Woodson has a B.A. and a master's in education. In his spare time, he writes helpful articles about home repair and DIY content.
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.
The 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 that 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 $5 off just for calling.
Another Talking Point
The last time I negotiated with Qwest, not CenturyLink, I mentioned how I was "nervous" about the switch and thought my service would get worse. This talking point can be one more way to prod a negotiation along.
Woodson (author) from Minnesota on October 15, 2017:
That is the ad I heard in my area, but I haven't confirmed it myself.
nabilino on October 11, 2017:
I tried to transfer my service and keep the price I've been paying part of the 2 year contract, but they said they got rid of term commitments and now have a fixed price for all their internet. Is that true? Has anyone been able to transfer or start new service with a contract?
Read More From Toughnickel
xyzpdq on May 17, 2017:
Just got off the line with a Sales person who LIED. Said that Loyalty Department had all been fired and they wouldn't extend promotions anymore. Flat-out lied. To my face, er, ear.
Just say you want to CANCEL on the automated line and they'll get you to the department that supposedly no longer exists.
Due to my awful experience, the nice person in Loyalty gave me an even lower rate than what I was asking for.
ITdidTHEtrick on April 10, 2017:
I called the number that Khunter12 (844-275-9829) posted and it took me to a retention department. After some confusion over my account number being 9 digits not 10 I provided a phone number associated with my DSL account, this prompted them to transfer me to a sister company's retention department. This was the ticket!! I told them that I was unaware that I was paying a promotional price and the new higher bill of 74$ before taxes was not affordable. I also through in that I purchased a wireless router. Also I was very polite. The nice lady quickly got me down to 30$ before taxes with multiple discounts. Better than before!
Note: I have CenturyLink DSL internet in Washington state.
JohnJohn70 on March 28, 2017:
I lost my promotion with CenturyLink this month and called them today. Surprisingly they have an option you can select within the Billing/Pricing menu if you have lost your promotion or have an issue with pricing. They put me back on the same promotion I had before without any question. Thank you for your article on this!
Vik Jetti on January 06, 2017:
Wow I am so glad I found this article. Many thanks to the author for keeping the article and phone #s updated over the last 6+ years!!
I called into the CenturyLink Loyalty # above and it worked like a charm. I am a week away from my promo pricing ending - $30/month for 40MBps down/5 Up. According to their normal customer service, I had to accept it going up to $73/month (OUCH) or sign up for additional services that I will never use to qualify for a new promo.
Right away, the Loyalty Dept rep offered me $25/mo for the same speed for 2 years! I did not even have to mention switching or competitor pricing. Getting an even lower rate than the promo is an AMAZING result. Good luck to all of you!
KHunter12 on August 06, 2016:
current centurylink direct phone # for loyalty program is
used it today and did get a lower internet rate.
Vince S on December 31, 2015:
I have been a client of Centurylink since 2006 and each year i have problems.
I need internet and phone from January thru April and then i put my service in vacation mode which mean no service but i can keep the same number for a small fee.
Each year the sales agent thanks me for being a loyal client and offers me a reduced rate or grandfather rate, such as unlimited phone calls nationwide and internet (5G)with taxes at $69.99 . but after a few months my bill goes up, and then the next month it goes up again and again, its just a couple of dollars but its irritating.
The same thing happens in vacation mode they raise the bill each month a small amount even though its suppose to be a fixed amount, not enough to make a big deal about it, but when i just pay the increased amount the next month it goes up again..
Today i had to renew my services for January thru April again and called Centurylink and was told that they were not offering any deals and they were flat out rude or irritated that i was asking for options or offers they may of had, after reading several comments on this blog i called back and asked for the Loyalty department and the agent David said there is no Loyalty department and said I am not going to coach you, I asked to cancel my service and then he said that is the right answer and he switched me to a cancellation department, where a girl name Cassandra answered and said that they would give me a deal similar to what i had but would not be specific on what that deal was, with the same services you had it will be about $70. when i asked for a breakdown she said there is no breakdown it all in the same package and it will be about $70.
with my history of Centurylink raising their rate every few months without notice and her unwillingness to be specific, i decided to cancel, So it didnt work for me.
