Billcutterz: Can they really lower your bills for you?

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Billcutterz: Can they really lower your bills for you?
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You may have heard before that you can get many monthly bills such as cable television and Internet service lowered just by calling your provider and asking them to lower your bill or by threatening to cut off your service if just asking doesn’t work.

That is the basic idea behind Billcutterz.com, except you don’t even have to ask/threaten, because Billcutterz.com does the asking/threatening for you. Billcutterz.com has professional negotiators who call your utility providers on your behalf to see if they can get your monthly bill reduced. When I recently heard about this service, I decided to give them a try to see how much they could save me. Here is the story of what I found.

How Billcutterz works

After I signed up for Billcutterz, they sent me an email instructing me to take pictures of my monthly bills and upload them to their website. They suggested I upload the following bills:

  • Cell phone

  • Internet service

  • Cable/ Satellite TV

  • Electricity

  • Gas

  • Landline telephone

  • Gym memberships

  • Home security alarms

  • Satellite radio

Even though that’s an extensive list, most of those items didn’t apply to me.  Electricity and Gas rates are set by the state where I live and aren’t negotiable, and I didn’t use many of those services.  Still, I do have high speed internet and satellite television I think I am paying too much for, so I uploaded those bills. Before I get criticized too much for paying for television in the comments below, I will explain I live in a small town where the television reception is fairly limited.

A day or two later, a Billcutterz.com employee called me to let me know she was about to call my Internet and satellite television provider to see if she could lower my bills.  She explained that she would need my mother’s maiden name and the last 4 digits of my Social Security number to verify with my utility providers that she was authorized to talk to them on my behalf.

I told her I wasn’t comfortable giving this information to her, and she understood.  She explained I didn’t really have to give her this information, but that meant while she was on the phone with my providers the provider would have to call me and verify it was OK to talk to Billcutterz about my account, which I thought sounded fine.

A few minutes later my providers called me to verify it was OK to talk to Billcutterz, then I happily hung up and let the experts do the negotiating for me. The next day I got an email from Billcutterz proudly announcing they had cut my satellite television bill from $28 dollars a month to $20 per month for six months and my internet bill from $45/month to $35/ month.  

That is a total savings of $168 over the next year.  Not a life changing amount of money, but I will take it.

How much does Billcutterz cost?

In exchange for negotiating these savings for me Billcutterz wanted me to pay them half the savings minus a 10% discount for paying the whole amount up front.  So my $168 in savings ended up costing me $75.60 for a net savings of $92.40. Not a bad return for how little time it cost me.

Is it safe to give a professional negotiator your information?

One of my major concerns when I began this process was I wondered if this was just some kind of a scam to get information out of me. While I can’t guarantee your information won’t somehow fall into the wrong hands, it appears to be a legitimate operation.

The first thing I did was search the Internet for complaints, and I didn’t find anybody complaining about being scammed.  Next, I paid close attention to what information I gave them.  The bills I uploaded had my name and address, along with the account numbers of my utilities. At no point did I provide them with my social security number, drivers license number, banking information, or anything else that somebody could use to create real trouble for me.

So is it possible to cheat me in some way with just my internet or satellite provider information? While I can’t figure out exactly what the risk is here, I never underestimate the ingenuity of a determined hacker.  All fans of Clark know the safest way to prevent identity theft is a credit freeze.

Can’t you just negotiate for yourself and keep all the savings?

In the past I have cut out the middleman and just called my satellite and Internet providers myself to ask for lower rates.  When I have done that, not only was I just as successful as Billcutterz was this time, but I got to keep all the savings since I did it for myself.

So if you don’t mind putting in the work, it’s probably best if you do your own negotiating.  There are people out there that are uneasy about negotiating for whatever reason. Those are the people that could benefit from using a service like Billcutterz or a similar service like BillFixers.com so they don’t have to mess around with all that messy threatening to leave for another utility.  For everybody else, just go ahead and make the call yourself.

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Andy Prescott About the author:
Andy Prescott is a CPA and the author of ArtOfBeingCheap.com, a website he describes as an instruction manual to saving money. Andy enjoys spending time with his family, travel, and finding new and exciting ways to pay less for stuff.
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