The attached recording demonstrates one method of negotiating lower rates with Sprint PCS – even while you are under a contract. I’ve heard anecdotal stories from others that similar tactics work with the other major US cellular carriers as well as cable providers, but I’m not aware of anyone else having actually recorded and supplied a methodology.
The reason for my call is obvious if you listen, but basically we were paying around $135 per month on average for two phones and we aren’t even heavy users. I saw lower cost rates online that include even more, so I called just to get my rates reduced.
There are a few general things to note and listen for during this recording (which has been slightly edited from the original to remove personal details and blank space).
- Note that right off the bat I asked for cancellations. These will automatically go to the “save” desk. This is both good and bad. Good – these folks are empowered to do things for you. Bad – they are exceptionally well trained to do the very minimum possible and extract the maximum from you simultaneously.
- Try to make a note of how many different ways the agent attempts to get something from me.
- Take notice of the “golden silence” during the call. There are times when I will stop talking and force the agent to say something before I go on. He is trying to do the same to me but I just wait him out. This practice forces the other person to reveal more information while allowing you to listen and gather intel.
- I had already researched plans and rates online before calling.
- Don’t let my slow talking style fool you. And don’t assume this style would work in other negotiations. I would not use this approach on a car purchase, or a $$multi-million business transaction, but it was appropriate for this situation as the results demonstrate.
Here are some very specific ways the agent tried to get more out of me:
- When it came time to make the rate plan change he started out by telling me it would not go into effect until the next billing cycle. I had to stay on him to ensure that the new rate went into effect immediately.
- He tried multiple times to get me to commit to an additional 2 year agreement. Even going so far as to offer a 10% monthly discount plus $5 per month off in order to take the deal.
- Although he had several options available, he did not reveal them until I restated what I heard him say, sought his agreement, and then asked additional questions.
In the end I did not commit to anything new, I received service credits, my new rate was backdated to the beginning of the current month, and my payments decreased by about $30 per month. Not bad for 25 minutes work. Please note that this is an excellent employee. I would hire him to work for me! It is the system that is the problem, not the people doing the grunt work.
Oh, and one last thing – about midway through the call a strange buzzing noise begins. It was not present when I was on the call, but showed up in the recording. Also, there were a couple of times that another caller tried to beep in.. sorry about that.