This is a guest post/reader story from a good friend of mine.
As a long time reader of Live Real Now, I’ve enjoyed the advice and the step by step, “I’ve been there” advice from Jason. Sadly, until now I haven’t really taken much of it. It was too much work. It was too hard. But the recent “Future Me” post really struck home so I looked for something that should be easy.
What I found was the concept of “Call and Ask”. I took a look at all of my accounts and utilities to decide which ones I was willing to change, drop, or reduce. The two I came up with were Dish Network and CenturyLink DSL.
My plan was simple:
- Look for their introductory offers
- Compare to my current price
- Ask if existing customers are as important as NEW customers
- Finally, be nice!
I started with CenturyLink since I needed to call them for a new modem in anyway. We’ve been with CenturyLink for years and I’ve been paying $34.99 for slow DSL and using it a couple times a week to work from home. Their new customer promotion is $19.99 for the faster service. I’d love to give you my script but I don’t entirely remember what I said. I believe I asked if they would extend the new customer rate to me and for how long. I know I pointed out that I would be out 3-5 days of internet service so now was the time to start trying to lower my bills. The customer service rep was actually pretty cool about it.
“Let me look at your account. We can offer you that rate for 12 months. After that the rate will be $54.99.”
That seems like a short term win for a long term loss, right?
His followup comment was golden: “Call us back in 12 months and see what specials we can offer you then.” So I went into Google Calendars and set myself a reminder 10.5 months from now.
Net effect: $15/month saved.
Next step: Dish Network.
We’re getting the Family Package which is already pretty inexpensive for Dish. Looking around, the new subscriber price was $5 less.
“Hello, I’m a long term subscriber. I see that you’re offering new subscribers the same package for less. Could you extend that offer to me?”
Same response… “Sure, you can have a $5 discount for 6 months.” Again, I set a Google Calendar reminder, this time for 4.5 months out.
Net effect: $20/month saved.
Can this go farther?
I recently purchased 3 pairs of F.O.M work jeans from Duluth Trading Company. Yes, they’re expensive, but they fit and last a long time. I’m not a small guy. (Ed. Welcome to the club!) Anyway, at the time their sale looked good: $10 off each pair when you order 3 or more. Coincidentally, I was down to a single pair after a deer hunting accident. (Don’t tie your jeans into your boots while field dressing a deer. You’ll stretch and then things get a bit breezy.) With $5 shipping, I saved $35 on that order for jeans I needed anyway.
I thought I’d done pretty well.
Fast forward to today where I see 20% off on everything and free shipping. And they’re still offering the $10 off deal I already used. I called Duluth Trading Company, and explained I was VERY happy with their pants and enjoyed the sale but was wondering if they’d please extend the 20% off sale to my prior order since it was so recent.
$23.70 back in my account.
Easy as pie and a polite: “Thank you for offering us the chance to make you happy with the transaction, sir.”
So, 3 nice phone calls, net effect:
Immediate: $23.70 in my pocket
Short term: $30 savings over the next 6 months
Long Term: $180 Savings over the next year
Total Savings: $233.75 for 15 minutes work