Woodson (author) from Minnesota on July 18, 2014:
So glad you got it knocked down. 50%! Well done!
Michael Perez on June 30, 2014:
Got mine knocked 50%, so its cheaper than promo now. Took ages of waiting on hold. Centurylink would do well to remove that awful hold music advertising that goes on for 90% of the hold. Its like hold advertising with 4 second clips of music every third advertisement. Wasn't too painful bur my rage was increasing every time I heard about directtv.
Mike6665345 on January 07, 2014:
This is mike again. It was time to call the loyalty department once again. Last time was 20 Mbps for $15, but a few months ago they increased it to 25Mbps and cut the bill to $13. No clue why, but I wasn't complaining.
This time I got 40Mbps down and 5Mbps up for $20.95 a month for a year.
This time the CS rep forwarded me with no argument and the lady in the loyalty department took awhile to dig out this deal, she seemed more happy that she found it than I was.
It's funny I have told all my friends and family about this but none of them have gone for it. Some of them pay $50 for 12 Mbps or if it is cheap like $20, it is usually 7 or 1.5Mbps. I guess they like getting ripped off.
A no hassle 15 call is totally worth it. It is not like I whine and argue to get it, I am terrible at working deals, I struggle at car lots.
I don't claim I am unhappy or threaten to move to comcast or whatever. A simple "what can you do this time please" and then a "yes, that is awesome, thank you" is all it takes.
Woodson (author) from Minnesota on January 03, 2014:
I love to hear stories like yours, especially when it helps seniors stay within their budget!
JohnDoeIII504 on November 18, 2013:
The other day I got to looking at my Grandma & Grandpa's Centurylink bill and was outraged on the price they were paying for phone and internet service, so today I called pretending to be my Grandpa (with my grandparents permission) and very politely asked them to lower my bill and raise my internet speeds. The fastest internet they had in my grandparents area is 8 Mbps, so now they are getting that and keeping their unlimited long distance for $59.90 a month for 12 months and after that they will be paying 79.90 which is still better than the $104.80 a month they were currently paying for unlimited long distance and a 1.5 Mbps internet connection. And it only took me 15 minutes on the phone in order to make that happen.
Woodson (author) from Minnesota on June 23, 2013:
I don't know why they are being so stubborn. Usually they cave pretty readily. See if there is an advertised deal from CenturyLink with a lower price. You can almost always get the lowest advertised price, but it's not likely you can get better than that.
Phillip Molling on June 17, 2013:
I just got off the phone with the loyalty department. I have the 12Mbps internet for $29.99 and they told me the best they could do was $34.99/mo for 12 months unless I bundled. I even told them I had a deal (Which I do) from Comcast for $19.99/mo for 12 months. I also explained how after running a speedtest I am only getting 6-7Mbps to which he replied "we can send out a tech at no cost to you." Little help here please, I must be doing something wrong?
Eric801 on May 16, 2013:
Took me 7 minutes total to get locked in for 12 more months of intro rate. Thanks!
Mike6665345 on January 13, 2013:
It only took five minutes on the phone after getting rid of the whiny normal CS person. I just got my new bill today. I guess I misheard or something because I am getting charged $14.95 for 20 Mbps!
Woodson (author) from Minnesota on January 12, 2013:
Awesome negotiation, Mike. You got an even better deal than I have. Thanks for the tip.
Mike6665345 on January 10, 2013:
I went through the loyalty department a year ago. Went from $45.00 a month for 12 Mbps internet to $27 a month for 20 Mbps. Just called back to see what they could do, $25 for 20 Mbps.
Don't bother with the normal CS people, they get offended when you ask to talk to the loyalty department, just tell them they told you to call back.
They need to change the name, creepy.
Woodson (author) from Minnesota on January 08, 2013:
Thanks for the comment, feralized. I am so glad to hear about good people saving money. Lately I have been loving zeitprice.com (link above). You can see what other people are paying for internet or other services like daycare in your area. You might find another way you can save money on there.
feralized on January 08, 2013:
Thank you for this article, I followed what you had mentioned and they seemed very eager to find this "promotion" even though it is nowhere to be found elsewhere on the internet.
