Most people toss out the junk mail that comes in their mailbox never realizing that it can save them hundreds of dollars a year. That's because "junk mail" includes competing offers that can be used to lower the rates you currently pay for services.
When companies send out junk mail, they're hoping to convert new customers to their product or service. To do so, they often offer discounted introductory rates below the normal retail price. When you have an offer from a competing company, you have leverage against your current provider to get them to lower their rates.
Say you receive a credit card offer in the mail for a 0% interest rate for six months and you are currently paying 18% on your current credit card. Call your credit card company and simply say, "I received a credit card offer from (credit card company A) that is offering me 0% financing for six months (or whatever the competing offer is) to switch. Can your company match this offer?" While they won't always match the offer, you'll be surprised at how many times they will give you a better deal than you are currently getting.
Junk mail offers aren't limited to credit cards. Telephone companies, cellular phones, Internet service and satellite/cable TV are a few others that are common. When you call with a competing offer in hand, you're in a much stronger position to receive a discount on your current services.
When you call, be polite. If the first person you talk to can't give you the discount that you want, ask to talk with a manager. Explain that you want to stay, but only if you can get a comparable rate with what the competing company is offering. Since it's much more costly to get a new customer than retain one, in many instances, you'll get the discount you want.
If you receive a discount that you're satisfied with, then you've saved yourself money. If they offer a discount but not as good as the competing offer, thank them and say you'll get back to them. If the competing offer is worth switching to, then call back the next day and make the switch (sometimes on the second call a different person will give the discount you wanted). If the competing offer isn't worth the effort, don't do a thing until the next competing offer comes.
Getting into the habit of calling your current service providers with all the competing offers you receive will ensure that you get the best price available from all the services you pay for. When you see how simple it can be to lower your costs using this method, you may find that you'll start looking forward to that junk mail filling your mailbox each day.
Jeffrey Strain is owner of savingadvice.com - a website dedicated to helping you save money with quality articles and tips. copyright Jeffrey Strain
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