MIAMI (CBS4) — At least once a year, Chantay Bridges lets her fingers do the dialing to try and save big bucks.

“We’ve saved tons and tons,” said Chantay who has been able to cut down her phone, cable, utility and insurance bills.

She’s also saved on credit card and bank fees just by calling the companies and asking for a better deal.

“I reminded them of our credit scores,” Chantay explained. “I reminded them of our loyalty.”

Finance Guru Mitchell Weiss said it certainly can’t hurt to ‘check -in’ every couple of months with the companies you use.

Weiss said it costs companies more to lose a customer than to offer better deals to their existing ones.

“It costs money to get them. It costs money to keep them. Why would you want to turn that over to a competitor,” advised Weiss.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • 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 know what you’re paying.

“Be a great customer,” said personal finance administrator Roblee Hoffman. “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.”

  • Research what the competition is offering.
  • If you can’t negotiate with a customer service rep, ask for the customer retention department or the president’s office.

Chantay said knowing what a company’s competition is offering is key to negotiating.

“It’s worth the time and it’s worth your money,” said Chantay.

Many credit card companies and banks say they welcome customers to review their services and bills.

Some cell phone providers will also review bills and suggest cheaper plans if you don’t use all your data or talk time.


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