I currently have the 40mbps plan. I had a $29.99 promotional offer for 6 months, in which it would then turn to $70.00 a month. Following the initial call, I was transferred to their "internet retention department" after saying I was unhappy with the price. The rep there lowered my monthly payment to $39.99 a month with a higher upload speed to boot (not that I really needed it). I did have to lock in a 12-month contract, but seeing as I'll most likely need internet for the next year, this was a small price to pay for a $30/mo saving.
Again, great job. If you find any other opportunities to save on monthly necessities, please let us know!
Woodson (author) from Minnesota on October 28, 2011:
Matt, I definitely think they will negotiate. It's worth a try. Say you've seen some offers from other companies or even offers from Centurylink that make you think you can get a better deal.
Steven Pearson from Bonney Lake, WA on October 28, 2011:
I'm paying an arm and a leg for mine, but I'm also under contract. (My first contract expired, but I had to get a new contract to get a 2nd free dvr upgrade)
Think they'll still negotiate, even if I'm bound?
Woodson (author) from Minnesota on August 16, 2011:
John, I usually wait until my promotional price has ended. Then I call and start all over again. Just did this again the other day and saved myself another $150.
John on August 12, 2011:
Should I call after my promotional price ends or during?
Nazgulx on August 09, 2011:
I've got Qwest's promo of $59.99 for phone and internet. Just called the Loyalty department and they gave me an extra $20 off my bill for the next year because I told them that my internet speeds were slower than what they promised me.
I've had so many issues with Qwest, the only reason I stay with them is I'm able to get the service for free usually once I bully them over the phone. =)
Shady on August 08, 2011:
I just called Qwest because i was upset about having a 3MB connection and paying $55 a month. After talking to Qwest loyalty they were drop my bill to $24.99 for 6 months and bump my internet speed a little to 5MB. A little change but it helps.
Woodson (author) from Minnesota on August 02, 2011:
By my rough calculations, this hub has saved people close to $700, and that's just what I know about from the comments section. Keep it up people. I love sticking it to Qwest.
Shad on July 29, 2011:
This was great. I just called the customer service number, and it's as if they were all rooting for me to get a better deal. It was one of the easiest negotiations I have done. I was paying $50 a month for 12mbs, and they said I could get 20mbs for $35.99($5 of this was for a new modem I needed). I said that sounded great, and thanked them, but told them I really just wanted the 12mbs for $25, they hesitated, but them "looked through things" and pretty much gave it to me right away for 1 year. I think I could have gotten it down to $19.99 a month indefinitely if I would have tried a little harder. I think I will call back within the next two months or so and try it.
Marie on May 22, 2011:
I have called Qwest, the loyalty dept, a few times since my $19.99/mo DSL promo ran out and the best they have been able to give me is $35/mo for DSL. I'm not happy. I have the most basic phone service (for 9 yrs) b/c I don't need more than that and they give me the runaround. Have they gotten tighter?
Becca on March 09, 2011:
Just did it :) Qwest was running a 29.99 a month internet for any speed (w/out phone service) for 6 months and my 6 months were up. My bill would have gone up $30 per month, but I called them and requested to keep the discount, otherwise I may have to cancel. She agreed and I get my discount for 6 more months! Yeah!!! I love saving money!
Audrey Kirchner from Washington on January 26, 2011:
Wow - we canceled Qwest a while back because of the outrageous prices - will have to show this to my hubby! Well done.
Woodson (author) from Minnesota on January 13, 2011:
Thanks for the number, Sterling. I will add it to the Hub.
Sterling on January 13, 2011:
This is the loyalty number: 1877-348-9004
Just say you got transferred to that dept.
Woodson (author) from Minnesota on October 04, 2010:
That is awesome, Matt. I wrote this article out of pure spite for Qwest after they jacked up my rate and sent me too much junk mail. My hope is that I save decent people money.
Matt on September 25, 2010:
This technique works. Tried it today and my bill went from $44.99/mo to the latest promotional price of $14.99/mo for 6 months and then $30 after which is far more reasonable. I just immediately asked for the cancellation dept. told her "I am unhappy with the price I am paying and would like to discontinue service" to which she replied "If we could offer you a lower price would you like to continue the service?" All said it took me about 5 minutes. I may not have gotten the absolute lowest price, but I'm far happier with the lower amount.