I, like most people, do not check my monthly bills that are on auto pay unless something goes wrong.  So I am sure you can imagine my surprise when I was checking out one of the oldest personal finance blogs, My Money Blog, and I learned something about my specific Sprint Bill.

In the post Jonathan warned that about a  change in how Sprint was applying a company discount as it relates to a family plan.  Specifically, it was reported that Sprint would be taking my 16% discount would only apply to the main account and not to the second line.  I quickly signed into my account and found:

Sprint Bill

Effective your February bill cycle, Family and Business Share monthly plan charges will be billed differently.  Discounts will only apply to the monthly recurring charge for the primary line.  Line 2 will be billed at the applicable Add-a-Phone rate and will not be discount eligible.

In reality this would only increase my bill by a couple bucks a month.  But it wasn’t the increase in my monthly bill that mattered to me.  What matter is that when your cellular provider materially changes its terms and conditions it provides an opportunity for you to leave your cellular provider without an early termination fee.  So I did what any good personal finance nut would do…I saw an opportunity to pounce!  This isn’t the first time I used a material change in my cell phone bill to my advantage.

Negotiating with Sprint For Savings

The Wife got her black berry bold one year ago this month, thus she has another year to go before she can upgrade to the iPhone she has been coveting recently.  However, I thought by threatening to leave I could  push forward her upgrade eligibility.  I calmly explained the situation to the very nice retentions specialist,

Me: Could I cancel that Account with no repercussions?

Sprint: Yes, but the change is only going to add a few dollars to your bill

Me: But this means I can get her an iPhone on your competitor with a reduced rated.  Can you push forward her date?

Sprint: She has a year left, there is nothing I can do.

Me: Can we push it forward 6 months as a sign of good faith to stay with the company.

Sprint: No.

Me: Can you hold while I call my wife to see if she wants me to port this number somewhere.

FAKE CALL THE WIFE

Me: You have to help me out here I am trying to keep my life as simple as possible, but she wants this phone.

Sprint: Hold on.

Sprint: Here is what I can do – I can’t touch your eligibility dates but I can provide an $80 credit to your account for signing up with another 2 year contract.

Me: Are you sure this won’t affect the money I get off when I get a new phone?

Sprint: Yes.

At this point I could just tell they pretty much called my bluff because I know (since I researched the hell out of this topic) I can’t get anywhere near the deal I have with Sprint, however, the offer has me interested.  I ask them to note my account of the offer and I would talk to The Wife.  When I told The Wife the conversation she knew it was the right call to stay with sprint and let the wants wait till January of next year.  I called them back a few days later and took my $80 to extend my contract.

Moral of the story: READ PERSONAL FINANCE BLOGS!