By Julien Bouyssou
Let’s start with some facts
Most Americans have the same bills every month:
- Cell phone: 91% of American adults own a cell phone 
- Cable/TV: there are 116.4 million TV homes in the U.S. and 96% of these pay for some sort of cable, DBS, Telco, broadband internet connection 
- Internet: 74.4% of U.S. households have an internet connection 
And all of these bills have significantly increased over the past years:
- American wireless subscribers saw their wireless bills increase by 7% between 2011 and 2012 
- The average American pays $123 average for cable . On average, cable bills have increased by 9.4% annually between 2011 and 2014 
The reality is most people did not even realize their bills had increased. Or if they did, only few of them took any counter-measures.
But what can you really do to save money on your bills?
There are two ways of lowering your bills. You can either deal with it by yourself or you can use a company specialized in bill negotiation to handle this process.
Deal with it by yourself (requires about 4 hours per bill):
Reducing your bills is not an easy thing, otherwise everyone would do it.
The first step is to understand your bill, the exact service you have, the price you pay. Although this might sound like a simple step, it is actually not as straightforward as you may think it is. Indeed, the features of some of the services we pay for are sometimes very convoluted. Take your cell phone plan for instance and take a look at your data plan: it’s going to show a certain amount of Gigabits, but it’s also likely to mention that you are under an “unlimited data” plan. What does it really mean?
Once you figured out what you are paying for, you need to put that in perspective with what you are actually using. In other words, are you paying for what you are really getting? To illustrate this, let’s take the example of your internet service: most people pay for a certain download speed while they actually don’t get this speed due to network capacities or server restrictions. When it comes to cable subscription, do you really use the 250 channels that your plan offers you?
Then, you need to understand what the competition is offering. If you current plan has the most competitive rate in your area, you will probably not be able to lower your bill. So shopping around and understanding competitors’ offers is key. Very often, you will struggle at doing this because service providers deliberately have slightly different offers that will then justify different prices.
The final step is to either switch provider to benefit from a new customer’s promotion, or to call your current service provider to ask for a discount. Switching provider can be a good option to save money on your bills. However, the discounted price you may get will likely be temporary and you price will certainly increase after an initial 12 month period. Besides, switching provider usually means wasting time with cancelling your current service and installing your new one. Did anyone already experience staying home a weekday during a 4 hour window, desperately waiting for the Comcast guy to show up?
Calling your provider may be an alternative. But you’ll need patience and preparation. Very often, you will have to talk to several reps, and each of them will try to have you upgrade your plan. For instance you might get an additional 50 channels on your cable plan for free. But this does not help you save money on your bills in any way. If you threaten them that you want to cancel your service, you may get transferred to their customer retention department but the objective of these people is actually to not give you any significant discount. Indeed, they are specifically trained to challenge you on why you want to disconnect your service and they will know what competitors offer in your area.
So although you may think you can handle it yourself, you need to be aware that saving money on your bills is not something easy, and it requires a real preparation.
Use a company specialized in bill negotiation to handle this on your behalf (requires only 5 minutes):
This is the alternative that many people are using now. Instead of wasting time calling your provider and getting frustrated because you don’t manage to lower your bills, you should probably use a company like BillXperts.com. Negotiating with service providers is their specialty, and so they’ve become better than anyone at this.
Their service is pretty simple but really efficient:
- You send them your bills through their secure website https://www.billxperts.com/
- They negotiate with your providers on your behalf
- You split the savings with them
Charlotte Bouyssou, co-founder of BillXperts.com explains that “many of [their] customers tried to call their provider first, but then decided to sign up with BillXperts.com because they could not lower their bills. In 95% of the cases, BillXperts.com will be able to save you money on your bills”. And when asked how much savings her company can negotiate, Bouyssou answers that “it varies a lot but we typically lower our customers’ bills by 20% to 40%”. The good thing too is there is no risk: you do not pay anything upfront and it’s only if they get you some discounts that will share a part of these with them. So it really is a win-win.
The secret for a company like BillXperts.com is that they developed a tool that puts them in a position of strength when they call your service providers. Indeed, Bouyssou explains they “purchased a technology that provides them with insights regarding the level of competition in each geographical area”. For instance they know whether a competitor is having a temporary promotion in your zip code or whether your service provider is trying to develop his market share for your demographics.
This, combined with a staff professionally trained for this type of negotiation make them a strong actor in the field of bill negotiation, and a great alternative for all of us.
Most US households pay for the same bills on a monthly basis (cell phone, internet, cable…) and all of these bills have increased over the past years. If you can try to handle this by yourself, it is proven that using a company specialized in bill negotiation like BillXperts.com is actually the fastest and the most efficient way to save money on your bills.
- PEW Research Center, June 6, 2013, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/06/06/cell-phone-ownership-hits-91-of-adults/
- Nielsen August 29 2014, http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/nielsen-estimates-more-than-116-million-tv-homes-in-the-us.html
- US Census Bureau, November 2014, http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/acs/acs-28.pdf
- Consumer reports, http://bgr.com/2012/11/30/average-wireless-bill-increases-7-percent/
- NPD Group, April 2012, https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/pr_120410/
- D. Power and Associates, 2014, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323706704578227550932019178
About Julien Bouyssou
Julien Bouyssou is the co-founder & CEO of BillXperts.com, the leader in bill negotiation. You may contact him through his company’s website at https://www.billxperts.com/ or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.