ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Lower Your Monthly Bills: The Power of Negotiation

Updated on July 31, 2012
Can you lower your monthly bills?
Can you lower your monthly bills? | Source

© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin

Remember when getting mail was a fun experience you looked forward to? The daily pile of letters held the promise of glossy catalogs for browsing, interesting magazines for reading, greeting cards that amused, and personally hand-written letters that brought you closer to someone.

Nowadays, unfortunately, all those delights have moved to web pages and email. Receiving mail has become a dreaded experience because all that arrives are monthly bills, with amounts that continually go up.


You don’t have to suffer this anxiety any more. Through a simple technique involving your phone, you can lower some of your monthly bills. This example uses cable bills, but I’ve successfully used it with some credit card statements, membership fees, and bank charges. It hasn’t worked with electric, water or gas bills. And don’t get me started on health insurance, since I want to maintain my editorial composure.

  1. Start gathering offers of lower charges about a week to a month before you receive the bill you want to negotiate. In my case of cable, I kept offers from satellite services, other cable companies and fiber-optic providers. I even filed an offer from my current cable company for new subscribers.
  2. Plan to call your provider at the end of the month, or at the end of the week. Company agents often have quotas to fill at that time, and are more willing to extend deals to meet their goals. Just be aware that these are also busy times for many companies. So you may have to suffer a long hold time unless you....
  3. Call first thing in the morning, preferably right when the company’s phone lines open. This minimizes your wait, and catches company reps when they are still at their freshest and most amenable.
  4. Connect with the sales department rather than customer service. The former receives financial incentives for making or keeping their sales with you. The latter simply wants to get you off the line as quickly as possible, since their incentive is to clear as many customer calls as possible.
  5. Have a piece of paper and pen to write information down, starting with the date and time, and the names of anyone you talk to.
  6. Ask the sales agent you get connected to if he can negotiate cable bills. If he cannot, then ask to be connected to someone who can do that. Be pleasant and polite to everybody, as if you’re talking to your best friend. People like to accommodate nice customers, and avoid nasty ones.
  7. Praise the service you’re trying to negotiate, saying how much you like it, how good the customer service is and how much you want to stay with the company. But the high monthly payments are making it impossible for you to do that. If you have a real life reason for the difficulty, such as a job loss or sudden medical expenses, relate those reasons.

    Talk about how the company or other service providers have lower fees, and mention the offers you’ve gathered in the mail. Say that you’d rather remain with your current provider than to jump ship to the unknown, simply because the other one is cheaper.
  8. Ask the agent if there’s anything he can do, because you really want to stay with them. If he continues to say no, thank the agent for his time and ask to talk to a manager.
  9. Repeat your story to the manager, again bringing in why you’re having difficulty and how much you want to stay with the company. If she says “no,” thank her for her efforts and ask how you go about canceling your subscription. Also ask how much time you have to do that before you’re charged for the next month. She may relent at this point and give you a discount.



Frankly, this is only about as far as I’ve had to go to get dollars knocked off my bill, typically for a year. And when the year is up, I go through the same process.

However, if none of this works, there is till one thing you can try.

Write to the president of the company and explain the situation, and how you want to stay with the company. (You can find contact information on your bill or the company website.) Relate how you’ve negotiated with the sales agents, who did a good job, but that you understand how their hands are tied. This is where you can use the notes you’ve taken, because it’s helpful to be specific with dates and times.

Be concise and confine your letter to one page. You’ll be writing someone who has to go through many letters in a day. State clearly that you would like a discount and how much you would like, but always ask for more than you expect to receive. Don’t forget to hand-sign your request. Add a hand-written PS, reiterating your request. Recipients typically read the PS part of a letter first.

Let me know via the comments how this process works for you, or if you have any additional suggestions.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • tammyswallow profile image


      6 years ago from North Carolina

      This is really helpful for all of us during this hard economic time. Very helpful!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Aurelio, these are really helpful tips to negotiate with almost any kind of service making some differences in approach vis-a-vis the service.. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      Awesome advice! You give so many good tips here. I once read the book, "You don't need a lawyer" which gave numerous letter examples to send to different types of businesses to reach different goals. Very helpful!

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      That's great new Jessi10. Anywhere you can save money is always good.

    • Jessi10 profile image

      Jessica Rangel 

      6 years ago from Lancaster, CA

      I liked this Hub! You make many great points! I've tried some of these tips, and surely enough, my bills went from being in the 100's to simple double digits again!

      Thank you for writing this! Its educational.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Great advice offered here through your experiences on how to handle this situation. Certainly worth a try! Up and useful votes and will tweet and share with my followers.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, Millionaire Tips. If they do allow you to quit, you can always sign up with someone else, which is the beauty of this technique.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      This is great information and I completely agree. I have been able to negotiate my internet connection, get late fees waived on credit cards, reduce my daughter's cell phone bill and gotten rid of the monthly fee on her checking account.

