Contact Me

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How I Saved $70 With One Phone Call

When I cannot get answers or satisfaction, I have a solution. When the automated man keeps telling me he cannot understand me when I punch buttons, I fall back to this tactic. By the way, on a cell phone you can look at the screen and see what buttons/numbers you just entered. Right? When I enter my phone number correctly three times, and am told I entered my number incorrectly, I am soooo annoyed.

Anyway, I dialed the number and chose the option "if you want to cancel service." At this option, there is no menu. A real, live person answers. I live 6 blocks from our new cell tower that was installed after the tornado 14 months ago. My dropped call rate is about 15 times each day. When a call is dropped a dozen times in a 20 minute conversation, I am livid and  sometimes don't even try to continue the call by calling back for the twelfth time.  I had other complaints about service and the automated man, The retention lady took almost $70 off my bill. I was stunned. I actually just wanted them to fix the automated man's "hearing." I wonder if that will ever happen?

However, I have called to inquire about better rates. I have another deal in the works. Shockingly, I was offered $200! This week, I will make the switch.

This article explains how to save money with certain calls to the right people. I have done all the author says to get discounts. My car insurance doubled last year because of my lack of attention. If it does not go down at my next renewal, I will sadly leave my insurance carrier of the last 20 years. And, I will happily have half the car insurance cost to pay!

Your turn
Can you share some discounts you have gotten by making one phone call? Asking for a better rate? Complaining about a legitimate problem? Threatening to go elsewhere?


  1. I have no respect for the option they give. For medical stuff, I always choose the option for doctors only or for utilities - open/close. I never ever enter an account number of phone number because then they take you to a recording. It's all crazy I tell you.

  2. I agree with not giving them anything, either. I sit and just hit "0" until someone comes on the line or say "agent." That works, too. It takes so much less time and psychic energy.

  3. I so hear you about the automated man! I can't stand checking my voice mail on my cell phone because 9 times out of 10 it says "I'm sorry you have entered an incorrect password". After 3 tries it locks me out from trying for 15 minutes. I check the keypad and sure enough I know my own password. GRRRR!

  4. We ask outright for a discount. Doesn't work for utilities but cell phone and cable company ( we don't have that anymore) have taken off money or thrown in extra service for no money. Nothing spectacular lime yours but I will read that article.

    1. That was the first suggestion in the article and what I do, sometimes. Sometimes, though, going further gets what I

      I do get refunds from utility companies.

  5. Free,
    Ack! That would make me crazy to be locked out of my cell phone when I got the password right. Thankfully, I don't have my cellphone locked. And, what is it with the little "chuk, chuk, chuk" moouth noise, the irritating noise people make with their tongue when they are filling time on the phone until they can answer? I hate thatnoise from people!But, machines? ACK!

  6. I got a letter the day before our annual vacation once that told me I needed to re-register online for our online only discount on our gas/electric (deal was cheaper if you provided regular readings online). I thought "Deal with that when I get back". When I got back there was a letter saying due to my tardiness they'd reverted me to the expensive tarriff!

    Angered I called them up to complain. The guy on the end of the line started going through re-establishing my deal accepting less than two weeks wasn't enough time for me to sort it our reasonably. However after he started this he said "Why do you have two meters?" (We had an overnight rate one for electricity that had been there since we moved in). I told him that - he said "on your usage get rid of that it'll be £150 cheaper a year!"... it was - my anger was quickly subsided and I've learned to recheck every year I'm on the best deal!

  7. Furtheron, I so understand.

    I found ATT had a cheaper rate on DSL. I called and asked when this was offered. He said it was not offered to anyone. Customers had to find out about it and ask for the lower rate. I was incensed and told him that every call I made to ATT, I was bombarded/harrassed aboutsome new service I might want. He refunded me only three months of the higher rate I had been paying. Then, I asked to speak to a supervisor and explained the problem, telling her I wanted a refund for all the months the deal was in effect, not just three months. Now, like you, I call and check to see what deal I can get. Why can't they be upfront with offering lower rates?

  8. Not about saving money with a phone call, but about saving my sanity while on a phone call. When I get one of those automated systems asking me to push a number, I just pretend I don't have push button, but have rotary dial, and I wait for them to figure out I need to speak with a real live person. I don't deal well with automated systems.

  9. Lili,
    Sometimes saving my sanity is worth more than money! When I do that--pretend I have rotary--someone answers immediately! There is no long wait and no more options. If I had high blood pressure, automated systems would be the death of me.


For the present, I am taking comment moderation off the blog.