Nov 9, 2009

It Pays To Re-Evaluate Your Services

I didn't set out to reduce my monthly landline and DSL bill by $20 per month, but that's exactly what happened when I called AT&T recently. I'd had a momentary lapse (or at least, that's what we're going to call it) that caused me to forget to pay the bill online before the due date. I remembered a couple of days later and immediately paid the bill, but a day or two after that, I received a statement showing a past due amount and a late fee.

Since I'd never paid the bill late before, I knew I had an excellent chance of getting the late fee waived. And indeed, the customer service representative I spoke to looked our account over and agreed to waive the fee without hesitation.

Then she asked if I had a few minutes to review my bill and services. I agreed, and she suggested a couple of changes that would result in a lower monthly bill and a $20 Visa gift card. The changes involved giving up two services we never used, but which had been included in the bundle I'd signed up for two years ago. That had been the best deal at the time, but the phone company had since changed their bundles, and the new bundle is definitely a better deal for us.

I just got our statement from the phone company, and it's $25 lower than our previous bill. I don't know yet if that will be the new monthly amount, or if it's a little lower than normal because of some credits resulting from the change in service.

I also periodically review our insurance coverage with our agent, and while that hasn't really resulted in any savings on the premium (since our deductibles are quite high to begin with), we've tweaked our coverage over the years to ensure that we have the right coverage. For instance, for an additional $10 per year, we added extra rental coverage that came in handy when our car was in the shop for over a month after we were rear-ended last year. I estimate that ending up saving us $150 to $200.

So although this is the busiest time of year for many of us, don't forget to make some time to review your services - it just might save you enough to buy some nice holiday gifts.


Kim said...

Interesting. We were thinking about dropping our landline in favor of naked DSL. We've also considered switching from Comcast to UVerse. Any experience with UVerse?

Chief Family Officer said...

Kim, I'm sorry to say I've never even heard of Uverse. But we keep our landline b/c of emergencies - if we lost electricity, our landline would still work, and we wouldn't have to worry about how we were going to charge the cell if that was our only form of calling loved ones. We live in earthquake country so emergency preparedness is definitely something we think about a lot!