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Saving money to help control debt

Discussion in 'Debt Management and Control' started by linda nguyen, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. linda nguyen

    linda nguyen Level 2 Member

    I’m posting some of the things that I use or have used to help save money and reduce bills. A lot of times people aren't willing to get rid of things such as internet, cable, etc. I'm a big believer in trying to cutdown on costs and if you aren't willing to ditch a service or goods that you use then this might be helpful. One of the services is services that can help cut your bills that you spend on typically monthly. A few of the services are: BillFixers, Billshark and BillCutterz that take on the sometimes painful process of calling cable, phone and internet companies to negotiate for a better package. Technically I could do the same thing that these services do but because I know won’t take the time to do it I rather pay someone to do it and know that I will save some money.
     
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  2. heavenlyjane

    heavenlyjane Level 2 Member

    Wow I am intrigued. Do you have any experience doing this Linda? Any way to distinguish these three companies? I have already noted a difference in the fees: BillFixers charges 50% of savings, Billshark 40% and BillCutterz 50%.
     
  3. linda nguyen

    linda nguyen Level 2 Member

    Well before finding them I did actually call ATT and get a lower rate. Unfortunately this was after I had paid a year or more of leaving my ATT at full price after the last promo expired. These are the things that you can't let happen....paying full price with the intention to call but not doing it. If you aren't going to do it might as well pay some money for someone else to do it. I will probably give Billshark a try for some of my other stuff. I will report back.
     
  4. Mancolt

    Mancolt Level 2 Member

    I submitted my Verizon Wireless bill. I'll post an update once I find out if they were able to negotiate any savings.
     
  5. bifslipson

    bifslipson Level 2 Member

    I'd be interested to see the results too. I've contacted Billcutterz in the past, but never proceeded. We're at almost a year+ in the new house so all of these promo rates are winding down.

    The other way to save is to check at work. My large company gave me a 15% discount on wireless. My wife's small, local company got us 20%. always pays to ask your benefits dept if you are missing out on one of these benefits.
     
  6. Mancolt

    Mancolt Level 2 Member

    My large company gives me a 20% discount on my Verizon bill, though it works out to be less than 20% after all line fees, phone payments, etc are factored in. I've been taking advantage of that since I started working there 7+ years ago.
     
  7. Mancolt

    Mancolt Level 2 Member

    The update is to proceed cautiously, and ask that they give you a detailed explanation of what the deal/discount is before agreeing to it and before making changes to the deal that your shark negotiates (this is BillShark by the way).

    Original post:
    This "expert" negotiator is in fact a moron. They took my bill from an already high $166/month to $219/month, and then had the audacity to charge me $96 for their "work". I just got off the phone with Verizon to undo everything, and was able to get them to issue $40 in credits for the month that this negotiator's deal is in place. So I'm going to be out $13. I do not plan on paying this invoice, obviously. I am going to dispute this vigorously. The number I found on the invoice they sent me took me to someone in India. She was able to find all of my information, but if this is who I have to deal with to get it sorted out...it's going to be one pain in the butt (on top of the 30 min VZW call I just had). Horrible experience with a terrible company.

    In case you want the details:

    My old bill was 10GB / month, unlimited talk and text (base price $80, my employer offers 20% discount on this, so $64). Phone access charges were $15/phone.
    The new bill is unlimited data, talk, text for $110/month. The negotiator on the invoice claimed that this $110 was my old bill, and then they got a $20 loyalty credit bringing it to $90/month. The Phone access charges still went up to $20/phone. And this plan is excluded from the 20% discount deal. And the Verizon rep I just spoke to was unable to find any record of a loyalty credit. It was in fact not going to be applied to my bill.

    No matter how you slice it, they increased my base bill by at least $10, even if the phantom loyalty credit was legit, and excluding taxes, fees, and other service charges (like the additional line access fee).

    Please see my follow up posts below, and assess for yourself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
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  8. Matt

    Matt Administrator Staff Member

    Wow - was this Billcutterz @Mancolt ?
     
