Negotiation is a critical life skill whether you like it or not. Still, lots of people hate negotiating.
I wrote this article to show you how to negotiate with Comcast, one of the most hated companies in America, and save a bunch of money on your cable bill.
Here are some success stories:
Bro, you rock!! SAVED 600.00 a year!! Rock on! – Chris
Just called and was very sincere and nice and laughed like it wasn’t a big deal. Got my bill reduced by $10 and got HBO forever. BOOM. – Angelina
Thanks for the pointers! Your article provided me with the idea to get a $600 savings this year! Thats a free car payment on my new Camaro SS! – Larry
Existing HD Preferred XF service lowered from $169.95 to $109.99. Got BLAST fee waived (was $10/mo). That’s $600 savings for one year… accomplished in 10 minutes’ time. Thanks for the tips! – Elle
You, too, can learn to negotiate like a pro.
3 Things To Remember
1. Comcast needs you more than you need Comcast.
Internet service providers (ISPs), like Comcast, spend thousands of dollars, acquiring you as a customer. The last thing an ISP wants is to lose you as a customer for a few hundred dollars.
If you pay $200 per month for cable, phone, and the Internet, you pay your ISP $2,400 per year. When you multiply that number by 30,000,000 subscribers, following the Comcast-Time Warner deal, it is easy to see how Comcast makes so much money.
Imagine that you were Comcast for a second. Would you rather make $1,200 per year to keep a customer or $0 per year to lose a customer, knowing that your competitor is now making $1,200 per year on that very same customer?
When you approach the negotiation, remember that Comcast wants your money. If given the choice between some money and no money, greedy companies like Comcast choose some money every time. Use that knowledge to your advantage when you negotiate.
Look. I have been a Comcast customer for five years. In that five years, I never missed a single payment. I also know that Comcast spent a lot of money acquiring me as a customer. Now, what can you do for me?
2. Being nice goes a long, long way.
Everyone knows that Comcast’s customer service sucks. That is an indisputable fact.
Most customers lose their cool and unleash fury on Comcast’s customer service representatives. However, you should still use your manners and be nice. After all, their job sucks way more than your single phone call.
Imagine how much you would hate talking to angry Comcast customers every day of your life. You sit on the phone all night talking to irate customers, and all that you have to show for it is a lousy paycheck every two weeks that makes you realize how much you hate your life.
When you treat the customer service representative with dignity and respect, they will work a lot harder to help you find a great deal.
So be nice. Niceness goes a long way in negotiation.
Good morning/afternoon/evening! How are you today? How is your week/weekend going? (Actually listen to their reply.) That’s great to hear/I hope it gets better. I would like to talk about my bill and look for some ways to lower the price that I’m paying for cable, phone, and Internet. What are your current promotions?
3. Be firm in your commitment to get a better rate.
Being nice and being firm are different things. While you do not want to be a pushover, you can politely stand your ground in the negotiation, stating your demands in a courteous, respectful way.
Tell the customer service representative exactly what you want and be firm about it. If they do not give you what you want, let them know. Again, be nice.
While I appreciate the offer, I cannot accept because the price is way too high. [Company #1], [Company #2], and [Company #3] have much better promotions. What can you do for me?
Prepare For Your Negotiation
Every negotiation requires preparation. While tedious at times, preparation pays. To get the most out of your negotiation with Comcast, you need to do two things.
1. Pay your bills on time.
In a perfect world, you have a perfect payment history. In other words, you always pay on time. Paying your bills on time, every time puts you at an advantage in a negotiation because prompt, consistent payments prove that you are a valuable customer.
Comcast will check your payment history when you call, especially if you want to lower your rate. Remember that Comcast spends a lot of money chasing people down to get payments for services. If you are not one of those people, then you are saving Comcast money, which means that you can request additional savings on your bill.
If you don’t pay your bills on time, don’t be surprised if Comcast “cannot find any promotions for you.” Comcast always finds promotions for me because I always pay on time, every time.
2. Research current promotions.
Negotiations are won with information, not force. That is why it is important to do some competitive research and find promotions offered by other ISPs.
What should you look for?
- One-time fees: modem, router, contract termination, etc.
- Recurring fees: monthly promotion price, modem rental, monthly post-promotion price, etc.
- Plan types: contract, no contract
- Contract length: 6, 12, or 24 months
- Customer reviews: Google, Yelp!, etc.
Your Negotiation Plan
A plan of action is the key to any successful negotiation. If you do not come to the table with a plan of action, you are going to lose.
