my phone services and internet for no additional cost. Oh, and she sent me a $100 Visa gift card!

    I tell everyone now to just ask for retention directly, which is what she told me to do in the future.

  10. BoomerFive says:

    I have Charter cable/internet service. When I started with them they gave a “special” deal for a year, 79.99 for cable and internet. After the year was up I called and requested the deal again (since they have to give it to you, though they don’t want you to know that of course). They said that they could not give it to me (A blatant lie). I argue, they then tell me it’s for upgrading your service only. So, as stupid as it sounds, I downgrade my service to basic cable for a day, call back, upgrade, and get the deal again. This goes on every 6 months (the deal changed to a 6 month deal for some reason) until just recently.

    When I called the last time to get the deal, the lady tells me I would have to start new service to get the deal, an “upgrade” won’t do it. I say, fine, cancel and I will call you back in 5 minutes to get the deal. She says, “you need to talk to the cancellation dept.” I say fine, whatever.

    She transfers me and I talk to an intelligent (!) lady who asks why I want to cancel. When I tell her that I was told I would have to cancel and restart service to get the rate I want, she says that isn’t true and gives me the rate, and gives it to me for a year so I don ‘t have to mess with it again for awhile. Amazing what can happen when you get someone with a brain on the phone.

  11. HogwartsAlum says:

    I have DirecTV and the price had gone up after my promo period. Well, it had some creep to it after that, and as it approached a higher price than I really wanted to pay, I emailed them and said “Hey, this is getting kind of high,” and they knocked $4 off my monthly payment. Not much but I was happy. :)

  12. buckfutt says:

    I go through this with my Charter internet account once a year. My bill shows up, and it’s been hiked $20 or $30 from the last one. I call and ask what’s the deal, get told that my promotional rate has run out. Then I ask why I should pay a $25 premium over the DSL rate. About half the time the first rep says, “Sorry, but you just had a promotion, you can’t have another one.” I always respond, “That’s Charter’s problem, not mine.”

    This results in being sent to retention, which unfailingly gives me my previous rate, and usually with a speed increase (this year it went from 5-meg to 10-meg) for another year…

  13. The Folding Chair Security Intern says:

    So, I’m the only one seeing a problem with Consumerist essentially condoning outright lies to get your way? Fantastic. No complaints when this system no longer works because it was being taken advantage of too often.

    Good on the people who legitimately benefited from a deal like this.

    • econobiker says:

      @The Folding Chair Security Intern:

      I look at it this way: what is “business” ethical and law-wise legal is not necessarily moral.

      For some reason businesses want consumers to be all moral (in order to get the consumers to pay their debts) yet businesses don’t have to be moral at all. Then businesses spend money lobbying to get the laws changed to eliminate the cracks that some consumers have managed to find and slip through (such as debt abusive bankruptcies).

      Alot of this rate reduction gaming probably now happens due to the fact that companies are always playing teaser rates to get new customers and playing games with the non-tax “fees” added to bills. It would be nice if companies would advertise the actual, fee’s included pricing which would be the same for new and current customers. But they won’t since the companies figure they should be able to charge the consumer whatever is acceptable to the consumer plus the companies do not want to be in a bidding war with their competitors…

    • Adisharr says:

      @The Folding Chair Security Intern:

      Yeah it’s not like the cable companies would ever take advantage of a consumer.. oh wait..

    • TheFuzz53 says:

      @The Folding Chair Security Intern:

      All of these dirtbag companies do nothing but lie to us, so why shouldn’t we lie to them. Service industries are purely fixed cost industries. In the realm of telecom, the only cost the company really has is running the cabling to your home, and it’s pretty much pure profit once that cost is covered. There really is no excuse for their rate increases and deplorable customer service and billing practices other than that they are the only game in town and that their competitors are just as incompetant as they are.

      If these companies would stop jerking us around and quit trying to nickel and dime us to death for every little God damn thing, maybe people wouldn’t have a problem paying them.

  14. Petri33 says:

    I got a good promotional offer for DSL from my local phone company. I simply opened a chat window on Earthlink High Speed Internet support and told them I value their service but I can’t ignore this excellent price. They locked me in at $29.99 a month for 6mbps cable internet for life. I’m happy.

  15. punksmurph says:

    I had a Platinum Credit Card from Citi Bank (19% APR, $500 limit) and Capitol One (14% APR, $1500 limit). I called each one to cancel saying my APR was too high (it was), Capitol One looked at my credit and dropped it to 8% and raised the limit to $3000. Citi Bank said it was the lowest APR for the car but said I could have a $5000 limit, canceled the Citi card.

  16. Demonbird says:

    I’m getting ready to play this game with COX and Verizon.
    Cox has driven me up a wall. I keep calling them to cancel some premium channels and they “cancel” them, yet they still charge it on their bill, and they threw some random extra 50$ charge on my bill this month.
    The cable box we have with them is breaking down. If things don’t change I won’t bat an eye at canceling their service.

    and Verizon… I just want a new phone > : )
    My contract runs out in a couple months and I am going to try my best to strongarm some credit out of them towards a voyager or something.

  17. About 6 months ago I called Comcast about my $120.00 a month bill, simply saying it was too much and if they didn’t do something about it I’d have to “look” elsewhere. I was on hold about 20 minutes, and the guy came back on the phone and told me they were lowering my bill to $55 a month!

    So that’s a $65 dollars a month I’m saving, which kills the lead story with a savings of close to $800 bucks a year!

    No arguing, no threatening to quit…. just telling them I’d have ti explore options if need be. I guess I caught them on a good day.

  18. Jay Gardner says:

    I’ve played hardball with AT&T Wireless twice and come away from it better off. My family has been with AT&T Wireless since well before they were known as Cingular and then changed back, starting with my mother (and myself under a family plan) and transitioning to my own plan and then a family plan with my wife.

    The first time was the only time we’ve ever racked up a huge bill by going past our allowable minutes on our plan. We ended up using all of our rollover minutes as well and ended up with a surprise bill of over $600. When I called to make some sort of payment arrangement they at first tried to tell me I had to pay it all in one lump sum. Then after some haggling I got that down to 2 payments, and that they could not do any better than that.

    Given our financial situation at the time, that was still a big stretch. I could have paid but that would have entailed using my emergency credit card, which is really for things like exploding water heaters, unexpected vehicle repairs or hotel room expenses if our house burns down, not unexpected cell phone bills. So I told them that if they could not work with me on the payments and allow me to pay our normal rate + 1/4 of whatever was left for 4 months until it was paid off, and I would be forced to charge it to my emergency credit card, then I would be pay the full amount as well as the fee to get out of my contract, ending nearly 10 years of customer loyalty, and be sure to take as many of my friends and family with me as possible. Suddenly the tune changed and they could in fact split the payments how I wanted.

    The second time came when I got tired of my ex making harassing phone calls and had to change my number. They told me it would cost something like $40 to do, which I found completely unacceptable. I was 2-3 months away from the end of my contract. I told them that it was actually cheaper for me to pay the early termination fee than to pay out the remainder of my contract plus the $40 fee, and that although I was considering getting an iPhone I would probably be just as happy with a Sidekick, so they could go ahead and cancel the account if they couldn’t wave the fee. It worked.

    Now my contract is up and I’m probably going to drop them anyway. My wife and I realized we’re spending over $100 a month and most of the calls we make are from home. In light of that, we’re going to trade in the $100 a month plan for a ~$100 a year Skype plan and Tmobile prepaid (1000 mins for $100, and they don’t expire for a year). Total cost for the year including equipment should be between 4 and 5 hundred instead of the ~$1400 we’re spending now.

  19. enthreeoh says:

    I tried this with t-mobile, I asked a csr to “transfer me to someone else so I can cancel” and she said no I can do that in this department and before I had a chance to say no, I was canceled. I just wanted to be transfered to someone else to run my issue by them since I wasn’t getting anywhere with the 5th person I was talking to about the issue. I asked her to uncancel the account and she said I’d have to put down a $200 deposit for her to do that heh.

