My Phone Battle & Success with AT&T Cable & Internet

Well, well, it seems as though Bert was driving off of what I was able to accomplish with my mom’s package with AT&T recently/earlier this month.  You know how this battle goes – price is too high, you don’t want to pay/can’t afford that service, want to save money to invest/act more frugal, but that does mean one thing we all dread… Calling your cable/internet provider.  Luckily, I don’t have cable at my house, but my mom does, to which she wants to keep it.  Well, I wanted to put the gloves on and go to battle for her, did I come out the victor?  Let’s see how this went down and who stood at the end…

att_416x416boxing-gloves

The Situation with AT&T:

My mom’s situation was this.  She needs to reduce her bills, AT&T/DirectTV combination of internet + TV was costing her approximately, at this point, $130/month (give or take $10).  That wasn’t cutting it.  She has no children left in the “coup” and needs to reduce her bills, plain and simple.  I know Bert had recently wrote about his debate right now and it sprung up due to what I had done for my mom.   I would do anything for my mom, and one thing I always want to try and do is reduce her stress.  Heck, here we are attempting to save 60% of our income each month, and my goal is always to try and reduce my mom’s bills to get her to a savings percentage.  Bottomline, her bills were going through the roof with AT&T (though we love you as a foundation stock, your prices sometimes suck!), and it was time for a call.  My mom doesn’t like making these types of phone calls, and well, that’s where I come into play and bring out the Italian into picture.  Anything for mom, right?  Well, listed below are tips, points and the ultimate outcome:

Tips & Pointers in reducing your Bill:

How I came across – as pointers:

1.) I was very polite and sincere on the phone.  How did I accomplish this?  I really talked about who my mom is and what she was actually looking for/using cable/directTV.  I simply said – she watches 2 channels – FoodNetwork and HGTV.  She is struggling with her finances and needs to reduce her bills.  She has enjoyed your service for the last few years+ but is only in a state of financial position to afford $60 per month maximum on her television cable/dish package.  What can you do to keep her and what is available out there?  I felt like laying this ground work actually showed the representative that – No, we don’t want premium channels in HBO, Showtime, etc.  No, my 50+ year old mother does not watch sports.  No, my mom does not need the 150+ channels that you typically try to sell and add, or currently have her set with.  No, she doesn’t want to switch cell phone providers or add a phone line to increase her bill.  The representative knew her state and wanted to work with us to keep the relationship.  Honesty and being Genuine.

2.) Asking for a discount.  Similar to how Bert wrote about this last year in asking for a discount – that is ALSO what I did.  I asked for some sort of promotional discount to achieve my mom’s goal of having <$60 spent on her television viewing package.  Guess what?  They threw in a $5 off promotion on her package for 12 months.  That doesn’t seem like a lot but it is approximately 15%+ on what she is subscribed for.   Further, I asked for a promotion on her internet that was $47/month – aka ridiculous.  What did they do?  Cut in Half.  See the support for both of these below:

Loyalty supportLoyalty Supprt #2

Ask and You Shall Receive (well… most of the time!)

3.) Asked to remove all of the extra bills she pays – insurance on the equipment (equipment she doesn’t even own?!), and sent back 2 receivers, as all of her children have moved out.  Why pay for 4 receivers when she only uses 1?  We kept another one in the family room for when we are home.  This is where if you don’t watch the bill, they can get you.  Premium fee on an HD receiver here, paying for remotes and paying just to even look at the cable box you have in there.  Cut out the items you don’t need, plain and simple.  Be Honest with yourself and with your bill.

Summary, Savings & Conclusion:

Let’s just say, after all of this was said and done, her savings (before tax), was $88.48.  Amazing.  Holy Crap.  What would you do with an extra $88 in your pocket?  At a 4% yield, that would take an investment of $2,212 to receive that ONCE for the year.  In this situation, when annualized at 4%, this would need a $26,544 to produce that much income per month… and we did this savings with a simple phone call.  It is a very close equivalent of having an extra $88.48 of cash flow each month.  See the Snapshot below of the before and after picture.  I know it’s not the prettiest, but I think it does justice, eh?   I think saving this much per month allows you to reach closer to your goals no doubt and is just a good showcase of why I currently do not have cable at my house.

Cable Save(*the internet is now the 2nd fastest instead of my mom having the fastest internet AT&T could provide, my mom definitely doesn’t need that!)

So, now that I’m showing you proof that is in the pudding – are you amped up to do the same?  Can you accomplish this or even better?  DO YOU have your OWN SUCCESS story such as this?  First – we would love to hear it, PLEASE share it with us and secondly – any tips to reduce this bad boy even further?  Would love additional insight on what you are doing to reduce your bills.  I hope my mom can feel this difference, I really do.  Thanks everyone for stopping by, PUMPED to hear what everyone has to add in on this.  Thanks and good luck to everyone on their journey!

