Negotiate lower bills

Get lower bills with less hassle! Use these proven tips and persuasive phrases to fine-tune your negotiations and get what you want.

Woman on the phone

You can lower your bills, you just need to know what to say. These negotiating tactics apply to just about any large purchase—including appliances, electronics, vacation packages and cars.

Maintain a positive tone. Keeping the conversation respectful and friendly goes a long way. You want the representative to be on your side. Rudeness creates negative notes on your account rather than getting you what you want.

SAY: “I’ve been a very happy customer for __ years/months. As a loyal customer, I’d really like to continue to give you my business.”

Say you can’t afford it. You’re most likely to get a positive response if you say you’re calling because of financial reasons. Without recounting a long sob story, get the point across that the current price is beyond your means.

SAY: “Unfortunately, times are tough for my family, and as much as we enjoy the service, we just can’t pay this much for it anymore. I hope you understand.”

Ask for the right person. The salespeople and customer service agents who first answer your call usually aren’t able to give discounts. So save everyone some frustration by asking to speak to a manager. If you hit a wall there, ask to be transferred to the customer cancellation (or retention) department, where you are more likely get an offer to continue your service.

Say: “I understand if you don’t have the ability to adjust the price. Could you please transfer me to your supervisor or to a department that might be able to assist me today?”

Use open-ended questions. Asking what the company representatives can do for you puts the ball in their court to come up with a way to keep you, as opposed to asking yes-or-no questions, to which they can simply say no.

Say: “_________ is offering the same service for just $___ per month. Even considering your termination fee, it looks like I’ll save more by switching. Can I speak with a manager to discuss my options?”Or: ”How can you help me continue my service at a price I can afford?”

Don’t give up at the first no. A representative’s initial response probably will be negative, but that’s just your cue for the next move. Continue open-ended questioning or pushing for the next level of representative if you don’t meet with success. If the offer you receive isn’t acceptable, you can issue an ultimatum (if you are truly willing to drop the service).

Say: “I hate to do this, but I’m afraid I have no choice. I’m going to have to end my service. Can you please put me in touch with the cancellation [or retention] department?”