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Get the True Cost of a Service Before Signing Up

More and more of our utility companies are offering a low cost rate for X amount of time at a very good price to lure you into signing up for their service. Cable and cell phone companies are the worst.

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Before signing up though, you need to find out what the cost of that service will be after that X amount of time expires. The companies won't want to give that information up, because the price after that time is so much higher than what it is during the sale period. But if you are persistent, insistent, and determined you will be able to get the answer. Whether you like the answer or not is an individual choice. But it's the only way to make an informed decision.

Before we signed up for the cable package we have, I forced them to tell me what the future cost would be after the initial sale period ended. It took a lot of arguing, but they finally told me what it would be.

Unfortunately we didn't do this when we got our cell phones. Initially we were paying a very low price and were extremely happy. But as soon as the sale period ended, wham! Our bill almost doubled. Then 6 months later it went up again another almost $15. It has gone up twice since the initial sale period ended.

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So it's extremely important to force the company to tell you what the price will be after the sale period ends. That way you can make an intelligent informed decision.

By Cricket from NC

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Anonymous
October 5, 20111 found this helpful

Very good advice, Cricket! Another thing to ask is what all of the extra taxes and government fees are going to be with the discounted price and also when the deal is over. For example, my current basic bundle fee for phone, tv and computer is set at $114.00 a month but with the monthly added taxes and fees the total monthly bill is actually $138.00.

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October 6, 20110 found this helpful

Terrific advice Cricket! Those guys drive me nuts when they try to push their deals! I've lectured my oldest kids and my husband to really think about if they're truly getting a deal sometimes! And the sales people can't seem to understand how it's not such a great, money-saving deal for you.

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I think the phone company is one of the worst.

Every time I've called Southwestern Bell or AT&T, they want to sell me something extra. They don't get it when I tell them they aren't saving me money & I'm not interested..."but you're saving x amount of $ on this bundle over what it would normally cost you!" Me - "yes, it saves me $ for the 1st 6 months, which would pay for maybe 1 1/2 months extra. But since I have to sign a 1-2 year contract, I'm spending more $ in the long run than I would if I stay with what I have." But I'm saving money those 1st 6 months! LOL!

The funniest is AT&T, when I had cell phone service with them. Whenever I called over trouble with my phone,or a question, they would try to push their digital TV service on me (which I would love to have, if we could afford it).

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Some of the people were so pushy & wouldn't take no for an answer when I'd tell them I wasn't interested. They would get so smug & cocky, informing me:
"I bet I can beat any price you're paying for the service you have now!"
(me) "No, you can't."
"Well, I know I can. How much are you paying for your service right now?"
(me) "Nothing."
silence.....(stutter)"Nothing?"
(me) "Nothing."
silence....."Well who do you have your service with?"
(me) "Nobody."
"Nobody?"
(me) "Nobody."
Silence.........."Then how do you watch TV?"
(me) "We have an antenna on top of the house."
"And you can watch tv with that?"
(me) "Yes."
silence (thinking)..."Wouldn't you like to have more channels?"

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(me) "No, in fact we're thinking of getting rid of the TV altogether!"
Silence...more silence (obviously in shock & trying to digest this)..."Well, I guess I can't beat that price."
(me) "No, I guess you can't - but thank you for trying."

I've had this same conversation in the stores with particularly pushy satellite sales people who ambush you & won't let you go, I always leave them with a stunned look on their face.
LOL!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 6, 20110 found this helpful

Forgot to mention - Deeli's advice about asking for the added cost is a must! And the best way to do as Cricket advises is to ask them to mail or email the offer to you so you can compare it & decide.

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They don't like to do this, but will most of the time, if you ask. It's saved me many times when I get a hard-sales pitch over the phone.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 12, 20110 found this helpful

Lionpridej, lol! I love the way you mess with those pushy salespeople's heads. :D Actually, we had A T & T for some time. When I learned they'd dropped Dish Network and got the hard-sell for DirecTV, that's the day we switched to Time-Warner. If I ever switch from Time-Warner, I imagine we'll give Cincinnati Bell another try. Who knows?

We were very frank with the TWC rep. I even went behind hubby's over-zealous deal-making and reduced the original $190 or so monthly charges to $155 or thereabout. I track it carefully every month, so I've encountered one more important question to ask when switching phone services: does the service include free 411?

I'm working on getting a waiver for 411 calls on the basis of my blindness. I'm just too lazy sometimes to turn on my computer just to look up a phone number. When I found out I was being charged $1.50 or so per 411 request, I knew I had to do something! I hate asking for special treatment, but hey, ya gotta save where you can.

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