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Money Management

You Won’t Get Lower Bills Unless You Ask

Pursue every potential avenue of savings.

In a time where a lot of folks are either working reduced hours or out of a job entirely, it becomes even more important than usual to try to cut costs as much as possible. We’ve previously discussed the usual methods to tightening your belt: buying cheaper brands, cutting out services you don’t need, dial back the impulse purchases, so on and so forth. But even if you apply every cost-cutting measure you can realistically think of, you may eventually reach a brick wall where you can’t trim anything else. It’s at times like this that you’ll need to become a negotiator.

To be completely realistic with you, the odds that a vital service provider (water, power, internet, etc.) will renegotiate your bill with no strings attached is decidedly low. It is not, however, zero, so as long as that single percent chance exists, it’s worth pursuing. If you’ve been placed in a disadvantageous life situation, whether due to the pandemic or something else, then call up your provider and lay out your situation plainly. Service providers don’t like losing customers if they can help it, so assuming you don’t get a jerk on the phone, they’ll do their best to work with you.

Of course, what they can actually offer you is often up to the whims of fate. Due to the pandemic, a lot of providers are being much more lenient with their customers; they may offer you a more flexible payment plan, or perhaps some manner of loyalty discount if you’ve been a customer for a long time. If that’s off the table, they can go over your bill with you to see if you’re being unnecessarily charged for any ongoing service, or charged in error for something you didn’t request. Failing that, they may suggest cheaper plans with less options, which is obviously less than ideal for you, but you might just have to meet them halfway on this.

If you can manage to renegotiate a bill successfully, you could potentially save a couple hundred bucks a month, though again, there’s a luck component here. You might just end up with no change at all, but you’ll never know until you try.

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