In the difficult economy, many consumers are looking for extra money to put towards debt relief. One of the easiest ways to find that extra funding is to look at your digital services like cable and Internet – and cut back. Here are some tips on where to look for added savings.
Consumers can find huge savings if they shop around for cable. Most people routinely pay their bills, and rarely even look at them for possible savings. Cable companies advertise their newest offerings and specials, but they never call consumers and let them know how to save. Consumers need to proactively call the companies and tell them that they are good paying customers and would like to negotiate their bills. Most cable companies will work with long-standing customers, knowing that it costs more to find a new market than to maintain the old one.
Consumers can also threaten to leave the company if some negotiation room isn’t available. They always should ask for the cancellation department directly, as a normal customer service representative isn’t usually empowered to negotiate effectively. One company that is working hard to give their customer service department some empowerment is Verizon. Company spokesman Bill Kula said, “We will work with our customers to find a package that suits them.” Verizon representatives can cut the cost of DSL, give customers free service on Internet, increase their discounts or extend a $50 American Express gift card. This is the new wave in customer service and consumers should use it to save.
Consumers readily compare prices at grocery stores, but don’t take the same care with their digital needs. Competition is high with cable and Internet providers and they are constantly trying to undercut each other, vying for customers. One company, Sprint, offers deals on wireless Internet, but does not advertise this in print. Spokesperson Jaime Kaminski stated, “We only offer our high-end specials online because we’ve found that the overhead of print advertising cuts into any added revenue we make. The Internet is a great cost-effective way to get new customers and we put a lot of our efforts into paperless signup and transactions.” Consumers should look to online savings and see what specials are Web-offered. It’s a great way to lower bills.
If all negotiating and comparison shopping is ended and consumers still feel they are paying too much for digital services, cutting back may be the only option. To truly find debt relief, sacrifices have to be made. All consumers should think realistically here. How many of the hundreds of cable TV channels do they actually watch throughout any given week? If they are paying a high premium for channels that are rarely watched, this is a huge potential monthly savings. People can always call the cable company and add channels if a special event is happening, but almost no one truly needs access to all stations, all the time.
Finally, many people are downgrading their home phones for the first time in history. People are moving to their cell phones as their permanent phone lines. Faxes can be sent online, so fax lines are also being filtered out of the daily lives of Americans.
To find debt relief, consumers are willing to alter their choices. Digital services are not a necessity, but rather a convenience, in today’s lifestyle. By cutting back on digital services and working with various packages, consumers can find extra money to help them get through the recession.