How to Lower Your Internet or Phone Bill with CenturyLink (Qwest)
Negotiating with CenturyLink can get you the introductory rate... forever. If you have found yourself suffering from a higher internet or phone bill because a low introductory rate has expired, try negotiating a new rate. This is especially effective with CenturyLink internet service. If CenturyLink comes out with a new introductory rate, call them up and see if they can offer you the same rate even if you are already a customer. If you are surprised by a high phone bill, call them to get a lower rate.
Internet service companies compete for your business because you are worth a lot of money. Think about it. How often do people change their Internet service provider? Every new customer is worth hundreds, if not thousands, to a company, and losing a customer is worth just that much as well. So keep that in mind when you go to negotiate. They don't want to lose a customer.
Recently I watched my introductory rate jump from $35 to $60, a phone call brought my internet charge down to $20–lower than my first introductory rate. That is a savings of $40 a month.
Phone number for the Qwest Loyalty Department is 1-877-348-9004.
The phone number for CenturyLink Loyalty Department is 1-800-244-1111. Say "Loyalty," even though it's not one of the options they give you.
How to Negotiate Your CenturyLink Phone Bill
- To start the negotiations, call CenturyLink customer service. Once you reach a real person, say simply, "I'm not happy with the amount I'm paying for my internet service." If they don't immediately transfer you to the Loyalty Department ask to be transferred to them. This is important because the Loyalty Department has the power, according to one agent, to give "any promotion CenturyLink offers."
- Arm yourself with any fliers or ads you have seen recently from CenturyLink so you know what the best deals are.
- When you reach the Loyalty Department, say again, "I'm not happy with the amount I'm paying for internet." If the agent doesn't offer you a better price, start asking about the promotions. Ask about them one by one and make the agent explain why you can or cannot receive that price.
- Come to the conversation armed with information. You should know:
1. What their best advertised deal is.
2. How fast your connection speed is.
3. How fast your connection speed is supposed to be.
The truth about Internet service providers, is that they rarely maintain the speed you pay for. You pay for 5 mbs they give you 3. You pay for 7 they give you 5. Do a quick speed test on the Internet before you call, so you can ask about your speed. Say, "I'm only getting __mps. I thought I was supposed to get ___." It puts them on the defensive from the beginning because they know they are wrong. They will sometimes respond that you are only guaranteed to get 80% of the actual amount, but you can politely tell them you would like all the speed you are paying for.
- If the agent doesn't eventually offer you a better deal, ask to speak with someone else. This is a good idea whenever dealing with customer service. If the first person doesn't help, ask for another person.
All in all, be prepared to spend some time. Calls can take over an hour to get the best deal, but the savings pay for your time. Also, keep in mind that there is likely a limit to how good a deal you can get. In my experience, that limit is whatever their best advertised deal for new customers is. If you push long enough, you should be able to get that deal.
Surprise Increase in Your Phone Bill?
You might find your CenturyLink bill surprisingly higher than you thought it would be. There are a few possibilities. Firstly, there are always "connection charges" when you start a new service, even if they never send anyone to your home.
If you don't have a new service, it may be that your introductory rate has run out, and you can call per the instructions above to get that rate back. If neither of these is true, call CenturyLink to find out what happened. Even if the charges are completely legitimate, they sometimes offer you $5 off just for calling.
Another Talking Point
The last time I negotiated with Qwest, not CenturyLink, I mentioned how I was "nervous" about the switch and thought my service would get worse. This talking point can be one more way to prod a negotiation along.