MADISON (WKOW) -- If time is money, then taking the time to call companies to see if you can get a lower rate or save some money may be well worth it.
Consumer experts say most business won't call to tell you how to save, so it's up to you to dial up savings.
Finance expert Mitchell Weiss says it certainly can't hurt to "check in" every three to six months with businesses who bill you.
Experts also say if you see a company advertise a special deal, take that as an opportunity to call and say you're interested.
Weiss says businesses want customers to stick around because it costs more to lose a customer than to offer them some new ways to save.
Weiss says, ""It costs money to get them. It costs money to keep them. Why would you want to
turn that over to a competitor?"
So how can you make sure dialing through the phone maze of customer service representatives is worth it?
People pay personal finance administrator Roblee Hoffman to lower their bills and now he's sharing his secrets.
Hoffman can usually save people between $200-$1200 a year and here's how you can do the same:
Review all your monthly bills and try calling each company. The phone is the most effective way to negotiate. Have two to three months worth of past bills when you call, so you can be precise on what you're paying.
Hoffman says, "Be a great customer. A great customer is one who has been with a company for a fair number of years and pays their bill on or before the due date and pays the full balance."
Then once you've established your history with the company, ask for lower rates, a cheaper plan and monthly fees to be removed.
If you can't negotiate with a customer service rep, ask for the customer retention department or the president's office. They may offer more incentives.
Always be professional and polite. And research what the business' competition is offering customers.
Many credit card companies and banks say they welcome you to check in with them for better deals frequently.
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