January 23, 2023
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Money Hacks

A Guide To Negotiating Bills

With a bit of research, you could get a better deal on your recurring bills 💵

The big question – can you actually negotiate your bills?

Yes, you absolutely can.

Unfortunately, we haven’t yet found a way to negotiate the rising cost of eggs but we’ll update you here once we have 🥚

Negotiating bills may feel slightly awkward at first but many companies such as cable or cell phone providers are often willing to work with customers to help them save.

And for some recurring bills, it’s pretty straight forward.

Wondering how much you could save? An author at Insider said they saved over $1,200 in two years.

We love to see it 💯

Via Giphy

🚀 The 5 step method

#1 Do your research. Start by researching the prices and plans of competitors before negotiating with your current provider. This’ll give you evidence of being able to get a better deal elsewhere 💅

#2 Call between 9am and 5pm. Give the company a call or email between 9am and 5pm during the week when the customer service reps aren’t as overwhelmed as they would be on the weekends. Ask if there are any available promotions or discounts

#3 Say you’re thinking of switching to a competitor. If there aren’t any promotions or discounts available, hint that you’re thinking about switching to a competitor and give examples of the best prices you’ve seen. Welcome to the world of ✨ haggling ✨

#4 Always be friendly. You should be nice to reps ALWAYS so this should be a given. Remember that the customer service representative is not the CEO and they’ll be more equipped to help if you’re not yelling at them

#5 Don’t give up. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. If you feel like you’re not getting anywhere, perhaps try a day or so later and speak to someone different

🗓️ How often can you negotiate?

It’s generally a good idea to evaluate your recurring bills on an annual basis at a minimum. Some companies have set policies on how often you can negotiate, but others may be more flexible.

It’s worth keeping an eye out for promotions or sales as they may help you negotiate on your bills.

One of the most common questions around this topic is “can you negotiate medical bills?”, see below for some helpful tips ⭐

🩺 How to negotiate medical bills

The truth is, medical bills can be slightly more complex than other types of bills, but it’s still possible to get a reduction in the amount you owe.

A few helpful pointers:
  1. Check your bill and make sure there are no errors or duplicate charges
  2. Contact the medical facility or provider and explain your financial situation and ask if they have any financial assistance programs or discounts available
  3. If you have insurance, check with the company to see if the bill was processed correctly and that you are only responsible for your slice of the bill
  4. If the above pointers don’t result in a reduction, you can negotiate the bill with the medical facility or provider. Be willing to pay a portion of the bill but ask for a reduced total
  5. If you’re unable to reach a resolution, reach out to a medical bill advocate or a patient advocate as they may be able to negotiate on your behalf

PSA: If you get a hospital bill back that’s a big sum total, if you can and ask for an itemized bill it should lower the cost. The National Patient Advocacy Foundation estimates that half of all medical bills have a mistake in them – so it’s always best to double-check.

How to find a free medical bill advocate:
  • Some hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities employ patient advocates to help you resolve care and billing issues for free
  • Check within your community to see if there are any nonprofit or religious organizations that might be able to provide advocacy services
  • Each state has a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) that offers free, one-on-one assistance with Medicare-related issues

Not all bills will be negotiable, but it’s definitely worth giving it a shot. And remember to keep all documentation and record of every communication regarding the bill with the provider or insurance company.

If you find you aren’t able to lower the amount, you can ask your medical provider to help you with a repayment plan that works for you.

📜 Script examples

#1 Car insurance

Dear [Insurance Company],

I am writing to request a lower rate on my car insurance policy. I have been a loyal customer for the past 5 years and have always paid my premiums on time.

During this time, I have not had any accidents or claims, which I believe demonstrates my responsible driving habits. Furthermore, I have taken steps to improve my car's safety, such as installing a security system and regularly maintaining it.

I understand that you offer discounts for safe driving and other factors, and I believe that I am a good candidate for these. I would greatly appreciate it if you could review my policy and provide me with a lower rate.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

#2 General script from iGrad

Hello, my name is ______.

I have been a loyal customer of yours since ________. I would like to continue my services with you; however, I have reached a point where I can no longer afford my monthly bill. I have conducted some research and noticed that some of your top competitors offer lower rates for me to stay with a similar plan.

What promotions or discounts do you have that can lower my monthly payments?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Modern Frugality also has a handful of best bill negotiation scripts which you might find useful when trying to lower the cost of your bills.

Hopefully, after reading this blog, you’ll be well on your way to saving money on your bills 🚀
You’ve got this 💙

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Big love. Cleo 💙

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