For the majority of us that don’t live at home with our parents or even the ones that do, saving a bit on utility bills can have a big impact in the long run. Although we haven’t cut our costs dramatically we have worked out a couple ways we can make power and internet bills a little less strenuous.
Compare, negotiate and modify
Firstly, when we first moved out of home we basically just got our electricity provided through the company that the real estate managing our rental home suggested. Thinking this was what we were supposed to do we continued unknowingly paying a higher rate than needed. After a while we decided to compare providers and found that we could save by switching electricity provider.
Negotiate. If you’re with a provider and you’re just not bothered to change to another, negotiate with them. Call them up, tell them there is another provider willing to provide the same service for cheaper and see what they can do for you. You will never know if you don’t try right? I used this same tactic years ago when we had foxtel (before the days of streaming services). I managed to get our monthly foxtel bill almost halved just by telling them I was going to leave if I can’t get a better deal!
Modify, here’s where we make our power bill convenient for our budget style. Rather than having a quarterly bill that always seems to wack you like a bad prank we found out through a friend that there is another way. Bill Smoothing. In basic terms, pay your bill fortnightly. Incorporating a much lower fortnightly direct debit into our budget has given us the ability to avoid that wack every 3 months. We pay the same amount, just broken down into a fortnightly payment. Basically, just pay the bill fortnightly so it’s easier to incorporate this cost into our regular weekly budget.
Compare, negotiate and if that fails threaten!
Make an honest estimate for how much internet you actually use and decide on a plan based on your average. Compare different providers as well as compare those providers service quality. No point paying less if you don’t receive the same service as paying a little extra right? Our internet is supplied by TPG. We have never had an issue with the quality of internet and have been long term customers.
Negotiate. Although we know we are going to continue with this provider we can still call and negotiate a better deal. A couple years ago I rang the customer service, explained to them that I found a better deal by a competitor and asked if they do the same deal. They did and we got our bill cheaper. If I had never called we would still be paying almost $30 more a month for that same service.
Threaten, that’s right. Downright threaten them ha-ha.
So, a couple weeks ago I had done some research to see if I could further lower this bill again for the same service provided. I found a rival company that would offer me the same amount of data as our current for a little less.
I called up our provider and asked them if they could match this price. Whilst on the phone I was continuing my research into this rival company. I found that although the data was the same as my current plan, the wifi speed Mbps was actually pretty crap.
I didn’t want to tell them that (mainly because I was trying to negotiate). So I continued my quest to have them price match it. They sadly no longer did price matching. Then I thought, I came this far. ‘Well, if your can’t match this price I’m going to switch providers’
They must have thought, can’t let a long term customer go so a month off the bill in exchange for a 3 month contract? ‘Yeah that’s better than nothing!’
To be honest I would not leave them. They have provided a high quality of service for the almost decade we have been with them. But hey, a 15min phone call got me a month free!
You won’t know if you don’t try. I got $70 in my figurative pocket because of it.
The basics and almost common knowledge nowadays for any type of service provided is to compare and negotiate. Use just those two tactics, especially if you haven’t before and I am almost sure you will at the very least educate yourself a bit more about what service you are paying for.
If you’ve got any tactics we don’t know about we’d love to hear from you! Send us a message or comment below!