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How to negotiate with your ISP | CNET


Sarah Tew / CNET

There is no doubt that my wife is the main negotiator and dealmaker in our household. Before we met, she thought of life’s pivotal moments like buying a house, bashing out on a new car, and getting the best possible salary offer for a new job. When it’s time to put together your best advice for negotiating with your ISP, you should believe I asked her for some advice.

“Kindness is the key,” she said. “Always friendly and polite.” (Or online chat, as the case may be) are more likely to work with you if they find it appropriate and patient.

Now I can fill all the columns with advice from my wife. But I think I also need some expert insight. As you might imagine, some of them provide information about whether all customers are getting the same high-value deal or how agents work tirelessly to ensure consumers are getting a good price. The best from the start You already know.

We all know that is not 100% true, or that service providers do not change their promotions and offers all the time. But after going through the talking points, here’s what I got about how I negotiate with the ISP.

Have you done your research yet?

“I think the first thing is to try to get some knowledge before making a phone call,” said Earthlink CEO Glenn Goad. From his point of view, most consumers are unfamiliar with their options when they contact their ISP. This puts them at a disadvantage and can lead to more purchases than they would like, be it super-speedy or bundled services they don’t use. Don’t really want or want This is how you can avoid a pit like that.

Dive into yourself

Take part in your preparation by building a case for yourself as a desirable customer.How long have you been with your ISP? If you sign a 2-month contract for 24 months, you are less likely to gain traction from making a better deal. That’s because the carrier often charges an early cancellation fee if you bail on an existing contract.

On the other hand, if you’ve been with the same ISP for years, there’s a much better chance of finding a responsive mood at the end. In this case, the provider should have more incentives for you to become a member, as there is no claimed financial benefit from your loss. Either way, having this background information will help you make better claims.

You can also benefit yourself and set a procedure for a more profitable exchange by paying your bills on time. Once you’ve created consistent and on-time payments for months or years, sales reps are more likely to see you as a valuable customer and something worth keeping happy.


Faster plans may increase your network requirements, and if you consider each plan’s cost per Mbps, faster plans may be more cost effective as well. But be careful not to pay for a map faster than you really need it.

Screenshot by Ry Crist / CNET

Find what you really want.

Don’t be a impulsive internet shopper. Before negotiating with your ISP, set your goals for calls, not just a deal for lower monthly billing.

Yes, we welcome knocking out a few bucks from each month’s bill. But in the end, it might not be your best deal. For example, during an epidemic, many of us found that previous Internet plans were inadequate for work from home or distance learning duties, with more people (and devices) online at the time. The same, our original plan could not be implemented in time.

Part AT&T A spokesperson told us she recommends that customers turn to fiber networks where possible to handle bandwidth intensive applications. “However, when fiber is not available, we recommend choosing the fastest option based on customer needs,” she said. “With the average number of connected devices steadily increasing, most households will benefit from fast and reliable speeds. Get more “

Advice like This one at CNET. It can help you determine the speed you want, so let’s start there. Perhaps when you log in with your carrier, you choose the default plan with 50 megabits per second download speeds. But now your family needs more. Focus on maintaining faster speeds – maybe over 200Mbps – and aim to get more for your money and lower your cost per Mbps.

On the other hand, maybe you signed up for a gigabit speed plan at first, as your ISP claims to be the fastest. But do you and your roommate really want that much? You may find it very economical by downgrading to a half-speed plan that allows you to perform all the same activities without a noticeable difference in performance. Many homes won’t notice much of a difference between gigabit plans and 500Mbps plans.

Need speed or not? Not so fast!

While download speed is definitely a key component in determining what type of plan is best for you. But it’s not a file. only Factor. A spokesperson with Xfinity Tell us how to encourage consumers to take the time to look for the true value of their Internet service rather than stopping at speed. For example, can you integrate mobile service? How to access a value Wi-Fi hotspot can come in a number of ways, not just the download speed you get.

Contact our AT&T together. What kind of discounts or offers do you have? There may be discount offers for qualified customers that you should ask. Some providers may offer streaming subscriptions and other services that may make the package attractive. More attractive “

Therefore, consumers can help themselves by doing little work before the call. For example, in addition to looking at your download speed, consider your data usage. Are you paying extra for unlimited data and not using it? Or are you typically more likely to exceed your data limit and incur additional costs? Consider whether there are unlimited add-on options that will save you money in the long run.

Also, put together your facts about what you are currently paying for. Do you have a promotion rate yet? Is there any deal that you are currently taking advantage of? Don’t get caught with flat feet or you risk losing a good price for a better bargain.

Finally, if you are not taking advantage of any offers or deals at the moment, find a promotional offer that is being offered to new customers and ask your ISP to match it. It’s also worth checking out online only so you can ask for something equivalent to your existing account.

Consider ahead of time if there is an alternative for you.

Sorry for having to use a mix of metaphors. But if you plan on playing hard ball, don’t lie if you don’t have a hand at all. If you are about to threaten to cancel your subscription, make sure your address is serviceable for other carriers, otherwise your current ISP will know you have no other choice.

On the other hand, if you have options, you should take advantage of this. You may have a cheaper plan than you would find on a competitor’s site for face value. But when you take a closer look at the options, you’ll find that it’s a fiber connection with much faster upload and download speeds. For a small amount per month, you get a faster and better online experience at lower cost per Mbps.

But that spin might not be available to everyone. In addition to the serviceability, you will also need to answer another question – is switching to another ISP an option? For example, if you live in an apartment complex, does your rental company have a monopoly agreement with your current provider? My wife and I learn this the hard way. We are excited about the expectations of our ISP transition as we move to a new area. But our hopes were broken when our prospective service providers said they were unable to help us due to such promises.

Also, is satellite internet an option? It is often touted as the only viable option for rural or suburban customers, and recent developments with Elon Musk’s Starlink and Jeff Bezos’ Project Kuiper promise faster speeds and more flexibility in Near future

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When requesting an offer, you cannot refuse.

You have done research, gathered facts, and identified your goals for the call. That is the key to eventual success. Now it’s time to try and seal the new deal.

“All customers have the right to change their plans if they choose to do so,” an AT&T spokesperson said. But customers should check their ISP’s website regularly for updates or new offers they can take advantage of.

Goad proposes that the May to October relocation season is a prime season in search of promotions, offers and incentives. It is also a time when your customer experience may not be as good as if you were calling at other times.

“If you thought that if you were to go shopping on Black Friday, it would be a different experience than shopping on March 12,” Goad said. And make your purchase in the third quarter when you are fully prepared. “

Whenever you decide to call, I say it earlier and I will repeat it – always, always, always be polite. This is the basis of a good call. Try to be friendly and remember to mention your timeline with your provider and highlight your excellent payment history.

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

Here’s another great tip from my wife: If she gets an agent who seems reluctant to work with her or shares a polite approach like she does, she will politely end the conversation and try again.

One colleague I spoke with echoed this advice and shared a story from her experience as a customer. So frustrated by the bill hike, she decided to answer the phone and threaten to cancel, thinking they would begging her to stay and offer a new promotion.

But they canceled her service.

She unashamedly called back later and talked to the other representative. Thinking of honesty as the best policy, she shared her story and ended up with a new deal and advice on the next call and ask.

So be prepared that your first time might not be right – but don’t give up. You may need to call a few times to find an agent who will be happy to work with you or to find a promotion that suits your goals. If it means a lower billing or a better plan, it’s worth a try.

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