3 Factors are Brewing the Perfect Storm
Let our Sharks negotiate your Bills
Many consumers in North America are unhappy with their service bills. From simply not receiving quality television or Internet service, or an unfair pricing package for what they are receiving, the frustration level is rising.
In the past, service was first and foremost. A disgruntled customer could easily place a call to their service provider and they often hung up feeling great about the relationship.
Now, over half of the people we surveyed felt they were overpaying for the CableTV and Internet package, but only 62% said they would actually negotiate their bills. Why?
Well unfortunately, negotiating with service providers is getting progressively more difficult because of three main factors: rising costs, a longer and more difficult negotiation process, as well as complex pricing plans. The scene is just right for a shark negotiator to come in and produce the results that every customer deserves on their service bills.
Rising Service Costs
The majority of consumers who subscribe to services related to Internet, television, and mobile phones have contracts with the larger service providers—the ones who tight control over the market. One of the major reasons for this is a wider service range (particularly will mobile phone and Internet services). Smaller companies don’t have the financial clout to compete with the bigger fish.
The big-name companies in these markets understand the type of control they possess; consumers have very little choice in terms of alternatives. In other words, they are stuck with one of the major companies. Major service providers have used this advantage, resulting in higher service costs. For countries with lower service costs, there is almost always a great deal of competition in the market, often regulated by the government.
Additionally, higher service costs are the result of increases in demand. Internet usage costs are rising at a rapid rate as more and more consumers look for packages to suit their needs. Many now stream television online through services such as Netflix, giving Internet service providers the fuel needed to increase their prices.
The rising service costs are straining consumer budgets. Strained budgets put unnecessary financial stress on a household, especially when they are the result of Internet, Television, mobile phone, or even Home Security Systems. Many individuals consider these services essential to daily life, and may even consider reducing expenses on other aspects in order to maintain their connection.
However, this does not need to be the case. This type of service is a prime example of something that can be negotiated. Unfortunately, complex service pricing plans, as well as the grueling negotiation process makes it difficult for an individual consumer to make headway through the frustrating process.
Negotiating as a Consumer
If you want to alter the price of your service agreement, negotiating as an individual consumer is always an option. We hesitate to recommend this; the negotiation process for someone with little to no experience in dealing with these matters can often be very time consuming and painful. The customer service agents are trained to maintain the price that you are currently paying, and will spend more time than you have convincing you to stay where you are.
During the negotiation process, you must remain calm, polite, as well as firm when speaking with a customer service agent. You should always try and get the agent to name a new price first, because if you offer and they accept, chances are you did not get the best possible price and the service provider would have gone lower.
Finally, in many cases, threatening to cancel your service and join a competitor is the only effective weapon in your arsenal when negotiating. Unfortunately, as a consumer you need to be prepared to actually follow through with that threat. Sometimes you are able to delay the process and try negotiating with a different customer service agent a few days later, but you do not have the luxury of constantly calling as the threat of cancelling will be taken less seriously every subsequent time that you call without having cancelled on them.
When you let a shark negotiator fight for you, service providers know you’re serious. You’ll avoid the stress, and save both time and money. Why bother waiting on hold for an hour?
Complex Service Packages
Many service providers are complicating their pricing strategies. By putting undesirable features in a contract, they can claim to be adding value, while justifying a price increase. Undesirable features are those that are seldom used by consumers, and when they are, nowhere near their full extent. In other words, they are of minimum value to the consumer, yet service providers use these features to mask their overpriced plans.
Additionally, the pricing plans are nowhere near as transparent as they could be. Service providers often say one price, but they don’t provide a breakdown of exactly where your money is going in terms of the each feature in your package.
Service providers also operate on the “add-on” style of pricing. This means that there is one advertised price, such as $30 for a Wireless and Internet package, but then there are a number of additional costs that the consumer has to add-on to their service to get features most people assume are basic.
For example, a Wireless and Internet package might be advertised at a price of $40. But with the add-on style, this could turn out to be $40 for just the Wireless router, before having to account for an addition $30 for 80GB of data and then an additional cost for the desired speed of the Internet connection. By the time they’re finished, your budget has been blown out of the water!
The final element that makes for more complex pricing is inconsistency based on consumer location, how promotions are introduced, as well as how a consumer gets into contact with the service provider. Shockingly (or maybe not at this point), new customers in different geographic locations (particularly in the United States) can expect to pay different prices for the same service.
Even with overlap in price for some locations, it is hardly ever consistent across the board. Service providers are even notorious for offering different promotions dependent on the method a consumer chooses to initiate contact with them. This might mean a higher price if you get on the phone to talk to a customer service agent rather than contacting the company online.
How a Shark can help
We know exactly how complicated dealing with service providers can be. More importantly, we know the process, the plans, and the hidden fees. Forget the frustration; let a Billshark expert negotiator lower your service fees and save you time and money.
Find out how our team can help you.