Research is paramount in getting the best deal. Take my internet for example. My provider has been driving me a bit up the wall lately and I started doing some research into other providers comparing them to our deal. Well, it turns out you can get a much better deal with my current provider if you know what to ask for. You need to be very specific though.
I have found the people in store, or on the phone don’t seem to be the best people to talk to when you want information on their product. In fact, of all the ones I have dealt with lately I have known more about their product despite the fact that some of them have been with their company, specialising in that field for over a decade. That is insanely bad.
In the last month alone I have gotten us a better deal on our internet, mobiles, am working on the mortgage and gotten refunds when others would not have bothered. How have I been able to do this?
2.) Being polite but firm
3.) Having no shame.
Read everything you can about whatever it is you are looking into. If it is internet packages, check everyone, compare data allowances, monthly fees, installation costs, break contract costs etc... everything to weigh up the best deal for you. Even if you have no plan to switch or are on a contract that is too expensive to break, you may find by contacting your provider and informing them of what you know and your intent to change, they will probably match or give you a better deal than whatever it is you are planning to switch to.
So whilst you may think you can’t do anything because you are on a contract, you never know. I just got 2G more data usage a month simply by making a phone call.
When it comes to refunds know the law. If I feel something is not right I check with the Department of Fair Trading and research everything pertaining to my issue on there. It is amazing what happens when you mention “I’ve checked with Fair Trading and legally you can’t do that”. I saved myself thousands doing this.
I once bought something on a payment plan. No mention was ever made of interest, and there was no interest in any of the paperwork. When I rang to check our balance it was $2000 more than our original amount despite having made payments. When I queried this they suddenly mentioned interest.
I checked with fair trading and no, they could not do that. If it was not mentioned, not in my paperwork or anything, they can’t apply it at anytime. I informed the company of this. At first they argued a little. I informed them I would take it through fair trading if I had to. The interest was dropped.
Knowledge is power!
Be polite, but firm
Speaking nicely will get you much further than getting angry and frustrated. I do not mean let them walk over all over you. Maintaining a calm and rational manner, not raising your voice or becoming threatening is the best way to deal with these sorts of things.
If you have done your research you will know what can and can’t be done, so there is no need to get upset, as you will get your way eventually. You may need to speak to a supervisor. Just be firm and keep repeating what it is you want done.
You can be firm but not shout. Most call centres deal with nothing but complaints all day, so yelling will get you nowhere (usually). If you are polite, people will feel more inclined to help you. If you are rude and shouting at them, they will tune out and pretty much ignore any requests (demands) you make.
You get further with honey than vinegar!
Have no shame
Often my husband has asked me not to worry about things or to just drop it. He finds it embarrassing when I point out being overcharged (which in a supermarket = I get that item free thank you!) Or when I talk to our electricity/phone/internet providers and want a better deal. He thinks it looks cheap.
I have no shame when it comes to this. I do not care what these people think about me. I do not care if they think I am cheap/stingy/whatever. I prefer the money in my pocket.
He has been coming around to my way of thinking. He likes the extra money. The refunds we have been entitled to that he would have let go, the discount on our electricity/phones/internet etc...
For many it can be hard to swallow your pride and ask for a refund/discount. I used to hate doing it. Now, I hate getting ripped off. I hate the thought of paying for something when I don’t need to. I will let others who are too proud to ask for a better deal pay the extra costs and I will pay less.
Many millionaires ask for discounts on everything. That’s one of the keys to becoming a millionaire - live frugally.
Yes, I understand it can be embarrassing. But really, why do you car what other people think?
I have complained about rude service (and I mean really rude, not just a bit off) and gotten gift cards for the store (not why I complained, just an added bonus of telling them to pick up their game), I have pointed out incorrect charges at the check-out and gotten items for free (most supermarkets have this policy), I always ask if that’s their best price, less for cash, will they throw anything else in? You get the idea.
What has this resulted in? Thousands saved. Could you lower your embarrassment level a bit, deal with the “shame” for a few thousand? I have and my bank account loves me for it.
(That said, I do have some limits and try not to embarrass my family too much.)