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:


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?


* 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.


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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  • by melissa Location: knoxville on Jun 4, 2007 at 11:48 PM
    exactley (i will ask for another one in a year)and if you dont get it you will be upset i think instead of people thinking of how to steal and rip people off they should think about the person there ripping off because if cable mproviders have it as good as you stealing supporters say then why cant we offer a senior discount to the elderly people out there that would like to have cable oh yea because we have to save the healthy stealers money will you pay for an elderly person cable OF COURSE NOT then STOP call kub and tell them this and see what happens !!!!!you get out of life what you put into it
  • by Ronnie Location: South Knoxville on Jun 1, 2007 at 07:34 AM
    I can't believe some of you are complaining about this story! Do you know why cable companies offer "promotional" discounts? BECAUSE THEY CAN! Because of this story, I received several upgrades, and reduced my bill by nearly forty dollars! I guarantee you the cable company is STILL making money on my subscription. All I told the customer rep was that I was comparing prices, and she started telling me what she could offer. No one lied, and no one is stealing anything. The deal expires in a year, then..I'll either ask for another promo or I'll go back to the package with the lesser cost. Simple. What's wrong with you people who don't want to save forty or fifty bucks a month (even if it is for 3-6-12 months), while getting more services? The consumer has the right to bargain, thanks for the reminder. Ronnie
  • by Arnold Location: Karns on May 31, 2007 at 01:20 PM
    I got on here to tell you all "thanks" because I called my cell phone company and it ends up they have a much better deal to offer. But I must say I am a little shocked that some people dont want to save money? We the consumers have the right to "bargin". To me, all this article did was remind me that I have the right to ASK for a better deal. I was like, duh, why didnt I think of this before! Obviously if they can offer the price it's because they have some special or deal. And they can always say no, but it sure don't hurt to try! I did and now pay 20 bucks less on my cell and have texting. Thanks for reminding me and giving me a professional approach to asking what they have to offer. It's not stealing, it's asking what can you do for me! I also sure would like to know who "anonymous" works for. I'd tell em great I'll cancel if a an employee said that to me! geez. Thanks wvlt .. i can sure use that extra money.
  • by Chris Location: Knoxville on May 31, 2007 at 11:36 AM
    So we're encouraging people to lie to get a temporary discount, because thats what these offers are, 6 or 12 month discounts.
  • by Jeff Location: Knoxville on May 31, 2007 at 09:42 AM
    We need more helpful topics such as this. Please cut out all of the prayers and crap unless WVLT is planning to become a TBN affiliate!
  • by Jessica Location: knoxville tn on May 31, 2007 at 12:06 AM
    Yes I would like to post a comment on this specific story. I am working for a cable company in the knoxville area. Everything has a price increase. My opinion to this would be you cant call and complaine about grocery prices, nor gas prices and these are neccesities is cable or internet a nessecity. NO! It is something you make a choice to have, not something your obligated to pay like gas to get to work or food to eat. If you want cable or internet get the package you can afford. Price increases are everywhere not just with cable. I agree with our prices because we offer alot of great products that we didnt offer 2 years ago. We also offer promotions for 3 or 6 months some of them are 1 yr. I think we are very fair when it comes to our prices and that wvlt should not of posted this.
  • by Anonymous Location: knoxville on May 30, 2007 at 11:58 PM
    I work for a one of the companies you are telling people to call into and threaten companies w/ cancelling. Im sure im not thr first to say that is not how life works, just because you want to threaten a company like that does NOT mean you will get your way. I personally know that if someone called in saying that I would let them cancel. Its not a game and the ones that think it is are crazy, those people will make it to where any company you go with phone, cable, internet, will just stop giving out discounts because people abuse it. Your news station is wrong for doing a story like this.
  • by melissa Location: knoxville on May 30, 2007 at 11:48 PM
    i think this is the most selfish nonscence i have ever seen we are teaching people to steal and are supporting it and the bad thing is its a crime and your being aloud to advertise it i work for a cable company and this is not fare for everyone involved this is a SCAM and wvlt is supporting it i will never watch this channel again
  • by David Location: Knoxville, TN on May 30, 2007 at 09:00 PM
    While this is good, what happens if an advertiser calls you and asks for a cut ad rate or they will go to Channel 6 or Channel 10? I know everyone thinks the cable and phones companies are ripping people off, but if you call and ask what kind of investments are made in the LOCAL community you may be surprised. I talked with Comcast, example, and was able to get supporting documentation that they (1) have invested over $5 MILLION (yes, with a "M") in the past few years upgrading their system to offer HD, VOD, High Speed Internet (remember when BellSouth offer high speed and it was 1 meg???---I do because I paid for it and paid more than I do now for a 8 MEG connection) and now phone service. Also they have added more channels to my lineup. Last I read in the News-Sentinal they have over 500 employees in Knoxville and are adding over 150 more to their customer support call center (you know, so local people have good jobs and when you call for assistance you get someone local and not overseas). How many does WVLT employee? What do you think all this costs? And do you think givinbg everyone a cheaper rate, sometimes at cost, will encourage more local investment? How much does Knology give back to the community? Who sponsers many of the cultural events in the area? I know this will go nowhere because it is sesational news to slam corporations these days. Did anyone interview a AT
  • by shirley Location: knoxville on May 30, 2007 at 06:58 PM
    I did this with comcast. So far, the amount quoted has not been the amount of the bill I have received. I have called comcast and the bill was adjusted but the next bill was again 50.00 more that the amount that I was quoted in the bundled services.
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