Monday, December 29, 2008

Negotiate with your telco!

For those who are young, do take note that the faster you shed the world of your idealism, the better you'll be. I took 30 yrs or so to realise that the world is built on relationships. It's that simple. I give you a very recent example of how not to follow the rules.

My gf wanted to get a new phone from a telco. Having convinced myself that life is truly negotiable, I told her to call them up and asked them to entice her to recontract under them again. After a truly annoying automated voice behind their helpline, she finally got to talk to a real person. Alas, the person is not in charge of retention, hence she's forwarded to an officer in their retention department after another several minutes of listening to their annoying advertisments.

After telling the officer that another competitor telco is offering this price for this particular handset, the officer immediately offered a handphone voucher of $60. Not satisfied with this, she pressed on further to ask for more discounts (specifically, gf wanted at least $100 voucher to match the competitor's offer), after which the officer mentioned that she will have to check with her higher ups. Another waiting time for 2-3 mins. In between this break, I told my gf that she should negotiate until the other party reached breaking point.

So after consulting with the superiors, the officer said ok to the $100 handphone voucher. I whispered to her for an extension of the caller ID (it's free for 3 months, gf is asking for free 1 yr). Another consultation with the officer's superiors, another 2-3 mins of listening to advertisments. This time, she met with a no. Well, that's not bad right? Getting a $100 handphone voucher by just calling up them and asking for it. If someone just sign up with them as advertised in the brochures or adverts, they would have to pay an extra $100!

So don't this incident teach us an important lesson? Advertised rates are for those who didn't know better. Look for under table, behind table, closed door, behind doors deal by negotating. Oh, don't settle for what is offered. Life is negotiable, remember it!


Kay said...

Great stuff ! I will definitely do that when I renew my contract. I love to deal with them since I'm the customer. :D

la papillion said...


Haha, me too :) negotiate well, you'll learn that the world is based on that. Learn to talk your way out :P

PanzerGrenadier said...

My wife is someone who is good at doing that. She managed to squeeze a vendor to give her free photo printing 20x4R saving about $6-7 even though the coupon was expired...hahahaha...

Yes, life is negotiable. We need to be thick-skinned and ask, "any discount", "is this the best deal?" with a smile....

Anonymous said...


Try not to upgrade at 21months but wait a while till closer 24mths contract expiration.

The retention guys will call you and offer you more rebates. Y? Cos' most Singaporeans are in a hurry to upgrade their phones at the 21mth dead line. So if you don't do so, they will have guessed you want to switch telco.

M1 gave me a $150 voucher this month, 2 weeks before my 2-month contract is about to end.

I was thinking to switch to Starhub :D (still thinking cos' I got the hubber bonus and this will be 2nd starhub line, giving us a 20% off the mobile phone bill every month :D)

Good cheers,

la papillion said...

Hi PG,

Haha, that's what I'm learning to do now :) ask with a smile :P

la papillion said...

Hi mm :)

I'm also from M1. I never asked for any discounts despite being with them for 7 yrs. I think you're right, cos i'm always in a hurry to change my phone.

This time will be different, I'll finish my 24 months contract and 'threaten' to switch so that I can get some freebies. Coincidentally, I wanted to switch to starhub or singtel too, cos I find that M1 phones package are not too competitive.

Hoho, thks for sharing!

Anonymous said... wonder my SingTel share price is not going up..


la papillion said...

Hi Touzi,

Haha! Bo pian, as consumers, we need to be more savvy and source out more deals! :)

Anonymous said...

Ah my kind of topic,

I called Starhub recently telling them that I'm a Singtel subscriber and will be interested to sign up with them only if they offer me some incentive (I was hoping for a $100 voucher). They promised to check and get back to me within 5 working days but they didn't. Hence I called them up again demanding an explanation and they finally respond saying that they only give vouchers to existing customers and there will be no vouchers for me. Of course, I kick up a fuss but still they insist that there's nothing they could do. I thought that was the end of it until I receive another call a few hours later. Starhub will be offering me a $100 online voucher for online purchases only. However it is only valid for 7 days. It's still better than nothing ya and all it takes is a few drops of my saliva. ;P

And for good measure, I decided to call Singtel to check on my outstanding balance and told them specifically it is because I want to switch over to Starhub. The CSO was very polite and told me enthusiastically that I have no outstanding balance and will have no problems in porting my number over. ;)

la papillion said...

Hi derek,

Wow, i've heard of pple asking for vouchers from their current telco, never heard of pple asking for vouchers from their new telco! Creative :)

I definitely is going to try this for sure :) I wonder how telcos earn money if we keep doing this

Anonymous said...

hey LP. I have heard that my frens who have done 12m also asked for vouchers. Cuz without it, they need to pay 100 bucks on top of the 2 yr plan prices. And they got it.

yours is referring to 2 years renewal right. have u tried at 1 year?


la papillion said...

Hi charlesming,

Nope, havent't tried it. I seriously thought of getting another telco, namely starhub, so I just might change it if the offer is not good enough. Taking derek's suggestion, maybe can ask both starhub and M1(which is my existing telco) to give me some offers, haha :)

Anonymous said...

I am a M1 sunriser customer due to high usage, benefit is a $350 handset voucher. When M1 withdrew their $200 discount off handset for their high end contract, I called them and after officer put me on hold for 5 mins to talk to her superior and came back with a $150 straight discount voucher. It is less than their $200 high end contract discount but I am not subjected to their high end contract early terminal penalty (which is a very big penalty). So my total handset discount is $500, enough to get my new hp free