How Stupid (Or Lazy) Do They Think I Am?

by Darwin on April 3, 2010

This month, my Comcast bill came in $10 higher than my previously negotiated 44% Discount.  If you followed that ordeal, I posted (copy/paste) an entire online chat session with a Comcast rep on how I saved 44% on my Comcast bill by threatening to leave for Verizon FIOS.  Well, this month for some reason, the phone promotion came off and my bill popped up 10 bucks.  Not a huge deal, but since I had previously negotiated a lower monthly bill in exchange for my continued patronage I figured it was worth the phone call to see what happened and get it back down.  I explained the situation and how I expected to be paying the same ~$110 before taxes and fees as opposed to the $120 that I was assessed this month.

The rep proceeded to try and push me into a “bundle promotion” that was actually more money than I was paying now for the same services!!!

Basically, she was trying to get me into a phone/internet/cable bundle that included the same premium channels (that I get for free), the same HD DVR, etc. for $146 per month.  She was very persistent and cited the fact that I wouldn’t have to keep calling back every 6 months after the promotions dropped off.  Oh, and that after a 1 year period, the price would “only” go up by $15 per month.  I was a bit perplexed.

How stupid did do they think people are?  Or I guess, how lazy?

I’ll gladly pick up the phone once every 6 months for the 10 minutes it takes to haggle out a new reduced deal for $110 rather than pay $146.

That’s $432 per year in after-tax dollars!

When I cited my reluctance to enter into this deal and said what I really wanted was for Comcast to honor our prior committed price of $110, she seemed surprised that I wasn’t jumping on this great offer and she actually started talking slower and re-explaining the deal so I could understand it better.  After some back and forth, she finally relented and said she couldn’t get the same promotion on the phone, but found one for $5 off, so my new bill is $115 per month.  That was close enough and I wasn’t going to get back to the $110, but it beat the heck out of $30 higher.  But, I have to envision by the amount of time she spent on the topic and her relentless sales pitch, enough people give up and agree to it.

Here are some very compelling reasons I cited that made my case quite plausible and forced her to consider whether I’d leave or not.  I said:

  • “Virtually every one of my neighbors has switched or is switching now to Verizon FIOS.  The trucks are all over the neighborhood installing fiber optic cable”.
  • “They just sent out another sales rep and a flyer with an incredible deal again”.
  • “Frankly, the ONLY reason I’m staying with Comcast is because you’ve been willing to retain me at a discounted rate.  Otherwise I would be with Verizon right now.  It’s a win-win for both of us.  If my Comcast rate goes up, I’ll simply switch”.

I know that I’m more valuable to them at a much discounted rate than not at all.  It costs very little to service me, an incremental customer, vs. acquiring a new customer or none at all.  It’s in both of our best interest to keep this going, but sometimes I just need to remind the customer service rep of this notion.

Again, for more on exact language and tactics used to secure a massive discount with Comcast or any other service where there is competition (sanitation, pest control, security service, wireless, you name it), see this article on my Comcast Bill Negotiation.



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1 RainyDaySaver April 3, 2010 at 10:41 am

Oh, don’t get me started on Comcast — hate them. Although I was able to successfully renegotiate our pricing every time the promotional period was up. When we moved last year, we switched to FIOS — the price is locked in for 2 years, and we have the bundle of phone, TV & internet. It’s still a lot of money, but that’s because my hubby is a TV/movie freak and must have all the premium channels. I can’t complain too much — he doesn’t have any other expensive ‘hobbies’!

2 Eric April 3, 2010 at 10:41 am

Ahh yes, the Comcast incremental game.

I have been receiving discount rates for nearly 5+ years now. However, each time I lose my promotional rate and receive the bill for some outrageous amount, I find myself always paying $4-$5 more per month. They will never bring you back down to your previous rate.

3 Earn Cash Now April 3, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I hate it when these companies do this. I had a friend who worked at a cable company and he told me his job was to find all the people still getting the discounts and change their bill and if they called and complained he would get a bonus because most people get suckered into the higher promo. It is sickening to hear how some companies do this. I wish I could say what company it is that does this, but I don’t want to have the hassel of a law suit on my hands.

4 Smarter Spend April 3, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Every few months this happens with me on my AT&T High Speed Internet. I negotiated with them to pay$15 a month and every month the bill seems to be higher… sometimes $25 and sometimes $20.

It takes real dedication to get the fair price nowadays, these companies are resorting to all means to snatching money from your wallet.

5 Detreon roberts April 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Hi there,

I apologize for the experience and I would like the opportunity to look into this further. Can you please share the telephone number on your account and a good contact number and we will get right on this. We are happy to have you cared for.


Detreon Roberts
Comcast National Customer Service Operations
[email protected]

6 John | April 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Personally I’ve never had a problem with Comcast. However, I think companies routinely raise prices and sneak in fees hoping that you’re either lazy or not paying attention. This happens all the time with my Verizon cell phone bill.

7 Aury (Thunderdrake) May 24, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Man. And I thought Rogers was bad…

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