This morning, I was on ABC's Good Morning America. I'll be posting the video later this morning. The theme of the story was about saving money for your family, with a focus on services like phone and cable.
My goal is simple: I want to help 100 million Americans save a minimum of $50 per month on family budget line on services such as phone, cable, internet, and more.
That comes to $600 per family or $600 million in sum. That money can be used as savings, applied to something else you might want or need, or perhaps to be given to the charity of your choice or someone in need.
Here are some basic tips:
1. Do your homework. Make sure you have your bill in front of you and go line by line item
2. Do your research. Get competing offers. If you are with AT&T, find offers from your local cable and satellite provider.
3. Be diligent (and be polite). Chances are the first person you speak to may just offer you a $5 or $10 discount. Turn it down and ask to speak to some in the Customer Retention Department. Retaining customers is a whole lot less expensive than losing you as a customer and having to start over.
4. Ask. Ask. Ask. Be prepared for the standard response about how much they love and appreciate your business. This is not a customer courtesy call. It's a call to help you and your family save money and get your money's worth in this economic climate.
Acknowledge what they say, and tell them how much you love the service from AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Comcast, etc. But this is 2009 and this is reality.
5. Prepare to disconnect. What would happen to you if you killed your phone or cable service for a month? Try it. Disconnect. And then re-connect.
6. Ask for a rebate or credit on your next bill. In the case of your wireless bill, if they won't budge, ask for a rebate. Ask for a credit on your next bill. The more wireless phones you have on your plan, the more you can negotiate. I have 5 wireless phone lines and while AT&T would not lower my rates, they did give me an $80 credit on my next phone bill.
7. Every dollar you save is really $1.30 to you. Think about how much you pay in taxes. Give or take your tax bracket, this is more than just saving money. It's putting money back in your family's budget.
If you are a journalist needing more information, email me: alan at weinkrantz dot com and I will return your call.