Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dont' Be Affraid to Ask

Several weeks back, we had a problem with our satellite dish.  Out of the blue, it stopped working.  After going through Technical Support and trying everything they suggested, it was necessary for a Technician to come out to the house and look at the dish. 

While on the phone, I asked my husband to ask the Customer Service Representative for a credit for the days that our dish would be out of commission, which was 5 days.  My husband thought it was absolutely absurd that I’d ask for a credit!  With no hesitation, the Customer Service Representative put through a credit, and we were informed that we’d see our bill decreased by $12 on the upcoming billing cycle.

I feel that if we are paying for a service, the service should work with no interruption.  If there is a hiccup due to equipment failure or something that is within the company’s control (and not ours), I feel we should not have to pay for that service.  And that is exactly what happened. To Todd, it was “just $12.” 

We got an introductory rate of $35.00/month for our DSL.  After the introductory rate was over, they started charging us $55/month for the same service.  I paid the extra $20/month for the next two months until I thought about how crazy it was to pay the extra charge.  I called and informed the company that we had been a faithful customer for the past several years, and I’d really like to continue to use them as my service provider.  I also mentioned that even though I liked the service they provided, I was not afraid to start looking around for a better price.  Without having to mention it twice, the Customer Service Representative stated that she would give us the same “introductory price” for another year if we agreed to stay with them for the entire year.  I gladly obliged.  The phone call took less than 5 minutes, and we saved $240/year for our DSL service just by asking.

I have done the same thing with locking in a propane rate with the propane company we use.  This one was a little tricky, because I stated a competitor’s offering and the Customer Service Representative fought me on it (and was rude to boot.)  I was all ready to start doing business with the other propane provider in our area.  Within a few days I received a letter in the mail from the Manager of the propane company stating that they would like to continue doing business with us.  The Manager was willing to lock in our rate at a price I was willing to pay on 1,000 gallons of propane good through the month of April.  I signed the commitment and sent it back that same day.  This simple phone call (even though I had to deal with a rude Customer Service Representative) saved us over $500 this year in propane charges.

My point is that we should not feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for better pricing or a credit when there is a service failure.  You may get a real grump on the other end of the line, but don’t let that ruin your day. It never hurts to ask!

As a side note: the $12 we saved on the satellite dish failure paid for Father’s Day gifts the week after.  


  1. I did this about two months ago on our satellite/phone/internet. Because we live in the "boonies" we have to have phone to have internet and our savings bundle through the phone company was $165 for all three! We just couldn't justify the cost for satellite anymore. I called the company and said we'd been a customer for over 5 years and we'd keep our satellite if we could get the new savings bundle they were advertising on their website. She said no problem and it saved us $65 a month!

  2. Lisa, now THAT'S a savings! Great job!

  3. Lisa, I did a similar thing a few months back. We have our phone,internet and TV through our cable company. We had an introductory rate of $150 a month. It jumped to almost $200!!! I called and said I needed to downgrade as I couldn't see paying that much anymore. The Customer Service Rep gave me another intro rate for $135 a month for a year. She then preceded to tell me to watch for the deals that come out and if I see something cheaper to call and ask for it. She said they would give it to me even though it is for new customers. It's all a game to them. If you don't ask you don't receive...