I currently rent an apartment in a complex where the only option for cable is a big cable provider, no Verizon or dish or direct TV. So if i need cable and internet, i have to turn to them. They seem to know that fact too and use it to their advantage, leaving little or no room for negotiation. Looking at the last couple of years, i haven't changed a thing in the services i buy from them. I have expanded digital cable (with free HD channels), plus a high speed internet connection (no DVR, no premium channels) and my last months bill read $126.24 including taxes.
I think i started a couple of years ago at around $110 and the bill has been steadily rising with random costs and technology upgrade fees(?).
I decided that i had to lower this recurring monthly cost, and even though i had no competitor offer to bring to the table, i was ready to cancel the service completely for a few months and come back as a new customer (you would be surprised at the new customer offers they have). I called them 3 days ago and asked to speak to the cancellation department, the lady asked me the reason for cancellation and i simply listed out the facts from above and how it was outrageous to keep paying more and more for the same level of service. She said they wanted to retain me as a customer and could offer me a $15 discount on my bill for 6 months, that would have brought my monthly bill to about $112 but it would still be a really short term solution so i asked her if they had any offers if i signed up to stay long term with them like for a year or so. She put me on hold and then after about 2 minutes said the best she could do is take $20 off the bill for a whole year if i was ready to commit for 12 months. Now that sounded like a much better plan - saving about $240 over the year but i decided to play hard ball and told her that i would need to think about this and will have to call them back.
Now supposedly these customer reps get commissions if they make people sign yearly contracts, so she gave me her direct line (which is very rare) and asked me to call her back whenever i was ready or if i had more questions. I didn't call back for 2 days, and sure enough got her call this morning - she gave me a final offer, if i signed up for 2 years, my monthly bill for all the services i currently have would go down from $126.24 to $99.13 and whats more if i agree right away, i would get a $100 cash back check in the mail in about 6 weeks from now. This was a great offer, and thinking about it - i won't need to change the level of services i currently have in the next 2 years(i haven't done that in the last couple of years either), so i signed up saving myself a cool $650.64 over the next 2 years.
Add the $100 cash back to make it an even $750 saved on a recurring bill, which if i had taken no action or was simply afraid to ask,would have continued to be paid as is every month.