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Art of begging/threatening Internet provider for promotion rate?
Old 03-13-2014, 07:03 PM   #1
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Art of begging/threatening Internet provider for promotion rate?

My internet contract ran out last month. When I called to extend my contract for one more year to get some kind of discount/promotion rate, the service rep would not offer anything. At the end, I told him I will be moving to another provider, which was true. That got the rep's attention as he offered to extend my current contract by one more month and promised that someone will contact me for other promotions. No one did. One month later, I called again to ask for any promotion rates for current customer. Again, a service rep "looked" for promotions and could not find one to offer. She can only offer discount if I "bundle" my internet service with TV or phone. I told her my situation about moving to another provider. Magically, she "found" a promotion and offered 1 year contract at promotion rate.

By nature, I hate to beg, haggle, or threaten to get what I want ($120 saving for 1 year contract in this case). Is there another less stressful way to do this?
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:28 PM   #2
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By nature, I hate to beg, haggle, or threaten to get what I want ($120 saving for 1 year contract in this case). Is there another less stressful way to do this?
None that I have found. Twice we have asked for and were promised we would receive the new customer rates, once with Comcast and once with AT&T, and twice they seemed to conveniently forget to apply the lower rates to the next bill. I have learned to negotiate the rates using online chat when possible and print out the transcripts, then check the bills every month. It is worse than dealing with used car salesman.

Their web sites are designed to prevent, as much as possible, existing customers from seeing the new customer rates. So you have to clear cookies and if they ask for your address, give a neighbors address or check the moving to this address as a new customer box.

One other thing you can do is really just switch off every 6 months or so you really are always a new customer, if you have multiple cable providers. Our house is wired for three different providers.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:10 PM   #3
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You only get in life what you are wiling to negotiate. Why would these companies offer you their lowest rate unless they absolutely have to? Most customers would not be nearly as persistent, and they are far more profitable to the providers than you are.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:23 PM   #4
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If only I could get AT&T and Comcast to stop sending me letters begging me to sign up. There isn't a week that goes by without one of their "wanna switch?" promotions.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:53 PM   #5
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Last time I talked to Verizon about my FIOS account, all I had to mention was the word "Cox" and I suddenly received a $400 cash card for a year's subscription for a bundle and a whole bunch of pay channels that I didn't want for a few months. I have been "homeless" for the last year, so I haven't had to worry about such things lately.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:34 PM   #6
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I must get one mail ad a week from Uverse asking me to switch since we had their service in the old house. Now we have Crapcast and no other provider is in the area. When I call Uverse, and say I'll sign up, they tell me they are not in my area, so I say why are you sending me offers then? No clue....
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:37 AM   #7
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The last two times our promotional rate was running out we started out the phone call with "we are cancelling because the FIOS promotional rate will be cheaper than cable". Charter quickly renewed the promotional rate each time.
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:49 AM   #8
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I called AT&T 3 times to get a promo rate but they wouldn't budge. Saw on other forums that people were successful in getting 20 mb for $29.99 but the best they could offer me was $54.99. So I went with TWC.


Now I see AT&T is offering promo to everyone for $39.99 for basic cable, HBO, and 18 mb. OH well. And I own 2000 shares of T. Oh well
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:05 AM   #9
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I despise Comcast but there's no other choice in my area. I am considering dropping cable simply to get Comcast-free! Every 6 months or so I call to try to keep my rates from rolling to some higher package. It is a total headache. One thing I've found is if one person refuses you call again the next day and another person may "find" a deal for you. This has happened repeatedly to me. It is just another indicator of the company's dysfunction. Once you get a "deal" document everything and check your monthly bill closely.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:56 AM   #10
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I would have to think that your chances of success here depend largely on the availability of sufficient competition for the services being provided. No competition, very little incentive for the provider to make deals to keep you as a customer.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:12 AM   #11
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Said "Direct TV" to the comcast rep ... bill dropped $20/mo.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:40 AM   #12
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We get promo offers from AT&T each and every week... no kidding... in the mail. Offering various packages including the internet... Tiny problem... Internet from AT&T is not available where we live.
No choice... Comcast only... and no lower Internet prices than $65/mo. for 25mbps, even though we average about 3-4mbps... Call to complain... and are always told to read the fine print... (Internet Speeds not Guaranteed)...

Am on their sh*t list, and the phone people don't even try to be nice.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:49 AM   #13
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We get promo offers from AT&T each and every week... no kidding... in the mail. Offering various packages including the internet... Tiny problem... Internet from AT&T is not available where we live.
No choice... Comcast only... and no lower Internet prices than $65/mo. for 25mbps, even though we average about 3-4mbps... Call to complain... and are always told to read the fine print... (Internet Speeds not Guaranteed)...