      Threatening to quit does work, as I often wonder if they may be willing to let me go for a few dollars. Just asking about the procedure to quit sounds like a great plan.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks all for responding, especially with your experiences to prove that this works.

    • DietForDiabetics profile image


      6 years ago

      Good hub. Very useful tips. Thank you for this info. This help me very much

    • dslrtips profile image


      6 years ago from Evergreen Manison

      That's something new to me from where im coming from. But i strongly agree negotiation is very important in all fields.

    • onthegrind profile image


      6 years ago from Florida, United States

      My wife tried this recently with our cable company. She eventually spoke to the retention department. We were able to get our bill reduced a good amount and were happy with what they offered. Good useful hub.

    • RetailRich profile image


      6 years ago

      Very good. I know this approach works at least some of the time because I've used it. At the phone company it's always better to start with the department that handles cancellations and installations. They will put you through to customer retention right away.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Completely agree with this. You will be surprised how much they will knock off your bill to retain you as a customer.

      great advice.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for sharing your personal experiences with this.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good Hub. I have tried this before and it does work, The keys are to be pleasant, prepared, and persistent. You covered all three. Very good advice.

    • cebutouristspot profile image


      6 years ago from Cebu

      With the current economic slump I believe people would try anything to save money. Get tips with the power of negotiation. Thanks for sharing.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      I've tried this before, though no where nearly as organized as you present here. Great tips and great hub! Voted up; thanks for SHARING. :)

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 

      6 years ago from Asia

      Great advice Alocsin,

      I worked in customer service for a long time and what you say is true. We have to try and avoid discounts or waving charges, but when it comes to losing a customer, there is normally some negotiation possible.

      Will SOCIALLY SHARE this, as sure everyone here could do with some cheaper bills.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA


    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 

      6 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Thanks, Alocsin! If you would like to add it, go to edit, add the link capsule, add the link, then save it. You can add other links related to personal finances, too. Again, you wrote a great hub!! :-)

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks s holland10. Let me know how that negotiation goes. Feel free to put a link "Who's to Blame for America's Financial Downfall" in these comments, so my visitors can simply click on it to visit that rather intriguing title.

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 

      6 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Alocsin, this is great advice. Like you, I am trying to negotiate with my cable company. We just do not have enough competition in our area and the rates are sky high. I am going to link this to my hub, "Who's to Blame for America's Financial Downfall," because it is also a list of tips to living within our means and how to do that. :-)

      Great hub!! Up and useful!

    • tarajeyaram profile image


      6 years ago from Wonderland

      I am so glad that I read your tips. I am going to try some of these myself. Great hub. I have voted up and useful.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 

      7 years ago from Asia

      Great money saving advice ... we all get a little settled with out providers, but it does them good to get a challenge now 'n' again ;-)

      Voted up and useful

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      7 years ago

      Great tips on negotiating! Lots of people won't even try to negotiate with phone service providers or credit card companies because they assume they have no leverage, which isn't true at all. Doing this can save us lots of money. Plus, it doesn't hurt to try even if we fail to convince them.

    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 

      7 years ago from Houston, TX

      I'm glad to have discovered you and your hubs! These are great tips, I have used them myself for credit cards and the power bill. Insurance is regulated, but somehow my agent always finds a new discount for me every year!

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks Joe for the info and the compliment.

    • Joe Bricky profile image

      Joe Bricky 

      7 years ago from Northern Nevada

      Both, actually. When I was managing 100 cell phone accounts, of course, I had a lot more clout. But, like you were saying about doing the process every time an account goes out of contract... that's when an individual customer has power. I'm pretty sure both residential and business customers have a "customer retention" department they can go to for all of the bigger providers. Again... good job on the article.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Joe, does "Customer Retention" work for individuals or just business customers?

    • Joe Bricky profile image

      Joe Bricky 

      7 years ago from Northern Nevada

      I just negotiated down the ATT bill for one of my IT clients. One thing you can do is ask for the "Customer Retention" department. Most big communication companies have these. They have the power to offer you deals. Good article.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Lol, thanks northernwriter. It's worked enough times that I keep doing it. But sometimes it doesn't work.

      But your question is exactly my attitude. I think companies should do everything they can to keep current customers, because it costs a lot more to try and get new ones. It's a philosophy I used when I ran my own company.

    • northernwriter profile image


      7 years ago

      Man, I wouldn't want to try to telemarket to you - I'd lose my shirt!

      Kidding aside, the article does raise a really good point - why do companies feel that once you sign up with them, they can jack your rates back up and they only offer the best rates to new customers?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)