Have you ever heard of something known as “bill creep? You may not have heard the term but possibly experienced it all the same. Bill creep is that unfortunate situation when your bills increase and you have no idea why.
The amount owed has begun to creep. I’m a huge fan of bill negotiations. To save money, it’s worth a call to ask a few questions about any increase. Recently, I had a bill creep scenario and realized it would be helpful to share some ways to keep the “creep” in check!
Bills Increase Scenario:
My phone bill came in the mail, and I noticed there was about a $20 increase in the amount owed. I actually thought it was a mistake so I called the company to discuss the strange amount.
The customer service representative explained that there had been a few changes to the plan that I had. After some discussion and a bit of research online, I realized that there wasn’t much I could do. However, they did offer a different plan that actually was just about the same thing that I had at the time.
By the time I got off the phone, I’d saved $15 rather than being forced to endure a $20 increase. “Bill creep” solved after the time it took to make a phone call and ask some questions.
There will be times that you can’t get an increase adjusted. However, it is always worth a shot when you are trying to be wise with your money.
Consider the following to be sure you avoid bill creep and save money:
When Bills Increase
1. Automatic Drafts
If you have automatic drafts for your bills, then check the amount they take out from your bank account each month. My phone bill increase was $20 and could have “happened” without me noticing. Or worse, it could be a reason someone might bounce a check because they assumed they had more money in their account. Watch those automatic drafts!
2. Be Flexible
If you see that a bill has increased then I’d encourage you to call and find out why. The increase may be necessary but it’s worth a call to see if they will work with you. You’ll want to get all the details regarding the increase. I encourage you to be flexible.
Sometimes the bill increase is a policy change within the company, but you can always ask about other options. Flexibility and a willingness to change up your service a bit to stay within the price you want to pay will often go a long way with your budget.
3. Get New Pricing
If you don’t like your bill creep, then contact other companies and price out the service. A good rule of thumb is to get three quotes. Sometimes, I’ve found that I can do a little better price wise and at times the current company has been the best price.
However, I didn’t know how to make the decision without attempting to get new pricing and weigh out all my options. Do your homework, negotiate, and make the best choice possible once you have all the facts and figures.
Bill negotiations and a call to inquire about any increase you see on your statements is a great way to save your household money. Be open–minded and make the best decision possible once you have all the facts about an increase. Paying attention to statements, bills, and making a phone call to gain more info can potentially help you save money.
Originally published July 11, 2019
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