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Between your cell phone, cable, internet, car insurance and other bills, you may feel overwhelmed. Customers often think that pricing plans are set in stone, but that isn’t true. You may be able to get significant savings on some or all of your regular monthly expenses simply by contacting the companies and asking for discounts.

Why Companies May Reduce Your Bills
Businesses typically offer low introductory rates to attract new customers, and then prices go up after the initial period. Companies want to keep loyal customers happy and avoid losing them to competitors. If you have been a customer for several years and you have consistently paid your bills on time, a business may be willing to give you a lower rate to keep you as a customer. The company most likely won’t contact you and offer a price break, however. You will have to ask for it.

How to Lower Your Bills
Make a list of all the companies that send you bills or that bill you automatically on a monthly basis. Then contact their customer service departments to inquire about price reductions.

Begin by mentioning how long you have been a customer and say that you want to get the best rate possible. If you have heard about a promotion the company is offering or have received an offer from a competitor, bring that up. If you belong to any clubs or professional organizations, mention that, since it may qualify you for a discount. 

Be friendly but assertive. The company may be more willing to work with you if you say that you’re thinking about switching to a competitor. 

A customer service representative may be able to reduce your monthly bill, match a competitor’s offer, or give you the rate that is offered to new customers. You may also qualify for a discount if you pre-pay for six months or a year at a time, instead of being billed monthly. Some businesses may not be able or willing to lower your bill, but they may offer you upgrades, such as additional TV channels or faster internet. 

If the first person you speak with doesn’t have the authority to lower your bill, ask to be transferred to someone who has that authority. If it becomes clear that the company cannot or will not lower your bill, ask for something else, such as upgraded service. 

You May Be Surprised by How Much Money You Can Save
In a competitive marketplace, companies know that it’s easier to keep a current customer than to attract a new one. You may not be able to get a reduction in your mortgage or car loan payments, but you may be able to cut your other regular expenses with a series of short phone calls. It can’t hurt to ask.

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