What You Say Can Save You Money

By: Stacy McCloud
By: Stacy McCloud

Knoxville (WVLT) - What if we told you that we had a way to make the next cable, telephone, internet, or credit card bill you get in the mail a lot cheaper?

Volunteer TV’s Stacy McCloud has written a simple script that she and several others in our newsroom followed that resulted in some big savings.

One phone call, five minutes, and a small script to guide me, that is all i needed and my Knology bill is a lot cheaper.

Before I paid $139.91 each month, I had slower speed broadband internet, basic digital cable with DVR, and a phone line with 5-cents a minute long distance.

After being on hold for only about two minutes, they offered me a new rate of 99.95!

Which includes an upgrade to high speed internet, digital cable with DVR, plus a movie channel and a phone line with unlimited long distance and all the calling features they have to offer.

That means more services for $40 less, with pretty much zero persuasion.

Next I went to my co-anchor Bob Yarbrough. He is a Comcast customer. When the slight mention of switching companies was brought up, they were able to give him a much better deal.

Before, the Yarbroughs had analog cable, no movie channels, and only one cable box.

After reading only a few words off this script, they have digital cable, HBO, and 2 digital cable boxes, all for the same $99 they paid before.

Moving from cable providers, to credit card companies.

"I've gotten several offers in the mail,” says producer Nancy.

Prepared with a different script, our 5:30 producer called Bankone Visa to bargain for a better interest rate.

In no time, her variable rate went down three percentage points and her fixed rate down five!

"It was so easy,” says Nancy.

Why not give it a try? It's a little effort that for all of us resulted in big savings.

While we only tested three companies, the tactic can be used with any service, any provider you currently have.

So what do you need to say to save money? Here are the scripts:

SCRIPT FOR PHONE/CABLE/INTERNET COMPANIES:

Hi, my name is ______________________________ (May need customer ID number ,address, etc.)

I would like to know exactly what services I have and how much I pay each month?

Well, I have been shopping around and have also talked to some neighbors and have found that some of your competitors are offering much better rates.

I have been a customer of yours for _____ now. I would prefer not to switch companies but I need a better rate than what I currently have

What can you offer me?

OTHER TIPS:

* If you only have Internet with your company if you agree to bundle all your services with them, when you do the math, you will likely save even more.

* Check to see how long the price is guaranteed and if you need to make any trips to pick up new boxes, etc.

SCRIPT TO GUIDE YOU WHEN CALLING CREDIT CARD COMPANIES:

Before calling you may want to make sure you have paid all your bills on time. They aren't likely to offer you anything better if you haven't been a good customer.

Hi, my name is ________________________. Can you please tell me what my current interest rate is? Okay, that is what I thought. Well, I have been receiving all sorts of great offers in the mail from different banks for a much better rate, but before I take it, I was hoping I could stay with you and you could match what they are offering or at least lower my rate.

If they claim they are not authorized, ask for a supervisor.

If they tell you that it isn't possible because your card has a fixed rate, remind them that has nothing to do with your interest rate.

If you get denied, don't give up. Wait a few months and call again! All it takes is a little persuasion and sometimes just the mention of a competitor. If you have been loyal to them, they don't want to lose you as a customer!


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