For the past year I've been stuck in a bundled cable contract (internet/phone/cable) that costs me, after taxes, a hefty $125 per month. I've known all this time that having the phone line has been a waste, but I've debated whether or not to cancel the cable tv. After a year of watching Bravo reality shows and Tour de France on Versus, it was decided that the cable would stay, but the phone line would still go.
Sounds like a simple savings, right? Eh, here's a (paraphrased) account of how my conversation with the phone company went:
Me: "Hi, I'd like to update my services."
Time Warner Cable: "Sure, what can we help you with?"
M: "Well, I'd like to cancel my phone line. I just don't use it enough to justify the cost."
TWC: "Okay, well your new monthly bill will increase by $10."
M: "...but I'm removing a service."
TWC: "Yes, but because of promotions..blah, blah... discounts..blah... price goes up"
M: "Well, that price just won't work for me. I'm probably going to be better off going with another company..."
TWC: "Let me see what I can do. . . . Yes, well, I see there are some discounts that I might be able to apply to your bill. How does $25 less sound?"
I found it interesting how he was able to find those discounts AFTER I mentioned going with another company.
So, in 10 minutes I went from having to pay $10 more for my services to paying $25 less. At $35/ month($420 for the year!), I'd say it was worth the tiny bit of haggling I had to endure!
I've heard this sort of strategy also works with the credit card companies and their interest rates. Have you ever haggled your way into a lower bill?