    In the end it took 2 weeks, an email to the president of t-mobile and about 4 hours worth of phone calls to get it all straightened out, so be careful how you word things or you could get screwed like I did.

    • blueneon says:

      @enthreeoh: “..be careful how you word things or you could get screwed like I did.” Huh? Didn’t you say that you had asked to cancel your service? If the csr cancelled it for you there that means that your account is what is known as unprofitable, as in, it costs us more to keep you than to let you cancel. So you either pay your bill late, get interrupted too much, and/or have a small bill every month. I’m glad that you got your service back (companies usually only require a deposit for a bad credit risk), but think that you shouldn’t be mad when the csr did what you told them to do. Btw, if it takes you talking to 6 people to get what you want, maybe it’s unreasonable. In the interest of full disclosure, I obviously work for a cell phone company.

  20. JohnDeere says:

    just a note refering to my attempt to cancel directtv. i was really gonna cancel. and when the big credit runs out im probably still gonna cancel because im poor and i was paying $75/month for stuff thats mostly now available online for free. i dont see much of a future for cable or sattellite, for me anyway.

  21. lalawgirl says:

    This works for me every time my LA Times newspaper home delivery rate goes up (the promotional pricing usually lasts 4 to 6 months, give or take). As soon as I get billed at the higher rate, I call, letting them know that the price “seems very high” and that I’d be better off just buying the paper at the supermarket the days I want to read it. Works every time. Promo rate (usually a savings of 50% or more) for another four to six months.

  22. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    Standard Operating Proceedure with XM/Sirius when you cancel is to give you at least three months free, hoping you’ll forget and start to get re-billed again.

    I cancelled a radio, they gave me three months, I took it, but I’ll be cancelling as soon as the three months are up. I don’t have a need for two radios.

  23. MariaScoot says:

    A good tip for Sirius subscribers who pay quarterly. A few days before my quarterly billing I call up and tell them that I would like to cancel. They verify my details and then pass me along to the “cancellation” aka retention department. Insist on canceling and every single time they offer me the next 3 months for the price of 1. Works everytime no arguing required.

  24. NonaHaemon says:

    Worked great for me. After reading this I called up Comcast and told them I wanted to cancel. She says they can knock $55 per month off the bill for 6 months. Nice!

  25. PandoraBia says:

    Had a call go that way with ADT. Our system monitor stopped working and we decided to cancel to put that money towards the credit cards. Was offered 3 months free if I stayed, but sadly, no allowance to fix the system. I was given a vague $25 service fee option to look at it. No idea what it may have cost just to fix it though. We were 3 year customers.

  26. usmcmoran says:

    I just tried it with cox here in oceanside ca,Itold them a buddy gave me a dish w/ 4 free months since he was going to Japan AND i told them my wife lost her job so we were trying to lower the bill. they told me i could turn in 1 of my dvr’s and lower my internet speed from 9mb to 1mb and i would save 40 bucks total a month, i asked several times if i could get any kind of promotional rate and they said no. i told her i would probably go with the dish w/ 4 free months )a savings of 400 dollars) and she told me that was a good idea. so no joy from them.

  27. skoorbevad says:

    I called Comcast today, after reading the thread yesterday, and I told the rep I’d been with them for years and never had any major problems, and really didn’t want to cancel, but I felt I was paying too much as the introductory rates were so reasonable, and Dish Network now offers their TurboHD package for $24.99/mo.

    He ended up dropping my monthly bill from $92 to $62 AND tacked on HBO for no cost. That’s a monthly savings of $30, which amounts to ~$360/yr. Never thought I’d say it, but it was painless and the guy really wanted to help me out.

    It was Comcastic!

  28. iluvhatemail says:

    i’m canceling my cable but it’s not to play hardball and get a lower rate. It just sucks.

  29. watson2001 says:

    The best approach for any negotiation is not to initially hold the gun to the consumer service rep. It is better to get them to be on your side, than to call company X and say “I am going to cancel”.

    Do you really think the rep cares if you are an ass to them on the phone. It is better to call up the company and said:

    “Hi, I received an advertisement from company Y and I was wondering if you could match it. I really like your service, but this offer from company Y is a really good deal”.

