Money & Career

How to negotiate a lower rate on your phone or cable package

By: Kelley Keehn

© istockphoto.com/jonya Author: Canadian Living Credits: © istockphoto.com/jonya

Money & Career

How to negotiate a lower rate on your phone or cable package

By: Kelley Keehn
Canadians are polite by nature; we don't want to appear rude or pushy. And we're busy—who has the time to find out if we could be getting a better deal on our phone or cable packages? Now that telecoms offer bundling for your cell, landline, cable and Internet, one call could save you hundreds of dollars over the next several years. (Beforehand, take a few moments to review what you really need. Can you go without your landline? Does your family use a video-streaming service more than cable TV?) Now brew a fresh pot of coffee and settle in for a call that could pay big dividends!

Phone or cable script


You:

"Good morning/afternoon. My name is __________. I have my phone/cable/internet with your company."

Customer Service Agent:
"How can I help you today?"

You:
“I've noticed that you're offering a number of incentives to new customers. I've had my cellphone/cable/internet with you for years. I'll be honest that I'm thinking about shopping around, but I was hoping you'd save me the time by offering a few reasons to stay today and not see what your competitors can do for me.”

Customer Service Agent:
"I see you only have the one product with us. Would you be willing to move your cable and internet/phone service to us—that way I can provide you our best rate on a bundling package."

You:
"I might, but as long as you calculate my savings in dollars—not just free minutes/channels or whatever product you're giving away to new customers at the moment."

The worst that can happen is that you'll get a no in response to your request. But you don't have to accept that answer. Ask (gently) for a supervisor before you disconnect and redial to try your pitch again.

General tips to consider:
• Be honest; don't make up deals from competitors, but do cite real offers that you’re aware of or think you deserve.
• Call during business hours: Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5.p.m. This is when the most senior staff members, the ones who can approve requests, are generally working.
• If you call during a peak time, your call might be routed to a third party call centre—in this case, say that you'll call back another time.
• Remember to negotiate cost savings and freebies—you don’t have to settle for one or the other.

Find out some other ways to save on everyday items with 40 simple ways to put money back in your pocket.

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How to negotiate a lower rate on your phone or cable package

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