Feeling sticker shock every time a phone, cable or internet bill arrives? Depending on which company provides the service, lower rates may be just a phone call away.
Earlier this year, LendEDU analyzed data from Truebill, a personal finance tracker, budget planner and bill reminder app that helps people manage their subscriptions, to determine which service providers are most likely to drop their prices if asked.
The bad news is that if you use T-Mobile, you’re unlikely to get a price break. T-Mobile customers had a 10% to 19% success rate when trying to negotiate down their bills. LendEDU says that’s “far and away the lowest success rate” of the 17 service providers included in the analysis.
However, you’ll have better luck with the following 14 service providers, which had the highest negotiation success rates:
- SiriusXM: 80% of customers, or more, are successful in negotiating down their bill with this company, LendEDU’s analysis found.
- Suddenlink: 80% or more
- CenturyLink: 80% or more
- Dish Network: 80% or more
- Optimum Cable Vision: 70%-79%
- Sprint Wireless: 70%-79%
- ADT Security: 70%-79%
- DirecTV: 70%-79%
- AT&T: 60%-69%
- Cox Communications: 60%-69%
- Verizon Wireless: 60%-69%
- Frontier: 50%-59%
- Charter Spectrum: 50%-59%
- RCN: 50%-59%
So, how much money do you stand to save by asking a service provider for a better rate?
For 16 of the 17 companies included in LendEDU’s analysis, customers received 10% to 29% in savings, on average. However, SiriusXM was willing to drop prices by an average of 40% or more for those who asked.
How to negotiate your bills
When it comes to this method of lowering bills, you have two options: Negotiate them yourself, or use a service that will do the negotiating for you.
Negotiating yourself is technically as simple as picking up the phone and asking for a lower rate. Companies may be more likely to do so if, as leverage, you mention that you’re thinking of canceling their service or that you’ve received a better offer from a competitor.
If you’d rather not make those calls, you could enlist the help of a third-party service such as Trim or BillCutterz. These services do all the negotiating on your behalf. If they succeed, they take a cut of the money they save you.
You can read more about Trim in “This Tool Makes It Easy to Slash Bills and Build Savings.”
Have you ever successfully negotiated lower rates? Tell us how much you saved and how you did it in the comments below or on our Facebook page.