    This approach will work most of the time because people like to be treated with respect. In addition, one could make the argument that most of these phone calls are taped and a smart consumer service rep would not want to be on the record as saying “We don’t care about your business. Go to company Y, you ass”. That is, unless you really are an ass on the phone.

  30. Parting says:

    I hate people who just threaten to cancel, and don’t really mean it. Those repeat extortionists, who always try to get something for nothing.

    I can pretty much spot those right away. I’m so happy I don’t work a retention calls center, since I feel like telling them ”Go idiot, your bill is already less than anywhere else, so go try to find similar deal. And stop insulting my intelligence.”

    (I’m not talking about honestly unhappy consumers, just those who try to get something for nothing.)

    • usmcmoran says:

      @Victo:
      I had cox turn off my cable when they wouldnt waive the 50 dollar install fee since they never came in my house, they had a csr call 2 days later who waived it and gave me a promo rate for 4 months. I would not say its something for nothing but when you are paying $100 a month just for the cable and they are raking in money hand over fist why shouldnt you try to get a better deal. Do you feel the same way about people who try to get a lower credit card interest rate by saying they have a better rate with a different card?

  31. golfinggiraffe says:

    I had a Citibank VISA with an interest rate of 14.74. Yeah, I know. Ouch. Called them up, told them I was planning on paying off one credit card (sure, I only have one card, but they didn’t know that). Got transferred to Retentions almost immediately. First offer: 2.99% for seven months, and then 8.99% for at least a year. Took it and ran. They also offered to raise my credit limit $1000, but I decided that would have been a Bad Idea(tm).

  32. Parting says:

    Are you sure they really canceled it?

  33. golfinggiraffe says:

    Postscript: I *will* be paying it off anyways, but with the lower rate, I can pay it off over three months and have money for other things. Like student loans.

  34. MiriamEinnorb says:

    I canceled my XM radio because I was moving to DC and no longer needed a car, the CSR immediately offered to drop me to 50%, I still said no. Then she offered me a new radio, I still said no, then she simply asked what it would take to keep me as a customer… I wish I had called six months earlier when I could have used the discount.

  35. Euvy says:

    Tried this tactic with TiVo in order to get promotional pricing (after being a sterling customer for 2 years) and got nowhere with them.

    Tried it with Time Warner, on the other hand, and got a 50% reduction in my cable bill for a year.

    Now when I call to do this, I don’t expect it will work–I just hope it will.

  36. NYYSI says:

    Success with Time Warner Cable in Manhattan.

    They lowered my monthly plan by $30 per month and gave me one free month of Starz, HBO and Showtime. Starz won’t fall off automatically and I will have to call up to cancel.

    My monthly bill went from:

    $134.99 – $99.99 for the Triple Play
    $14.99 – $14.99 for HBO (but I get one month free)
    $10.15 – $10.15 for extra cable box

    So, I save $420 for the year (before taxes).

    Not bad. Thanks Consumerist!!!

  37. Virginia Consumer says:

    I used this system to extend the promotional offer on my cable package by another year. The key is to be truly ready to walk away. I almost missed it because I tried to take another call while I was on hold and my phone re-booted dropping the calls. They called me back the next day and we finished the transaction.

    Again, I was prepared to go over the air for TV and had actually already bought the antenna, which I later returned, so I was really holding all the cards.

    It is only in the most rural areas where you truly have no choices when it comes to cable, internet, and phone. Between satellite, cell, VOIP, there is truly competition for your communications needs.

  38. nerdychaz says:

    When I moved to my new apartment, I saved tons by not getting TV service of any kind. In fact, I swore off TV except for watching it on the net via a unsecured network in another apartment. I saved probably $600 and had so much more time to do the things that matter in life, like having a life.

  39. artki says:

    Anybody have luck getting a discount from Dish Network? I’ve had them for 10 years and I bet they’d HATE to lose me as a customer.

