How I Saved 44% on my Comcast Bill-Chat Transcript ($1104 per Year)

by Darwin on December 31, 2009

The overriding theme of this post is to demonstrate that for ANY utility (Comcast Bill in my case) you pay where there is ANY competition in the area, you can likely employ some very simple techniques to achieve significant savings, leading to hundreds of dollars annually.  In this case, we have a pretty intense Comcast vs. Verizon FIOS competition going on. While I had initially highlighted how I was saving $250 per year on my Comcast bill through some simple negotiations by pitting Comcast vs Verizon FIOS, I was further inspired by 20somethingfinance.com via this post to try to attain a discount via chat instead of a phone call which I had previously used.

As you can see, each negotiating experience and outcome is different.  Message?  It sort of depends who you get and when you try. So, if you don’t get the deal you wanted, keep trying and don’t take no for an answer.  But the bottom line is that if your initial bill is say, $160 you may very well walk away paying $50 less with some minimal effort.

For ease of use, I’ve included my transcript below and highlighted in red and green the key points of the negotiation to hit on all 3 services I use – phone, internet and cable/premium channels.

Comcast Rep>Hello — ME –_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Comcast Rep. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Comcast Rep>How are you doing today?

– ME –_>Great, how bout yourself?

Comcast Rep>That’s good to hear. I’m fine, thank you.

Comcast Rep>I understand that you have a problem with your bill, I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. I will be glad to help you resolve this concern today, — ME –.

Comcast Rep>So I can help you better with your concern, may I have your account number, please.

– ME –_>sure, -xxxxxxxx–

Comcast Rep>Thank you, Please give me a moment to pull up your account.

Comcast Rep>While waiting, please allow me to take this oppurtunity to share with you one of the main features that you can get with Comcast which is our online site, Fancast.com. It offers full television episodes, full-length feature films, trailers and video clips to both Comcast subscribers and non-subscribers.I hope you will enjoy this feature with us .

Comcast Rep>So we can assure protection to your account, would you kindly provide me the last 4 of the account holder’s SSN.

– ME –_>-xxxxxxxx-

Comcast Rep>Thank you. May I have the exact concern that you have, — ME –?

– ME –_>Sure. I’m reaching out because the 6 months is up on the prior agreed promotions and I was advised to contact again when this occurs.  My bill jumped up substantially.

– ME –_>I had previously considered switching over to FIOS given the attractive offers they have now that they’ve entered our neighborhood.  The past few 6 month cycles, Comcast has discounted my bill in order to retain my business.

Comcast Rep>May I know when was the promotion ended?

– ME –_>from last month’s bill, it was to end 12/28/09.

Comcast Rep>I see. Please give me a moment to check on this.

– ME –_>sure

Comcast Rep>I apologize for the inconvenience, I see here that the bill that you are viewing will from 12/29 – 01/28. Comcast actually printed the bill in advance to avoid delinquent payment. That payment that is reflected on your bill will be the regular rate after your promotion will end on 12/28/09.

– ME –_>I’m not sure I follow.  My last bill was much lower.  In discussing this with Comcast in the past, each 6 months, I call and have a new promotion (whatever’s available at the time) applied to the account in order to bring the price well below the “regular rate”.  I was assured during prior calls that this agreement would continue to be honored into the future if I agreed to stay on as a customer.  Can you check out which promotions you’re running now that you could apply to bring the total bill back in line? Thanks

Comcast Rep>Please give me a moment to check on that.

– ME –_>sure

– ME –_>hello, still checking?

Comcast Rep>Yes I am still checking.

Comcast Rep>I apologize for the delay it will take me a few more moments to complete this process.

– ME –_>ok

– ME –_>Hi, this chat’s about 30 minutes now. may i ask what the delay is?

Comcast Rep>I am sorry for the inconvenience — ME –.

** [WIN #1] Comcast Rep>I see here that your promotion will end 12/28/09. I was able to look for a promotion for your cable service only. Digital Prefered of $39.99 monthly for 6 months.

– ME –_>OK, thanks, that helps on the cable side.  My DVR had been 4.95 and I had promos on internet and phone as well.  Could you kindly advise on which promos you can offer there as well? Thanks

Comcast Rep>I appreciate your patience; I am still working on this for you, please give me a few more time to assist you better.

