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Get an Upgrade From your Service Provider

By: Edward Mellett - Updated: 27 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Upgrade Upgrades Isp Sp Servivce

Service providers (SP’s) are funny things. They could quite easily provide you with a service or an upgrade without a fee and at no extra cost to themselves although, in practise, this is fairly unlikely! The price you pay for your service mainly covers infrastructural development and administrational costs and is by no means fixed!

This means that the price you pay is manipulated directly by the service provider and if they need to, they can make whatever reductions they like, whenever is necessary. People making complaints with SP’s regularly see bills for past usage withdrawn completely or upgrades given out for free; sometimes it’s just cheaper and easier for companies to refund customer’s cash than to pursue lengthy complaints procedures. Especially as the customer’s service use hasn’t directly cost the company anything at all!

Because of the way SP’s are run, blaggers can scrounge big savings and free upgrades by flagging complaints, bargaining for deals and threatening to switch SP’s. Our advice is to haggle with every SP you end up joining. If you cannot convince telephone staff to give you upgrades or discounts try letter writing. This is usually highly successful, although requires more time and effort (and may feature a very long period of waiting to hear back from the SP complaints team!) Here’s some advice for particularly types of SP that should help to kick-start your SP blagging streak!

Insurance Companies

Insurance companies charge customers very high premiums for what is effectively a certificate that lasts a year. Sure, if you need to make a claim the insurance company will cover you, but on average most people make a claim once every ten years, so where is your money going?!

Well, a great deal of it becomes pure company profit. Insurance premiums are calculated to make sure the insurance company makes a profit, even if you make a claim, so there is definitely room for negotiation. Always call your insurance provider before renewing your claim and ask to talk to a senior member of staff or someone with a decent amount of authority.

Tell them that you have been offered a cheaper premium elsewhere and ask them to match it or make a better offer. Ninety per cent of the time, they will be able to do this over the phone, immediately. If you are looking for insurance you have not had before, calling companies and asking for a discount can still work. Companies will prefer you to join them and pay something, even if its less than the usually customer’s premium, rather than have you join a competitor’s firm.

Credit Cards

If you ever have a problem with your credit card company, be it related to incorrect charges, statement inaccuracies, incorrect information, delays, multiple mail-outs or telephone incompetence; make sure you tell someone about it! Credit card companies are very wealthy and powerful organisations and, like all SP’s, they do not want to lose a customer. When something goes wrong, call up to complain and threaten to cancel your cards. Make it clear that you could be persuaded to stay if offered loyalty points, air miles or an upgrade to another card with better rates, but that otherwise you’ve seen better deals on offer and you want to switch to them.

Internet Service Providers (ISP’s)

In their adverts ISP describe high-speed service, fast downloads and no web limitations but, in practise, service can be slow and sloppy, call centre staff can be incompetent and technical faults may occur frequently with little notification! If you are not happy with your service either call or write a letter to your ISP complaints department detailing your problems and unhappiness. As it costs almost nothing to allow consumers access to their networks, obtaining a discount or upgrade to a higher level of service should be easy!

TV

Right now Sky and Virgin are battling for customers and consequently offering some very good start-up offers. Once you’ve got your service, there is nothing to stop you from complaining about problems with your service (customers at both Sky and Virgin frequently complain about many technical and administrational errors) again, either by phone or letter. Always mention that you have been considering transferring your allegiance to the other TV service provider as staff have almost certainly been told not to let ANYONE leave, even if this means reducing monthly subscription fees to minimal levels. If you are strong enough and have time enough to do it, a series of complaints may mean very cheap, upgraded or even free, TV!

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