Ever look at your Internet bill and wonder how you ended up paying this much? You are not alone. A majority of surveyed Americans feel that they are paying too much. But most of those customers never attempt to negotiate a better deal, and if you are passive, your ISP has no reason to make concessions.
Appreciate Your Leverage:
It is important when entering any negotiation to recognize how much control you actually have. If you are two months into a two-year contract with an early termination fee, you have little power, and anything the ISP offers will be to earn goodwill with its customer.
On the other hand, if you have no contract, have been a customer for years, and always pay your bill on time, then you have a great deal of leverage. You are a coveted client, and the company will make a great effort to keep you.
Avoid bluffing as it undermines your position and gives away any power that you actually have. It also helps to be aware of what your options are.
If you currently get Internet from your local cable company but have a fiber optic internet service provider available, you are negotiating from a position of strength. If you have no options or the only alternative is satellite service with slow upload speeds, your position is weaker.
Do Your Research:
You need to have a framework for your negotiation. Leverage is a starting point. You also need to understand what it is you actually want.
Of course, you want to pay less. But how much do you think is fair? Also, determine what services you actually want. Perhaps you are paying for services that you do not really use or need. Conversely, you may want a higher-tier service and the greater speeds that come with it and may be able to acquire that better service at no additional cost.
Research the options that are available to you. Do not rely on a sales rep to inform you. Even if their intentions are good, they generally adhere to scripts and are often not as informed as you might expect them to be.
If you enter the conversation with more information than your sales rep possesses, you put them at a negotiating disadvantage and will avoid agreeing to something you do not need.
Catch More Flies:
As the old adage goes, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. It is important to keep in mind that there is another person on the other end of the line and not some faceless corporation.
Waiting on the phone and navigating through phone menus can be a frustrating experience, but avoid letting that frustration get to you. Be friendly and courteous. Treating the sales rep with decency and patience will make them much more inclined to put the effort into providing you the best deal available.
Ask About Specials:
Be upfront with the customer service representative about what you are seeking to achieve. Being coy does not put the CSR in the best position to deliver customer satisfaction.
But you cannot expect the CSR to be as upfront with you as you are with them. Ask them about any specials or other opportunities that are available and through which you save money or get better service.
Embrace the Process:
If you encounter an agent who seems difficult to work with, politely conclude the call, and try back again tomorrow. Likewise, avoid viewing a success or failure as the end of the road. You can call back each month to learn about new specials and should consider renegotiating twice a year.