There are 2 main components involved with how to save money with 5 simple phone calls, there is who to call and what to say. With the increase in time, I now have on my hands I have decided to make some targeted phone calls to see if I could save money.
Complacency can cost money which is often the case when it comes to monthly or annual expenses. Here are some phone calls that you can think about making in the next few weeks to help save yourself money.
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Who can I call to save money on my bill?
Your cell phone provider
When as the last time you took the time to review your cell phone plan?
Cell phone companies are often changing up their plan specifics. If you own your own phone outright, then it is easy to take advantage of these changes.
I have often found that my current cell phone provider has a better plan that I didn’t know about. A simple phone call often gets me in a better plan for a lower rate. This is very easy to do because I own my cell phone outright and am not locked into to any long term plan.
There are also a lot of discount phone providers that are now available. They often work off of the network of larger companies so service coverage is not an issue. In Canada, my favourite is Public Mobile (who hubby currently has his phone plan through). And in the USA, my favourite low-cost cell phone provider is Boost Mobile.
Your internet provider
This is one provider that you definitely want to stay on top of. Internet service providers seem to always be offering some form of promotion – if you happen to know about it.
One of the best times to call your internet service provider to save money is in late summer before school starts. Often they will run promotions for back to school so you may be able to benefit from one of these promotions.
Every time my internet bill increases I call my service provider and ask for a better rate. EVERY time I am able to save money on my bill, even if just for a few months. Yes, it’s annoying to have to continuously make this phone call. But the return on investment of my time definitely makes this a smart money move.
Right now my parents and I have the same internet service provider and package but I am paying almost half of what they are. I guess it’s time for mom and dad to make some phone calls.
Your home and car insurance agent
There are so many ways to save money on your car and home insurance. Insurance companies offer a whole range of discounts based on employment or where you went to post-secondary just to name a couple of such discounts.
One of the most obvious discounts is saving for bundling insurance products together. If you do not currently have your home and car insurance through the same company this is a simple phone call that may save you hundreds of dollars a year.
When we were shopping around for a new insurance provider (our old one had terrible customer service), I called many different insurance agents that would offer discounts to us. Eventually, I found an insurance agent that had an employee discount for hubby’s employer.
These few phone calls, and changing our insurance provider ended up saving us close to $700 a year; every year.
Now that I am working from home for the foreseeable future I called my insurance agent to let them know I was not commuting. The phone call took 5 minutes and resulted in the company sending me a cheque for $70.
Now if only all my phone calls provided that kind of return.
Your mortgage lender
There are many terms and rates that go into a mortgage that is beyond the scope of this article.
If you are in a variable rate mortgage or your mortgage is coming up for renewal, then now is a good time to call your mortgage lender. Or better yet, call your mortgage broker.
Variable rates can often be locked into a fixed-rate at any time. And with interest rates very low right now it may be the perfect time to lock in a rate. Waiting too long to renegotiate a mortgage can cost you thousands of dollars.
With a fixed-rate mortgage, there is no wiggle room until it comes up for renewal. That will be when you want to make a few phone calls to save money.
One tip I have I when calling your mortgage lender for a better rate is to ask for lower than they are currently offering. This seems obvious, but according to a Lowestrates.ca survey, nearly 40% of people didn’t know that mortgage rates were negotiable.
When you go into a renewal negotiation with a lower rate you may be surprised at how often the lender accepts. This lower rate can save you a ton of money over the term of the mortgage.
But what if you don’t have your own mortgage? Then chances are you may have a lease and a landlord.
Right now the economy is essentially at a standstill and times are tough for both tenants and landlords. If you are a tenant, take some time to call your landlord. You may be able to negotiate a lower lease rate going forward.
Even in good economic times, your landlord may be willing to negotiate with you to have you sign a new lease. It is more economical for your landlord for you to renew your lease than for them having to relist and show the property.
As a landlord, I would be willing to negotiate with a tenant who takes good care of the property, who is a good communicator, who pays on time and who would be willing to sign a longer-term lease. If you are a tenant, those are a few things to keep in mind when calling your landlord.
What do I need to keep in mind when trying to save money with a simple phone call?
Know competitive offers
Before making a phone call to try and save money, it’s a smart money move to first know what competitive rates are out there.
The first place to look is on the website for your current provider, sometimes they will have better plans or rates that you may not even know about. Next, check out the websites for the other providers in your area.
Sometimes, certain rates will not be posted online because they are too personal. This is the case with home and car insurance premiums. In this case, you may have to phone various insurance agents to get quotes in order to compare rates.
Always ask for the loyalty department
Often bigger companies have a loyalty department that has the authority to provide loyalty discounts that the regular customer service department doesn’t.
If you have been a customer with a certain company for an extended period of time you may be entitled to a loyalty discount. But here’s the thing, they won’t apply it automatically to your account. You have to ask for it.
Always be courteous and respectful
You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.Old English Saying
Always be courteous and respectful when you are speaking to someone in the customer service (or loyalty) department. They spend all day talking to people and dealing with complaints; getting mad at them will not help your case.
In fact, from my experience, being courteous, respectful, and calling someone by their first name has been very beneficial. Be a beacon of decency in their day.
I would be more willing to help someone who is being nice to me than someone who is being rude, wouldn’t you?
That being said, if the conversation is going nowhere it is okay to politely end the call and to call back to speak to someone else.
Don’t be afraid to hang up and call back
I don’t know how many times I have had to do this, but it works the majority of the time. Sometimes I will even look for another number to call. Some companies have multiple numbers for their call centers.
When I was trying to get a better mortgage rate, the first person I talked to on the phone was very unhelpful. I thanked him for his time and then called another number I had found for the same bank. The person who answered the phone the next time was extremely helpful.
Be prepared to change providers
If you can find a better deal with another provider and your current provider cannot match it, be prepared to change providers.
Sometimes this switch will be an easy one, for example switching cell phone providers. But sometimes this switch may be more complicated, which may be the case when changing your mortgage lender.
How to Save Money with 5 Simple Phone Calls – Recap
Who to call
- Cell phone provider
- Internet provider
- Insurance agent
- Mortgage lender
What to keep in mind when you call
- Know competitive offers
- Always ask for the loyalty department
- Always be courteous and respectful
- Don’t be afraid to hang up and call back
- Be prepared to change providers
If you’re ready to save money on your monthly and annual expenses, then hopefully this guide on how to save money with 5 simple phone calls has given you some inspiration.
The next step is to make a plan on who to call and then take action and start making some phone calls. The worst thing that can happen is your request is denied and you are back to where you started. Which is what you have been okay with paying so far.
Who knows, making a few simple phone calls may end up saving you hundreds of dollars this year. What do you have to lose?
What one phone call will you make today to save money?