When to Tell Them What You Can Spend

A year or more ago I called the cable company’s retention department and told them I could only spend $60 a month for cable and internet. They made it happen. This worked because I spoke with the retention department, not sales. Their job is to keep customers.

That was a time to tell them what I could spend.

That company has since been bought out, and my bill gradually inched up. So, I called a rival company. They spent twenty minutes trying to get me to tell them all about what shows I like and what channels I prefer. I kept telling them I just want the cheapest plan. They kept enticing me with HGTV and ESPN. If I had let them suck me in, I could have ended up with an expensive package of shows I LIKE, not the low-cost service I NEED.


There are times to keep your spending ability a secret:

Never tell a car dealer how much you can afford. Do the research and negotiate the lowest price. If you tell them what you can afford, they’ll be sure to charge you at least that much. Same with repairs. First, find out what’s wrong with it and what they estimate it will cost. Then you can discuss less expensive alternatives. Tell any salesperson or service provider you can spend X amount, and you are leading them into the temptation of selling you something that costs that much.



$10 Off

One time when I was discussing my cable and internet bill with my provider, they offered a bundle that included “free” landline. When I told them you couldn’t pay me to have a landline, they gave me ten dollars off the package of internet and cable only.

Communication: Make the Cable/Internet Company Jealous

I was considering getting my internet from a different company where it was less costly. That would break up the bundle with the company I have now, so I’d only have cable with them.

When I talked with the sales department at my current company, they didn’t have an offer for slower internet and just basic cable that was less than $120 a month. That’s outside my comfort zone.

I priced internet alone at the competitor. Then I called back and asked for the department that handles reducing or cancelling service (instead of the sales department). Suddenly, they could give me 2 mbps internet and basic cable for $60. 2 mb is more than plenty for what I do. No one here plays graphics-intensive mmogs.

Make them think you’re transferring your affections to another, and suddenly they can offer a competitive rate.