I wish I could say that I am a savvy customer – one who is always a step ahead of each and every vendor – but that would be a lie. I am not that person. However, almost by accident, I recently managed to get Frontier to lower the rates on my bundled (TV-telephone-internet) plan.
How I contacted Frontier
I wouldn’t have contacted them at all if not for the headaches I was experiencing with my Netflix instant view, which was hiccuping so severely that we couldn’t bear watching it. Because a speed test indicated that my DSL download speed was fluctuating between 0.8 and 2.0 Mbps, and because I am paying for 3.0 Mbps, I contacted Frontier tech support (1-877-500-5518) to seek help. The technician was indeed helpful and diagnosed my problem as a faulty modem. So far so good, but here is the rub: although my existing modem was free with the DSL service, Frontier now charges $6.99 a month for their modem/routers. Not good.
“After I have been putting up with sub-standard service,” I pleaded, “don’t you think you should waive this rental fee?”
“Sir, tech support does not have the authority to make those decisions, but if you stay on the line, I will connect you to someone who might be able to help you.”
Getting My Frontier Rates Lowered
After a brief wait, Jane introduced herself and asked how she might be of service. She heard my story and replied, “Mr. Plemon, we are not able to waive the rental fee on your new modem, but I will look at your file to see if we can find some other savings for you.”
“OK … I see that your bundle discount has expired, but we could lower your bill by resetting it. Also, because you have been a long time customer, we can give you an additional $10 a month savings. Let’s see … even with the new $6.99 monthly fee, it looks like your total bill will be reduced by $20 a month. How does that sound to you?”
Being braced to argue about the new $6.99 monthly fee, I was blown away that Frontier was offering me a net savings of $20 per month. “That sounds pretty good to me.” I replied.
“Thank you, Mr. Plemon. I will make those changes immediately. Your new modem will be delivered by UPS in three to five business days. Is there anything else I can help you with?”
I asked a few questions about the modem and that was it. Just like that I was able to cut my bill by $20 a month.
A Bittersweet Victory
Yet I wasn’t exactly kicking my heels together. Why? Because these savings have undoubtedly been available for months, if I had only asked. It would be nice if Frontier would apply them automatically, but they don’t…not even my long time customer discount.
Evidently Frontier’s business model is “Let sleeping dogs lie, but oil the squeaking wheels”.
Lesson learned: Proactively ask for discounts. If you wait for a vendor to offer, you will be waiting a long, long time.
Readers: have you been able to get your TV/land line/internet fees lowered? How did you go about it?