  40. MunkyBoi says:

    Reminds me of the carrier wars that were played in the early 90’s. AT&T would send you a check for $25 – if you cashed it, they switched your long distance to their service. MCI would up the ante with a check for $50 – you cash it, they switch you. Mind you, the small print on the check signifies that you’re entering into a dated contract with no termination option, and no option to change companies. [3rd 90’s carrier] would send a check for $100, back to AT&T for $125, MCI for $175, etc…, maxing out at between $250-$325. In all, I got about $700 in the period of a few months.

  41. smokinfoo says:

    Charters front line phone crew won’t do much to help you lower your bill. In fact they try to up-sell.

    I informed the CSR that their service was not worth the 150$/month they wanted to charge me. I explained the faults in their service (outages, overselling bandwidth, etc…) and told them I wanted to cancel. They then transferred me to the “Retention Specialist”. I related my feelings about their service again to this CSR and she asked me to hold while she looked for a better deal.

    She finally came back with one that was $25 less a month, which is what I was shooting for so I accepted.

    That was two years ago, again in May the discount expired so I called back again to get the discount. Same rigmarole again. I even directly asked to speak with the retention specialist and the CSR transferred me.

    Another fun one I like to open with when they answer is:
    “So what new features has Charter come out with this month?” This usually catches the CSR off guard with a response like “What??”. Then you break into a long tirade basically saying well my bill went up so I thought there might have been a good reason for it. They usually can’t come up with any good reason and then you continue with well I can’t see any reason in paying more if the service hasn’t improved.

    I love these cat and mouse games with Corporate CSRs.

  42. jvandub says:

    I called today and told them to put me through to the Retention Dept. The man on the line said it was, I followed the directions to cancel service or downgrade. I asked him how much the price of my internet would increase when the introductory period ends and told him that 1. My apartment complex offers wifi but it is at a lower speed. 2. I can get less expensive offers from Qwest. 3. The price that he said it goes to is double the price I pay currently. He told me that Qwest’s offers are “up to” 7mb per second but they don’t guarantee. I asked him if they guarantee 4mbps on their service but he didn’t answer. I said I’ll think about it. I’ll probably just cancel service come the end of this month and get qwest or see how bad it is with my apartment wifi.

  43. Kirk Douglas says:

    I call Telus mobility every so often to complain about the service (it really isn’t that great all the time, and warrants such an action). The result of my call is usually $20 in credit to my account or an additional service on my account for 3 or so months.

    It gets better if you tell them you’re going to switch to Bell or Fido/Rogers.

  44. QadiraLimpet says:

    After reading this thread and called DirectTV. I told them I lost my job (which is true) and am looking to economize and asked if they had a less expensive package. They offered me $20 off my bill for 6 months. Nice savings for just a phone call! Thanks.

  45. FabianFlamingo says:

    I called comcast to cancel HBO and starz, and the nice lady looked me up and said that since my intro offer had expired, she could put me back into another intro offer. We have phone, internet and tv through them, so I guess she wanted to save me as a customer, but all I was trying to do was get rid of a few extra bucks a month. It saved me about $45 a month.

  46. AndreaCabeal says:

    Both Comcast and Time Warner have been more than happy to work with me on pricing. I just find some reason to phone them every 4 months or so and say ‘hay, isn’t there some kind of promotion going on?’ I think one out of five times that gets me a promo rate just by asking for it. No real need to threaten to cancel. I just ask.

  47. MKE Style says:

    I am preparing to pick up my battle with Time Warner and use this technique. I have been documenting my issues with TW for a while now http://www.everykeyword.com/milwaukee-time-warner/milwaukee-time-warner-sucks/ and have become so overwhelmed by their incompetence that I gave up for a few months. I am going to be calling them today to once again try to straighten things out. I am actually going to wear a blood pressure cuff to see if my BP spikes as bad as I feel like it does. I am hostage to TW because we cannot get any other service here. Unfortunately this really puts me in the “if you hate them that much then cancel cable” category.

    I found this site because I was looking for a website i used ten years ago to submit complaints to ADT security. The website would pick up the complaint on your behalf and badger the company to get a resolution. I wish I remembered the name of the site, they actually got me a refund from ADT when I was hitting wall after wall.

    If anyone knows how to reach the retention department at Time Warner Milwaukee without having to ask specifically for it, that would be great.