Pocket $1,000 By Making These 5 Phone Calls

Photo: Flickr / achichi

In one afternoon, you can save over $1,000 on your yearly bills by making five phone calls. Here’s how.Call companies you’re already doing business with.

Because you’ve been with them for a long time—in some cases, years—they don’t want to lose you as a valuable customer.

And since you’re paying them every month, even a small savings can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your subscription.

In each call, you’ll do these three things:

  • Negotiate fees and rates
  • Say “I’m a great customer and I’d hate to have to leave, but…”
  • “What can you do for me?”

When you call, use some of these well-tested approaches:

I recommend you break the ice by asking a routine question, like, “I just wanted to confirm you received my bill on time.” Then, highlight how long you’ve been a customer: “Can you tell me, how long have I been a customer? Do your records show that?”

At this point, it’s time to ask for a rate reduction. Use this phrase: “Times are tough.” Also, if you’ve done your homework, you can say, “X company is offering a better deal. I’d hate to have to switch just over a few bucks. What can you do for me?” If they won’t budge, ask to speak to supervisor, who may have the power to make changes.

Will this always work? Of course not. But remember, these are multi-million- and multi-billion-dollar companies, which anticipate a small number of customers negotiating their rates. And for a few minutes of work, you can save a significant stack of cash.

If you’re a bit squeamish about negotiations and would prefer to stick to a script, I’ve shared the exact phrases to use in the video above.

For your convenience, here are the direct numbers to call.

1. Cell phone (very easy)

  • Verizon Wireless: 1-800-922-0204
  • ATT Wireless: 800-331-0500
  • Sprint: Dial *2
  • T-mobile: 800-T-MOBILE

2. Gym membership (difficult)

  • New York Sports Club: 877.258.2311
  • Equinox: 866.332.6549
  • Crunch: 888.2.CRUNCH
  • 24 Hour Fitness: 800.224.0240

3. Cable (very easy)

  • Comcast: 800-266-2278
  • Time Warner: Contact Time Warner
  • Direct TV: 1-800-494-4388

4. Credit Cards (depends, more about credit card perks)
See phone number on back of your credit card

5. Car Insurance (depends, see the detailed guide to getting lower car insurance)

  • Geico: 800-861-8380
  • AAA: 866 539-8033
  • Allstate: 866 704 9900
  • Progressive: 800-776-4737
  • State Farm: 855-733-7333
  • Cigna: 800-244-6224
  • United Health: 800-328-5979

To get a list of other ready-to-use email scripts to negotiate even more savings, I’ve put together these word-for-word scripts.

This post originally appeared on Lifehacker

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