The $564 Phone Call

When I first moved to Jacksonville a little over a year ago, I subscribed to Comcast Cable’s “Triple Play” package, which includes cable television, broadband internet & Comcast telephone service (not quite VOIP, but the same premise). The deal at the time was all three for $33 apiece, plus taxes & such. After we added a second line and an HDTV DVR box, the whole thing came to around $150 per month, which I thought was a pretty darn good rate for all those services.

I knew at the outset that it was an introductory price and it would be rocketing up to whatever the going rate was a year later, but always planned on crossing that bridge when I came to it. Well, today when I checked the mail, I found it was time to cross that bridge.

My Comcast bill which had hovered around $150 was now $189 — almost $40 above what it had been for the past year. Now I’m neither pauper nor tightwad, and I’m not above spending money for entertainment, but an extra $40 tacked on the cable bill stings no matter how prepared you are for it.

Comcast Triple PlaySo I decided to give Comcast a call. After fast-forwarding through the automated prompts (did you know you can bypass a lot of that junk and get to a human by dialing 00?) I talked to Kelly, and I expalined the situation, and how I’d priced a comparable Verizon package for between $125-135 (just some quick Googling got me that ballpark amount), and how I really don’t want to switch, and asked if there was anything she could do to help. Surprisingly, her immediate answer was, “Sure!”

Wow. No haggling? No reasoning? Just, “Sure?” Awesome. Kelly transferred me to the retention department who offered me a cable package upgrade on top of my existing bundle, all for $142/month. I snapped it up immediately.

So over the course of twelve months, that’ll save me $564 off of the $189/month that my current bill shows. Now that’s great results from a ten-minute phone call.

Incidentally, I never intended to switch to Verizon — I just used them as leverage to get the conversation started. I can’t stress enough how much you can get done just by acting like a friendly customer looking for help. I imagine the results would have been different if I’d called all pissed off and threatening to disconnect. Those phone reps are people just like me, and I’m sure a kind voice coupled with a the on-screen record showing my history as a good customer helped to get me what I needed with no hassle.

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