No one enjoys calling their utility companies. Unfortunately, it’s often a fact of life when moving to a new home. That said, moving is the perfect time to make sure you’re getting the most out of your utilities. Since you’ll be calling anyway to transfer services and update addresses, it’s a good opportunity to ask for new deals, lower your rates, or upgrade services.
Here’s some things to remember when calling to make sure you get the best service (and save the most money!).
It’s good to be friendly.
A few pleasantries will go a long way. Remember, you want the customer service representative on your side. Asking how they are doing, responding sincerely to questions, and keeping an upbeat tone are all easy ways to do this.
It’s okay to be assertive.
In fact, being assertive is a great way to make sure you get what you want. That said, don’t confuse assertiveness with aggression. Ask questions directly, but stay friendly. Be clear about what you want: whether you’re calling to lower your monthly costs or increase your internet speed, the clearer you are, the more quickly the rep can locate options for you. If you’re not getting the service you want, it’s totally okay to ask to record the conversation (or ask to speak to a supervisor), but be sure to keep your tone level and your voice calm.
It’s good to ask questions.
If you’re unsure about what options are available to you, it is a good idea to ask questions. Don’t feel uncomfortable about asking a customer service rep to explain something to you several times, and ask for clarity if you are unsure about payment options, plan availability or service agreements. The more information you get on this call, the less you’ll have to ask later.
It’s okay to take to social media.
Utility companies are acutely aware of the importance of social media. Sending a tweet, tagging a company, or posting photos of problems are all great ways to get results quickly. If you’re having an issue that is not being solved, sometimes social media can be the quickest way to a resolution. When considering posting, just be sure your post is genuinely asking for help and not just antagonizing the company: you want them to work with you to solve the problem, after all.
It’s okay to threaten to leave — but only if you mean it.
A common last resort for frustrated customers is to threaten to leave if they don’t get the results they want. While this can be a useful tactic, more often than not it can simply escalate the situation and leave both you and the customer service rep frustrated. If you are genuinely ready to leave (and have a back-up in mind) then make sure to explain clearly why you find the other company favorable. There may be a way for your existing provider to accommodate similar services.