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Threatening to jump ship helps when negotiating phone prices

February 18th, 2014 at 10:27 am

This has happened to me before with AT&T, but it bears repeating.

For some time, I've had AT&T UVerse Internet ($15 a month) and phone ($31). Apparently, the Internet price was "promotional" and would have expired next month, at which time my price for both would jump from $40 (before fees and taxes) to $66.

That's a bigger jump than I'd like. So I went on hold, waiting for AT&T's customer service for about 40 minutes til I got a rep on the line. I asked her nicely if there was anything I could do to avoid that fee increase and she said there was nothing she could offer me at this time but suggested I call back after the price increase went into effect. I didn't want to wait til then and I casually mentioned I'd probably be preparing to get either Magic Jack or Ooma.

Truth be told, I'm lazy and would rather not have to do that, but mentioning my plan to switch was like saying "Open Sesame." She transferred me to another department, where, after another 30-minute wait on hold, another rep quickly told me he could keep the same price intact for another full year AND he would upgrade my Internet speed from 3mb to 6mb, no charge.

The only catch to keeping the $15 Internet price is that if I chose to end UVerse Internet before the one year was up then I'd have to a pay an early termination penalty equal to $15 a month for each month I'd gotten the renewed $15/mth price. If I ended it becus i moved to a location where UVerse was not available, then they would not charge me the early termination fee.

So I'm very happy to have averted the price increase. I realize I could save even more more by going ahead and switching to something like Magic Jack, but I'm not a techie person and always worry I can't set it up right and I don't really have anyone nearby I can ask for help with that. Compared to what I've seen other people here pay for phone and/or Internet, I think this is a pretty good price.

The thing to remember is, if you just whine or complain about the price, that won't be enough. You have to specifically say you'll switch plans and go with someone else.

I am working at home again today...it was snowing ferociously this morning, right around commute time, though now it appears to have stopped, altho they say it will not finally end til around 4 or 5 p.m.

4 Responses to “Threatening to jump ship helps when negotiating phone prices”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Glad you knew what to say to get the deal!

  2. Buendia Says:

    Oh, yes, the Retention Department! I've had this same thing happen... I'm also glad to not have to switch around...

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That about sounds like my phone call with CenturyLink a few weeks ago. My Internet price had jumped from $32 to $66? I called and basicaly said that I could manage the $32, but that $66 would not fit into my budget at all. Retention department here I go! Smile I also had to agree to a one-year contract, which if it isn't available when I move, will be terminated.

  4. Looking Forward Says:

    That is a LONG time to wait on the phone! Glad it paid off for you! Smile

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