-Lanny

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22 thoughts on “My Phone Battle & Success with AT&T Cable & Internet

  1. Nice work, that’s a pretty impressive reduction in costs. I used to bounce from Direct TV, to ATT Uverse, to Time Warner Cable. I would just cancel every year when the great new customer promo ended and start over with another company, rinse and repeat – quite a pain though.

    Again impressive reduction, short of cutting the cord altogether that’s pretty good.

          • Serious, but I spent 1 1/2 hours on the phone with a district manager. (I was commuting to work in LA so I had the time.) They had offered a discounted rate and the sales rep offered me one of those rebate cards in the mail, I never got the card. Upon following up on the rebate card I was told that reps weren’t allowed to offer both the rebate I received and a rebate card in the mail. It got escalated to a district manager because I was requesting a copy of the recording they make during the sign up. (this call may be recorded for quality purposes). The DM refused to provide the recording saying it was an internal quality control only, I suggested he at least find the recording and listen to it. He offered the low cost internet to make up the difference in the visa gift card I was promised. I wouldn’t let it go because it wasn’t the deal I signed up for and I didn’t receive the card I was promised. I believe they use the rebate cards in hopes people forget about them.

  2. Wow! This is one of the greatest success I’ve ever read about in trying to get a cable/internet provider to lower their prices. To reduce the cost for internet service at our new house, we accepted a promo rate that included basic cable channels. I could hardly believe that adding cable TV saved us money, at least for the next 10 months. Nice work!

      • We signed up for a 12-month promotion, no contract required! By accepting the basic cable package, they gave us a discount of about $10/month on the internet and the cable package is free. We looked at every provider in the area and Comcast had the best rate–so far, so good!

  3. I recently had a similar experience and it went pretty well. You’re right about asking for a discount. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive it. Of course, handling yourself well on the phone is a critical success factor (as you pointed out)!

    Thanks,
    Laura Beth

    • Laura,

      I agree – the way you make yourself sound and work with the representative goes a long way. Being open to talking helps for sure – and hit it on the money – won’t receive unless you ask when working through these items. What did you end up doing? Mind sharing?

      -Lanny

  4. I use AT&T for internet as well… They are overpriced but the hassle of switching keeps me with them (for now). I wonder if there will ever be an Amazon-level customer friendly business to jump into the internet provider market and take share from AT&T and Verizon?

    • Ben at Sure Div,

      I’m wondering, as well, if we will get the no-hassle, unnecessary reel and deal that we have to do. One of life’s biggest stresses is negotiating – I get a kick out of it, but definitely wish it wasn’t necessary. Have any success stories to share?

      -Lanny

  5. Well done, that is a great negotiation result and some serious monthly savings! I used to have similar issues with Rogers and Bell. There is certainly a moat in terms of difficulty switching providers. This works well for investors, but not so well for customers. In the end, I cut the cord. I could not justify spending high monthly fees for large channel packages 98% of which I never watched. I find I can get by with Netflix, Cineplex and iTunes. I miss out on live sports, but if I really need to see a game, I’ll head to a friend’s place or a sports bar.

    • DivNiche,

      What is cineplex?! Agreed, sometimes it’s just easier cutting the cord – seeing it at a friends or going to a bar for sports is a good alternative, I’d say, even if you purchase a meal or buy a beer.

      -Lanny

      • Hi Lanny,

        Cineplex (CGX) is Canada’s largest movie theatre company. This company has a mixed portfolio of bricks and mortar theatres, one of the top customer loyalty programs in Canada (50/50 partnership with BNS), and an online store where you can purchase and stream movies. I believe AMC would be an equivalent in the US. Cheers

  6. I have been doing this for my dad for a number of years. I have been successful each year so far at reducing his bill by 10 dollars a month just by asking. It is well worth the time and effort to call them. The answer is always a no unless you ask.

    • Andrew,

      You got it. The sad part is – we have to do it every year. Every. Single. Year. They are relentless and well, it’s tough to say – but I guess sadly they are in the business of making money (which is hard because I own AT&T stock… haha). Either which way – have to always look out on what service you want and what you can afford. Nice job Andrew.

      -Lanny

  7. @ Dividend Chimp —
    — That is sick. Bottomline – you never gave up and wanted what was promised and BOOM you got it without giving in during the fight. Impressive and we can all take note here, NICE.

    -Lanny

  8. I cut the cord and only have Comcast internet. Once my other promo ended, I just lowered it down to the cheapest tier (3MB/1MB for $29.95 mo) This works fine just for internet browsing. I waited about a month then called back and asked if they had any promos for me. Not this time. So I just waited another few weeks and called back. They gave me the Blast speed (50MB I think) for the same price for 1 year! I’ve done this before and also when I had the TV/ Internet combo. Plus sometimes with TV they would add in some free movie channels for 3 mo to a year. Learn to be a good negotiator. I’ve saved a lot and got more for my money with many things in my life this way.

    • Bigmak,

      Nice work my man! Love the – don’t give up and keep calling approach. And bang – got what you wanted and then some, eh? That’s what it’s about, stating what you want as a consumer and seeing if you can work with the provider. Congrats and thank you for sharing your success story!

      -Lanny

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