I don’t like to call companies that provide me with in-home services. I also don’t like pressing ten buttons just to go to the right machine and ten more to go to the right person. I don’t like being put on hold, and I certainly don’t like strangers treating me rudely when I’m the customer.
However, I like to save money and reduce my bills. And when I can make a significant reduction, it’s worth dealing with annoying, annoying pain and annoying phone systems and service reps.
Use this six-part phone call checklist to make sure you’re not overpaying in your payments every month.
1. Mortgage company
Some of the best trading opportunities are based on your ability to maintain your trading contacts. I am still in contact with the person who took care of the closing of my first house, and that was ten years ago. I make sure to contact him (as well as many other business contacts) as he has a wealth of information and often saves me money. I see my mortgage broker once every few months, just to see if he thinks I could save money by refinancing my mortgage.
If you call your mortgage broker, you’ll also get great information on how to appeal your property tax assessment, which can save you thousands of dollars. It will also educate you on relevant housing market trends and tell you whether you should consider refinancing or getting a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC).
2. Insurance agent
Don’t forget your insurance agent while you follow your business contacts. For auto, home, health, or any other insurance, an agent can provide you with more personalized service than you are used to in most large companies. I have known and done business with the same insurance agent for 15 years. My independent agent and I have built a great relationship as I believe she provides unbiased advice. I call her every now and then to let her know about changes in my personal life that could save me money.
If you have experienced a major event in your life (such as a marriage, divorce, or the death of a family member), moved or made certain improvements to your home, or if your employment status has changed, talk to en to your agent. Even if you don’t think you’ve had a major change, regular check-ins with your agency will allow you to receive updates on policies and regulations that will save you money.
3. Mobile phone company
I make sure to call my cell phone provider once or twice a year to find out if I could get by on a smaller plan or if there are any discounts or specials I’m eligible for. Sometimes they even have deals on new devices that are discounted or even free.
Remember, if there’s a new promotion that could save you money, they’re unlikely to call you to tell you about it. Be careful, however, not to be reluctantly forced to sign a new annual contract just by trying to get a discount. If you’re ready to renew, always try to negotiate, and if you’re not ready, make sure specials don’t require any commitment in the fine print.
For even more tips, here are some creative ways to lower your monthly cell phone bills.
4. Internet service provider
Make sure you know your high speed internet service provider. They probably increase their rate by a few dollars every few months, so hold them accountable and see if you can talk them off sometimes. The last time I called and asked about current promotions for existing customers, I got a $ 10 credit on each monthly bill for six months. Before that, I qualified for a $ 50 gift card to upgrade my service. The monthly amounts alone weren’t a huge savings, but together they added a nice cut to my bill.
5. Cable or satellite television provider
If your ISP and your TV company are not the same, you should call your cable or satellite TV provider several times a year. Like their ISP, they always add fees and increase fees, and will only refund money to customers who are brave enough to ask.
I recently called my satellite TV provider, DIRECTV, because a $ 15 monthly credit had expired. I basically said I couldn’t afford that extra $ 15 a month and wanted to cut down on my channel bundle. I even mentioned that he could fall into the service of a competitor. Guess what? They extended the loan for another six months. We all know that the market for cable and satellite television is very competitive. The best companies are also taking note and will do anything to prevent you from abandoning them.
6. Movies, magazines and other subscriptions
You can also take advantage of companies that fear competition in other areas. For example, if you are using a subscription service for DVDs (eg Netflix vs Blockbuster) and you get a promotional offer from a competitor, call your provider. Tell them your rate has gone up but the service hasn’t changed and you’re ready to change. Tell them how many years you have been with them and that they are about to lose their loyalty. They often match the offer you received in the mail.
Magazine publishers hate losing subscribers. That’s why you see so many 90% off offers and free offers. Before renewing a previous subscription, call the magazine and see if you can get a new promotional rate for the renewal.
There you go: six phone calls you can make to save money on your monthly bills. Pick one from the list every two months or call each one twice a year, and you’ll end up seeing your amounts owed go down. Some of the individual savings might not be huge, but if you put them all together and can find a way to save $ 100 per month, that translates to $ 1,200 at the end of the year. While I don’t like having to call these companies for anything, if I can save $ 1,200 a year, those phone calls will become a little less annoying.
Do you have any other phone calls you can make to save on your monthly bills? Who are you calling and how much are you saving?