Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tough times call for tough negotiating


I remember a class I took many years ago where the instructor claimed that "anything is negotiable". This story in the Wall Street Journal certainly supports his argument.

Tired of the high price of his cable bill, a man called his TV, phone & Internet provider, AT&T, for a better rate and was successful. As my dad would say, "let that be a lesson for you".
Cable Bill High? Phone Costs Up? Now, Let's Talk - WSJ.com

2 comments:

David Martin said...

Dan,
That's a very good article. I actually had a similar thing happen to me. I went to my in-laws to try and save them some money on their cable bill by getting rid of their rented modem, and install a modem that my parents had just laying around. Well, after talking to customer service,billing,and tech support, I couldn't get them to recognize the modem (I think it was too old). I was joking with the customer service rep about giving my in-laws credit because they were nice people, and she actually did! She cut their bill down from $29.99/mo to 19.99/mo and extended the promotional period! Good service.

However, the story doesn't touch on one of the most important issues in saving money on your bill: Availablity of other competitors in your area. As Om Malik, from Giga OM, points out on his Blog, you have to be ready to walk away and go to a competitor. For many of our subscribers, they don't really have any other choice!

Dan Gallant said...

David -
A great story! I recently had a similar experience in a Bloomington hotel. I happened to mention that the rate was lower the same time last year, and without blinking an eyelash, got last years rate!

Your point on the availability of a competitor is well taken, however many companies are prepared to lower rates, rather than take a chance of losing a customer in hard economic times. I guess the point is, it doesn't hurt to ask!