  9. Mancolt

    Mancolt Level 2 Member

    @Matt - This was Billshark, but I want to clarify my prior statement (and will probably edit the stay FAR FAR away part to be proceed with caution and make sure you fully understand the deal they get for you). I called the "shark" that did the negotiation, and he stated that he actually had Verizon price-match a competitor's offer. His words "their system doesn't allow for it to be reflected, but they agreed (and I have a recording of them doing so) to price match Sprint's public offer". So while my invoice online will still show a number, I will receive statement credits that more than offset the higher price shown.

    I don't feel like things are as dire as I thought they were, now that I've spoken with the agent. I think BillShark just did a poor job communicating the deal that they structured. As soon as they completed the deal, I got a notification from Verizon saying my new statement was available online. I checked it out, looking for reassurance that what they had done was indeed a good deal. I didn't get that reassurance from what I saw online. So I called Verizon. And the agent confirmed that the next and recurring bills that I saw online were correct. It's not clear to me how this Sprint price-match is supposed to work, but the fact that the agent couldn't see it and therefore didn't tell me that was what caused so much concern.

    After speaking to the Shark, I think he may have in fact saved me a few bucks. If I pay via bank account or debit card, I can save another $10/month.
     
  10. Mancolt

    Mancolt Level 2 Member

    It just so happens that Verizon's Unlimited Data, Talk, Text plan is $110 per month (when you don't include phone access charges). It also so happens that my original bill (when you include phone access charges) is $110 per month ($80 base plan + $15 phone 1 access charge + $15 phone 2 access charge). They assessed the savings based on my original bill, and were able to get the Unlimited Data, Talk, Text plan (including the 2 access charges) for $90. So the savings ends up being $20, but I am no longer eligible for my employer's 20% discount on the new plan. Here are the details of the original and new plan:

    Original plan:
    $80 10GB Data, Unlimited Talk, Text
    ($16) 20% employer discount
    $64 base plan
    +$15 phone 1 access plan
    +$15 phone 2 access plan
    $94 Total "Original bill amount" or $110 excluding the discount, which they do for their calculation

    New plan:
    $90 Unlimited Data, Talk, Text
    No Phone access fees
    No employer discount
    $90 Total New Bill

    Note the figures I reference above exclude taxes & fees and other monthly phone payments, the latter of which may not apply to you.

    So I'm saving $4/month for a contract period of 12 months, or $48 total, but I have unlimited data now (a minor improvement, not worth much to me since we've never used all 10GB). However, using BillShark's invoice calculation, $110 - $90 = $20/month * 12 months* 40% for their fees, and you get $96. So after all is said and done, I'm now paying $48 more this year for unlimited data than I was for 10GB. If I add any other family members to this plan, it becomes more beneficial, especially if the line access fee continues to be waived/free. Unlimited for 3 or 4 people will be much better than 10GB for 3 or 4.

    Now I just have to hope my "shark" is able to get them to offer the deal again, since in my haste I called Verizon and had them switch everything back.

    I will say that my phone call with the shark was very good. He was definitely based in the US, and was quite friendly and helpful. And surprisingly wasn't annoyed that I had called and undone all of his work. He offered to reconnect with Verizon and try to get the deal put back into place by tomorrow. I think BillShark or specifically my Shark could have done a better job communicating what deal they got. Their generic template left me confused (see the original paragraph and the two different $110 figures) and led me to think that something was amiss. If they had been a little more proactive in their communication, I think a lot of this could have been avoided.
     
  11. Matt

    Matt Administrator Staff Member

    Good stuff, glad that they didn't completely screw this up.

    If anything (late I know) I try these days to let things sit for a moment before acting, because sometimes there's something I'm missing. I'm still prone to pure rage every now again though :)
     
  12. Mancolt

    Mancolt Level 2 Member

    Exactly. On most days, during the middle of the day, I wouldn't have even been at my desk to react to the Verizon message saying to review the new statement. I may have actually talked to the shark before checking the statement, or maybe I would have given him enough time to reach out with a thorough summary. I definitely jumped the gun!
     
  13. italdesign

    italdesign Level 2 Member

    from 10G to unlimited eh. Time to have a shark/fixer/cutter upgrade my 1G plan!
     

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