Comcast and other large companies use a series of scripts designed to “idiot-proof” their customer service and get more of your hard-earned money. They have scripts for acquiring new customers, upgrading existing customers, preventing cancellations, and more.
Well, I want to help you fight fire with fire. So here is a list of steps and scripts that you can use to negotiate with Comcast.
1. Call Comcast.
Call Comcast and navigate your way through their automated phone labyrinth to Comcast’s cancellation department. Speaking with any other department is a waste of your time.
The cancellation department has access to the best deals and has the authority to give you the best deals. Calling the cancellation department is also the fastest way to get a real human on the phone.
2. Cancel your service.
Do not mince words. Tell the customer service representative that you want to cancel your service because Comcast is charging you too much money and other companies offer better service at lower prices.
Hi. I would like to cancel my service.
When the customer service representative asks why you want to cancel your service, tell them:
I noticed that my bill increased recently and found some great promotions at other companies. Comcast is too expensive. Please, cancel my service.
The customer service representative will read you a script to you about how much Comcast values you as a customer. All I hear is “blah, blah, blah.” At some point in the script, the rep will ask you if they can try to find you a better deal. Play hard-to-get and say something like:
Sure, go ahead. But, you need to find a pretty amazing deal to beat your competitors.
While Comcast is the only game in town for some parts of the United States, most regions have a few competitors. If Comcast does not give you what you want, remember that another company will.
3. Listen to your offers.
Assuming that you did everything right so far, Comcast will offer you a promotion to lower your price and keep you as a customer.
If you truly like the offer, accept it. Who knows? Comcast might offer you a great deal from the start, but you may want to push a little more.
That is a decent offer, but I’d like a better deal. What else can you offer?
You may be able to help your case if you tell the rep your priorities. For example, you may agree to a contract if it means that you can keep your price low for a long time. Or you may agree to a bundled package if it means that you can get a lower starting price.
Get creative and bring multiple issues to the table. The more issues you bring, the more flexibility you have to create the best deal for you.
You know, I really don’t care about an amazing promotion price that doubles after six months. I would rather have a reasonable price over a long period of time. What can you do for me?
4. Ask for their manager.
Sometimes, the rep will tell you that they cannot give you a better deal. That may or may not be true. To check, ask to speak to their manager. Usually, managers have more authority than reps and can often give you a better deal than an entry-level rep.
Asking for the manager does two things:
- it shows the company that you’re serious about your service
- it gets you on the phone with someone who can actually give you the best deal
If you want to get a really sick discount, you need to speak to a manager.
I appreciate your effort and understand that you cannot give me a better deal. Can I please speak to your manager? Maybe they can help us find a better deal.
5. Negotiate a better deal.
Once you have the manager on the phone, explain the situation and the offer that you received from the customer service representative. Tell the manager that, while the customer service representative was helpful, you do not like the offer and give them your reason(s) for rejecting it.
Jim was very helpful and gave me some options. But, the price is still too high. As you can see, I have been a customer for a long time and have always paid my bills on time. I like my service but cannot afford to pay such a high price for it. What can you do for me?
Now, stop talking and let the manager find a better deal for you. Either they will find a better deal or they will agree to cancel your service. So you will either save money with Comcast or with someone else. No matter what happens, you win.
If the manager finds a better deal for you and you like it, then accept the offer and enjoy your new, low rate. If the manager tells you that they do not have a better offer, thank them for their time and ask them to cancel your service.
Wow. That’s really all you can do? Well, I appreciate the effort, but I still need to cancel. Can you please cancel my service?
Case Study: My Last Negotiation With Comcast
Using this exact process, I called Comcast and lowered my bill from $104 per month to $74 per month, an annual savings of $360! While I originally wanted the Internet only, I actually saved more money by keeping basic cable.
Oftentimes, companies bundle services together to “save you money.” In reality, they get you to switch all of your services to one provider, like Comcast, so that they can slowly increase your service fees to get more of your hard-earned money.
That is why you must look at the big picture and switch service providers every now and then. Yes, it is annoying to switch providers, but switching could save you hundreds of dollars per year and take just a few minutes of your time.
Now, take action or nothing changes.
This article means nothing if you don’t act on it.
So call Comcast right now (1-800-934-6489) and use this guide to save money on your cable, phone, and Internet service. If they don’t give you what you want, visit BroadbandNow.com to compare deals in your area.
Remember that saving $10 per month saves you $120 per year. If you lower your monthly bill by $30/mo, you will save $360 over the course of the next year. You can buy a lot of cool stuff for $360.
While saving a few hundred dollars is fun, switching careers and growing your salary from $40,000 per year to $100,000+ per year, in four years, is WAY more fun.