Negotiating with Rogers for a Lower Telephone Bill

Crucial business tool (though I want an iPhone too)

I’m with Rogers and yes, yes, we all know the Big Three are varying shades of evil depending on what day ends in “y.” Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of competition in Canada when it comes to phones and we pay one of the highest rates in the world. That means there isn’t a lot of leeway on phone plans but sometimes you can cut your bill.

Once a year I look at my phone usage. I should do it more often but at least I look at it. I have a Blackberry so this involves looking at my data usage and my text usage. Here’s what I found out:

I used an average of 35 per cent of my data. That’s 35 per cent of 500 MB.

I also used maybe 10 per cent of my text allowance. I have 2,500 allowed texts per month.

I barely use my long distance and don’t use up my daytime minutes.

Yet I was paying for all of that with a monthly average of $100. Ouch. So I call Rogers and explain my findings to the customer service rep and ask if she can do something about this in a way that will benefit me, aka, make me happy. She gives me nothing. I ask to be put to customer retention and she immediately tells me that she can’t do that as that is only for people who are looking to cancel their contracts.

“I’m perfectly happy to consider that,” I tell her happily and politely. I get put on hold and am connected to the customer retention rep. Once again I explain my situation – don’t use all my data, don’t use all my text, don’t use this, don’t use that, don’t want to pay for it, etc. etc. Can you do something about it, please? – and then I point out that a competitor has this deal that gives me what I want for about $40 less.

We talk and by the end of it I ended up reducing my monthly phone and internet costs from an average of $147 to $102.

So how was it done?

Usage

I looked at what I was paying versus what I was using. Then I noted how I use my phone: mostly for email, texting, Twitter and Blackberry Messenger.

Research

Once I knew how I was using my phone I looked at the available plans, found a few that I liked and had them open on my laptop when I made the call.

Cancellation

I was willing to cancel my contract, pay the fines and switch. It would have been an initial outlay but it was one I was willing to make.

Retention

I’ve never found customer service useful when trying to change my plan. Knowing I was willing to cancel, I immediately asked to be put through to retention after customer service couldn’t help.

Politeness

Seriously. I was nice and polite to the customer retention rep even though my first instinct is to be hostile. It was a great experience for both of us and I even left a message with his manager commending his service at the end of the call. On a side note, I don’t think that affected my new plan since I mentioned it to the customer retention rep. after I got the new plan.

So with that I’ll be saving an average of $490 a year. Not too bad.

One of these days I’ll tell you how I got out of paying $400  in fees to Bell thanks to an apartment building.

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