– ME –_>OK, will hold. thanks for checking

Comcast Rep>Thank you for waiting, I am sorry for the delay. I was not able to look for a DVR promotion, all of the date codes that I checked have the same amount of $15.95.

– ME –_>Well, I guess since the preferred is $10 cheaper and DVR is $10 more expensive, then that’s a wash. We still have the premium channels to deal with then.  They were all at $0 last bill – HBO, Showtime, Starz.  Can you keep those at zero then?  If so, then cable section stays the same.

Comcast Rep>I will try to look on your account if there are HBO, SHowtime and Starz promotion available. Please give me a moment to look for a good promotion for you.

Comcast Rep>I appreciate your patience; I am still working on this for you, please give me a few more time to assist you better.

– ME –_>OK, please try to expedite. This only took 5 minutes on the phone last time. Thanks

Comcast Rep>I was able to locate free promotions for HBO, Starz and Showtime for 3 months only.

– ME –_>OK, I guess I’ll go with that then; it’s pretty close to old bill then.  Onto internet, a co-worker of mine has $19.99 for 6 months.  Are you able to find that one?

Comcast Rep>With the Internet promotion — ME –, I need to transfer you to the Internet department since my tools are limited to cable service only.

– ME –_>I hope you’re kidding.  last time, one person did everything.

Comcast Rep>I apologize for the inconvenience however I can only change the Cable service on your account. The Internet service department will be able to help locate promotions available for you.

– ME –_>Can you confirm for me the promos that will be applied to the bill?  I will need a final bill amount when everything is settled. will the interne dept be able to tally it up?  I also need phone. do they do both or that’s a third transfer?

– ME –_>hello?

Comcast Rep>Internet and phone department are in one department they will be able to give you the promotions.

– ME –_>Can you confirm the cable promos we agreed on and that they are now applied to my account?

Comcast Rep>For the cable service you can have Digital Preferred promotion of $39.99 for 6 months. Free HBO, starz and Showtime. Would you like me to process and update your service right now?

– ME –_>please do, thank you.  will i be transferred direct to other dept or have a queue time again? thanks

Comcast Rep>Please give me a moment to process your request.

Comcast Rep>Please allow me to transfer you to a representative who is specialized in helping you with this request. I will be giving them your information and notate the things we did so they can assist you with your concern. May I ask you to hold while I do that?

– ME –_>ok

Comcast Rep>Please wait, while the problem is escalated to another analyst

analyst Comcast Rep2 has entered room

Comcast Rep2>Just give me a quick minute or two while I review your order information at my end. Please stay online. Thank you very much!

analyst Comcast Rep has left room

– ME –_>ok

Comcast Rep2>Thank you.

Comcast Rep2>I see here you have a price discrepancy issue.

Comcast Rep2>Can you tell me about this.

– ME –_>long story short (just spent 1 hr on chat with last employee), Comcast has provided me discounted service via promos for some time now since I had agreed to stay instead of switching to FIOS which moved into neighborhood and had offers.  most of my neighbors have switched but i’ve remained w comcast due to reasonable cust service and pricing discounts.  each 6 months, the promos expire and i call to get new ones to keep the price down.  usually i call. this time i tried chat.  Comcast Rep was able to handle the cable piece.  can you handle promos for internet/phone then?  i have a co worker getting 19.99 internet

Comcast Rep2>I can see here in your account that you are paying $143.84 per month for your service, is this correct?

Comcast Rep2>I can give that to you as well.

Comcast Rep2>So we can assure protection to your account, I will need you to provide me with the last 4 of your account holder’s SSN.

– ME –_>no, that doesn’t sound right. last bill with all taxes, etc was $132.  total cable was 48.95. total internet was 33 and total phone was 33.  can you please confirm which promos you have to decrease the phone/internet? thanks

Comcast Rep2>Are you still there?

Comcast Rep2>Thank you.

[***Partial Win#2] Comcast Rep2>I can lower down the internet rate to $19.99.

ME –_>OK, great. that solves the internet.  could you advise on phone?

Comcast Rep2>We can only give one promotion at the same time — ME –.

