A battle for better internet rates
Hello All, Guest post today…. Mr. Roamer, but don’t worry, my grammar and story telling isn’t much worse than the Mrs.
Well lets get too it:
After returning from the mail box last Monday afternoon, we discovered that AT&T no longer was providing us with the promo rate of $25.95 a month (6 mbps down, 1 up for the tech savvy). They had hiked the rate up to $52.00 a month. I was speechless and frankly, kinda pissed off. I told the wife that I would call the next day and talk some sense into them.
Flash forward to the next day. I called during my morning “break” at work (first mistake). And proceeded to kindly ask the customer service agent for a better rate, after all they don’t set the rate, no point in making their day worse. After about 3 minutes on the phone and getting nowhere except for a very pathetic offer of $42 a month for the same service, I proceeded to say “I want to cancel my service”. (first correct move).
That was promptly responded to by something like “Let me transfer you to our customer retention department” (now I was getting somewhere).
Trying to remain professional at work, I quickly word vomited “I am at work so if it takes longer than 5 minuets to transfer, I will have to hang up”. That’s where I shot myself in the foot letting them know I was in a rush. And I would bet any money that was relayed to the next agent. The Customer Retention agent joined the line promptly at 4 minutes and 59 seconds (of course). She offered the same deal as the first agent but also offered an upgraded $35 a month for double my current speed (12 down, 2 up). She ignored my pleas of maintaining my current speed for the same price or at a substantial discount from the $42 offered so in a last ditch effort, I attempted to call their bluff and say “Ill just cancel my service”
Her response wasn’t anything like what I was hoping for… “Ok, we are sorry to see you go…” (strike three) And then it was done.
Deciding that a blog kinda needs home internet for posting (among the other internet dependent items at our home) I decided to do some research on the providers and rates in our area.
On Wednesday night, I was ready to do battle and this time with the power of knowledge to back me up (and not being in a hurry). Talk about starting off with an awkward conversation asking to un-cancel the internet service I canceled the day before… Anyways, after explaining the situation this agent offered me the same deals as the reps from the day before. But using the research and competitors pricing I had put together, I kindly pushed and pushed until he told me “I can double your previous speed for $28 a month”
In my book, I called it SUCCESS!!!
My Negotiation Advice
So if you want to negotiate with these crooks, here’s my advice:
1. Set aside some real time (the second call took over an hour with the first thirty being on hold)
2. Price out all the providers in your area and have it available.
3. Don’t threaten to cancel if you have the service, because apparently they don’t need the business that bad. (Mrs. Roamer here: I’d have to disagree I think cancelling played a major role in getting the better rate as in, We don’t mess around!)
4. Using your research, have at maximum cost you would be willing to pay and kindly push back until your happy.
Hope this helps you out.
Mrs. note: So in the end we went 3 days without internet and Mr. Roamer was able to negotiate price down to $28 with supposedly an increase in speed but I can’t really tell the difference on that last part.