Let me explain.
Gigabit Speeds, Gigaton Price
I recently moved into a new apartment and signed up for the fastest internet they offer. For $80 per month, I was getting gigabit speeds. If you're not sure what that means, gigabit internet allows you to download a 2GB movie in less than a minute or a 15GB video game in just a couple minutes. It's insane. We live in a pretty cool time in history, really.
But this $80 bill every month was quickly burning a hole in my wallet. I looked on the service provider's website and the next level down was 100mbps for $50/month. That is 1/10th the speed I was used to for 5/8th the price. Quite the hit in speed for only a moderate dip in price. I spent the next month on the fence about downgrading. I was loving the speeds, but would only take true advantage of it a couple times every month. The rest of the time I probably wasn't hitting more than 15mbps. As a reference, Netflix recommends speeds of 25mbps for their Ultra HD quality.
Make Them an Offer They Can't Refuse
Instead of biting the bullet and downgrading, I thought I would try to negotiate to pay less without taking the full hit of going down to 100mbps. To negotiate for something like this, it helps to have something to offer in return for what you want out of the deal. In this case, I offered them genuine praise for their great service and customer support, followed by my dilemma, then my offer. Go ahead and read the actual email below then we'll break it down a little further.
I've been loving the insane speeds you guys provide. All of my friends are jealous the moment they step into my apartment and feel the wifi waves pulse through their bodies. Unfortunately, my wallet doesn't share those feelings. As of now, I can't afford to keep paying the $80/month for the gigabit speeds. Is there any way I could move down to the $50/month plan and have a little bit more than 100mbps? Even 200 or 150 would be amazing. I don't know what level of control you have for speeds, but I thought I would reach out and give it a shot. Also, is there any platform I could give you guys a 5-star review on? Google or Yelp or anything. I'd love to show my appreciation for the insane speeds.
Thanks for your time!
As you can see, I started the email with genuine praise. They really are a great company and I wanted them to know I felt that way. Then, I admitted that I couldn't keep paying the full price for the premium speeds. I tried to make it sound relatable and lighthearted, reinforcing that I'm already a happy customer. Next, I asked for the deal; I named the price I wanted to pay and that I would love just a little extra bump above the lower speed. I figured that if they could incrementally adjust speeds, that they would hopefully be able to give me a little extra juice to make me an extra-happy customer. Finally, I offer my end of the deal, making it sound like I will give them a 5-star review regardless of whether or not they agree to my deal.
Breaking this down in detail makes it feel more manipulative than it really was. When I wrote the email, I was just thinking that I wanted to spend less without losing so much of the speed. In return, I wanted to help the business out by giving them some public praise online.
With the email sent, I crossed my fingers. The very next morning, I get a call from them. A super friendly man tells me that they got the email and really appreciate the kind words. So much, in fact, that they dropped my bill down to $50/month while still keeping me at gigabit speeds! So nice of them! I was astonished and so very thankful. Immediately after the phone call I went on Yelp and Google to give them 5 stars and wrote a thorough review of their service. As a disclaimer, I would have given them the review of 5 stars regardless.
A Wage of $4,000 per Hour for Ten Minutes
I almost made the title of this post, but changed it to sound less sensational. We don't want clickbait in these parts.
So for about ten minutes of work, I lowered my internet bill by $30 per month. My average stay at an apartment is around two years, so $30/month for two years is $720 in savings. Therefore I 'earned' that $720 in ten minutes, or if you extrapolate that out, that's $4,320 per hour! Not bad for writing an email and a review.
One thing I should mention is that this only works if you're already paying more than you should on something. The only reason I 'saved' all that money is because I was already paying quite a bit for the service in the first place.
Other Places to Save
Not everyone will have luck with their internet provider, especially if they're a big, awful company like Comcast. But there are other places you can try to get lower rates on.
- Adobe Creative Cloud - Use your student email address to save $240 per year.
- Amazon Prime - Sign up as a student and save $50 per year.
- Online Services - Many smaller online companies offer free service or rewards for referring friends or writing blog posts/reviews.
- Spotify Family - Have your friends sign up as family members for only $5 per additional user.
- Squarespace - Save 10% by using their own coupon code here.
- Phone Service Providers - Your milage may vary, but it's worth giving them a call and if anything, downgrading your plan. I was using 3GB per month max and was paying for unlimited. Now I pay for 2GB per month and am only using around 500MB. Saves me $600 every year.
- Betterment - Click here for two free months! Once set up, each friend referred gets you another month of service!