Am on their sh*t list, and the phone people don't even try to be nice.
See my post #6. Same waste of paper in the mailbox. I am not well loved at Comcast either from my accounts at this house and my other. I just found out that Consolidated Communications is serving my new area now and will give them a call as it can't be worse than Comcast.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:40 AM   #14
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I would have to think that your chances of success here depend largely on the availability of sufficient competition for the services being provided. No competition, very little incentive for the provider to make deals to keep you as a customer.
This has a lot to do with it. Many areas have single provider, so you get bent over and have no choice besides "Thank you sir, may I have another"

I am out on the country a bit, so I do not even have cable as option. Only slow DSL through telephone provider (Century Link, previously Qwest), and satellite TV for any TV programming beyond a few over the air channels. The best way i have been able to get some break is to emphasize good customer discount, and the bundling of phone/internet/Direct TV as package price. I still think it too much cost, but being without any real competition, I just have to take it.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:41 AM   #15
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I did not get my rate changed as promised from Comcast last week, and called to ask why. Someone left a phone message reply saying "I thought we had "educated" you last week that those were rates were for new customers only."

Educated!?! If by educated you mean do I have an online chat transcript I kept in writing where I was offered $44.99 for 50 mbps and kept a print screen of the Comcast web page offering a special rate for current customers at $49.99, then I guess I was fully educated. I had to talk to the supervisors' supervisor to get them to honor the reduced rate. Even then I settled for $49.99 since that was the lowest web page rate and still a pretty good price for 50 mbps.

I offered to fax them the chat transcript offering me the $44.99 rate not to leave, and the reply was, no need we have that on file! If they had the chat transcript on file, then what is with the weird messages on my answering machine on my having been "educated" I was not entitled to a lower rate?

Good to know I am not the only one on their difficult customer list.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:13 PM   #16
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This has a lot to do with it. Many areas have single provider, so you get bent over and have no choice besides "Thank you sir, may I have another"

I am out on the country a bit, so I do not even have cable as option. Only slow DSL through telephone provider (Century Link, previously Qwest), and satellite TV for any TV programming beyond a few over the air channels.
Dish network is now "bundling" their version of slow DSL service. At least, you have an option that you can threaten Century Link with.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:18 PM   #17
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Here's my strategy after reading the responses.

Have two options and be ready to switch when current contract runs out. Mention the competition at start and put the ball on the provider's side. If they don't budge, say the magic words - please cancel my account. I think that ought to do. But if it doesn't, switch! Repeat the whole process when current contract runs its course.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:22 PM   #18
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We have friends that just switch between dish and cable. They are always new customers.
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:23 PM   #19
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We have friends that just switch between dish and cable. They are always new customers.
When we were regulars between Illinois, and Florida (6 mo. each place) for 10 years we never paid more than $19.95/mo. Unfortunately not now.
Unless there has been a recent change, Comcast here in Illinois, has absolutely no connection with Comcast in Florida... Their rules, prices and contracts were different.... and things like "transferring" or "renting equipment" or vacation "holds" were totally different. If there were any problems, the reps up north could not even talk to the reps in the south except by dialing in as a customer.
Go figger.
This was a nightmare... much of the time, I'd be talking to a rep who thought I was in Fl, when I was in IL... Only alternative is a small dialup that a local guy runs out of his house.

Thank you FCC...
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:03 PM   #20
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I routinely switch between Time Warner Cable, AT&T and have used Clear WiMax to bridge the gap sometimes. I can yank the Clear WiMax modem out of the closet and have the house online in 10 minutes (at least I was able to do that before Sprint bought Clear).

Your power comes with options, but I realize many of us don't have options.

Good news on the horizon: Google has Charlotte on the list for gigabit Internet! I'm not sure it will reach out into the burbs as far as I am, and am not sure I'll still be living here when it finally arrives, but it would be cool if it came true.

My latest story was with TWC 12 month rate expiring. I was at $30, and it only went up to $40, so I was just going to let it go. But I got a thing in the mail...a "go faster" promotion (go from basic to standard for $5/mo). I did what it said, got screen shots of $35/mo for standard, but the next bill was $40 for basic!

So as other folks have observed, these monopoly local cable companies just ignore promotional rates they offer, then the burden is on the consumer to prove that the promotional rate should be in effect! And they force you to go through the time consuming telephone route rather than allow email or snail mail. I tried certified mail before and they punted me back into the telephone queue.

The latest slimeball tactic they use is "your account is still locked by the first idiot you talked to". So you are instructed to wait 15 minutes and call back, which of course adds at least another 30 minutes to your mission of getting the promo rate.

If I could still use my DSL modem, I would have kicked TWC to the curb, but I would have to get a Uverse modem. Cheap on eBay, but I figured that I'd see if I could get one more go out of TWC before going back to AT&T.
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