Comcast Rep2>So for now, internet i what I can give you.

Comcast Rep2>That will make your bill 4120.

– ME –_>that’s not what’s been done in the past.  are you certain there’s no opportunity for multiple?

Comcast Rep2>I mean $120.

Comcast Rep2>We can’t give multiple promotions though but allow me to double check that.

– ME –_>OK, thank you.

Comcast Rep2>Not a problem.

[***Final Win#2]Comcast Rep2>Here is what I did, I was able to give the phone service at $29.99 instead of $39.99.

– ME –_>that sounds great. thank you.  could you kindly confirm where each service stands and a total for me then?

Comcast Rep2>Not a problem.

Comcast Rep2>Please give me one moment.

Comcast Rep2>Your phone service $29,99, internet $19.99, cable $39.99, DVR $15.95 and EMTA rent $5.

Comcast Rep2>That will sum up to $110.92.

Comcast Rep2> I have completed your request.

– ME –_>That’s great. Thanks for all your help.  Could you tell me what my monthly bill should be now w taxes, surcharges, etc so I can pay correct amount?  (my old bill has old pricing). Thanks much.

Comcast Rep2>You’re very much welcome.

Comcast Rep2>I do apologize but I don’t have the final bill with me including the taxes.

Comcast Rep2>What I have is the $110.92 bill for all your services.

In comparing the outcome of this negotiaton, I ended up with the following deal for the next 6 months (promotions expire and need to be renewed every 6 months):

  • $110 pre-tax/fees for all prior services
  • $116 with taxes/fees included (confirmed subsequently)
  • Prior 6 months negotiated bill had been $134 with taxes/fees
  • The standard price with NO discounts was $208 with taxes/fees
  • The new negotiated rate represents a 44% Discount from baseline and a Further 13% discount from my already-negotiated rate during the prior 6 month period.
  • In Dollar Terms, ($208-$116)*12 = $1104 saved per year.

What’s beautiful about this newer lower negotiated rate (down to $116 from prior $134 which was already a substantial discount) is that it sets a new baseline for each subsequent phone call.  I’d be satisfied with the same or lower deal next time, but won’t settle for another $20 up (really just back to last 6 month bill).  I can just claim “I’m paying $116 now and don’t want to pay more” and force them to find enough promotions to land and $116 or lower.

Surely, some will comment that the savings seem obscenely large because of the amount of services included.  We happen to watch probably 2-3 shows monthly on each of the premium channels and frankly, if we actually had to pay for them, we’d survive by dropping them.  But we obviously do need phone, internet and some basic cable.  I also have an HDTV and our DVR is much more efficient than watching TV live (I despise commercials), so even excluding savings for the premium channels, we still realize a sizable savings over just basic services excluding HBO, Starz, Showtime.  Any way you look at it we’re saving big bucks over not doing anything and just paying the bill.  The message here isn’t the details – it’s the method.  You need to find the most formidable competitor and pit them against your current provider.

As you can see, the chat session took longer than my prior phone calls, but the transcript is here in all its splendor for you to duplicate. For people who have the time and can multitask during a chat session and perform better in this medium rather than verbal haggling/negotiations, chat is a viable option at your disposal.  If you feel comfortably haggling live with an operator, phone seems to go more quickly.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 alex July 4, 2011 at 6:28 am

promotions are for a limitex time only and not permanent rates :-(

[Reply]

2 Brian August 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm

What was the point in rushing them? I cringed.

[Reply]

3 Richard September 24, 2012 at 5:53 am

Great post. Many of our visitors find that using a specific competitor offer with Comcast can work well and the rush keeps the pressure on the rep to get a result. Like you say, it all depends on who you get and what promotions or discretion they have to do a deal.

[Reply]

4 chase January 14, 2013 at 2:42 pm

i was having an issue trying to get Comcast to compensate me for the 4 hours i waited my tech to show up after my scheduled appointment they refused to do anything…. after reading this i found out that they were actually showing a promotion online for the same package that i applied for but with a better rate and free HBO for 2 years…. i am now on the phone awaiting confirmation that I WINNN lol

[Reply]

5 Bastian April 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Such a shame in germany it is much more expensive :( But still it is a good challenge to save some money.

[Reply]

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