It’s a common money-saving tip repeated just about anywhere you find money-saving tips. If you want to save money on something that you subscribe to (particularly cable TV), give them a call and threaten to cancel. They’ll slash your rate and maybe even shower you with freebies in order to keep you from walking away. Only a retention rep at Verizon called Dan’s bluff and wouldn’t lower his rate now that he’s out of his initial two-year contract. He’s prepared to leave, but really doesn’t want to. Have you managed to finagle a lower rate out of Verizon or another telecom? If so, how? [More]
If you don’t know when you’re doing when you’re out shopping for a car, you can easily fall victim to savvy salesmen willing to take you for a ride. But if you know what to look out for and act decisively, the experience doesn’t have to be awful. [More]
When you open up a medical bill your’e usually not stunned by how little the doctor is charging you. Inflated charges, which seem to be the norm in the industry, would be laughable if their implications weren’t so crushing. But an invoice doesn’t have to be the amount you end up paying. [More]
If you’ve ever gotten your way with customer service reps who seemed bent on denying you request, it probably wasn’t because you lost your temper. [More]
Reader Courtney was on a promotional plan with Comcast that she didn’t know about, so when it expired she was unhappy to find out that Comcast would rather let her switch to the competition than give her a deal. [More]
Reader Lane wants to know if other readers out there have experienced the following scenario from DirecTV. You think you are paying too much so you call to negotiate. They offer you a discount, then raise your rates. When you call to cancel, they threaten to bill you for the “discounts” you were getting. [More]
Oscar is being held hostage in the latest battle between the New York City-area ABC affiliate and cable provider Cablevision. At midnight last night, ABC7 cut off their feed to Cablevision, leaving millions Oscarless. This caught our attention not only because it was a spectacularly obnoxious negotiating ploy on ABC’s part, but also because local media are giving Cablevision customers some pretty bad advice. [More]
Responding to last week’s post about a guy who couldn’t get IKEA to sell him a desk it had in plain view because the store does its restocking overnight, Ross writes in with a story of how he found himself in a similar situation. Only Ross came out a winner by guilting the staff into shipping the item to him for free. [More]
Comcast agreed to lower reader O.’s monthly cable bill to $40, but they didn’t warn him that the new, lower price would come with a hefty $150 early termination fee. O. could barely afford Comcast’s service before, and wouldn’t have agreed to the lower fee if he knew about the surprise fee. Comcast is telling him that he has no choice but to pay, and won’t even let him return to his previous plan.
Too often, when we post about undeserved credit card rate hikes, a few readers will justify the credit card company’s actions by pointing out that the OP is, in pure business terms, a bad customer. If you’re a consumer, this is the worst way to visualize your business relationship with your credit card company. Here’s why.
Update: A deal has been reached. Crisis averted. Viacom is demanding that Time Warner Cable pay more for the right to broadcast its networks, but TWC has refused. Tonight at midnight, 13.3 million subscribers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Cleveland will feel the effects of the stalemate first hand when Viacom makes good on its threat to pull all of its networks from TWC. Translation: no more “The Daily Show,” “Dora the Explorer,” “The Colbert Report,” “The Hills,” etc. But hey, there’s always Hulu and BitTorrent, right?
Assuming negotiations succeed, you’ll have your Pandora to listen to after all. On Tuesday, Congress passed the Webcaster Settlement Act, which gives Internet radio stations like Pandora until February 2009 to reach a new royalty agreement with copyright holders; if they meet the deadline, the government will not interfere, which is great news since it was the gov’s Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) that set the current market-killing fees in the first place.
If arguing for completely getting out of your AT&T early-termination-fee isn’t your thing, you can try doing what Felix did and get 75% off it.
New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson has proposed tying a Cable Consumer Bill of Rights into the 10-year franchise renewals Time Warner and Cablevision are expected to sign later this year. The proposal would force cable operators to disclose information about their expenses and service goals—which sounds nice and important on paper—but wastes an unrivaled opportunity to end the cable operators’ most hated practices.
Moriconi writes in to tell us how he was able to save $950 this week by uprooting the hidden fees and renegotiating the things in his life he was paying too much for. Awesome! Here’s his true story: