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Updated on Monday, April 17, 2017
If you have wireless, cable, or internet service, you’re probably familiar with irritating bill negotiations.
BillFixers wants to help you avoid waiting on the phone for hours or getting bounced around from department to department when trying to negotiate rates with your providers.BillFixers is a service that reviews bills and then calls providers on your behalf to find you savings. The expert negotiators are familiar with deals and bundles that companies like Comcast offer, so they may be able to find discounts and specials you’re not aware of.
According to BillFixers, the service saves customers on average $300 per year on their monthly bills. We tested it to see how the process works. In this post, we’ll cover:
- The types of bills that BillFixers can reduce
- How BillFixers works
- The cost
- A trial of the BillFixers service
- The billing process
- The pros and cons
Types of Bills BillFixers Can Reduce
BillFixers can negotiate recurring bills for the following types of services:
- Home security/alarm systems
- Newspaper or magazine subscriptions
- Satellite television
BillFixers doesn’t currently negotiate the following services:
- Car payments
- Credit cards
- Debt services
- Insurance bills and claims
- Legal fees
- Medical bills
- Rent/mortgage payments
How BillFixers Works
To get started, you head to the website and sign up for an account. The sign-up page includes a space to upload files of the bills you want BillFixers to review and negotiate.
After adding your bills, BillFixers asks for the account pin, zip code, or password the provider may request when they call in to negotiate.
BillFixers also shares on this page what happens next after you submit a bill.
Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know:
- Step #1: Analysis – BillFixers reviews your bill to see if there’s an opportunity for savings.
- Step #2: Negotiation – BillFixers will reach out to the service providers to negotiate. If a change to your coverage is necessary for savings, they will get your permission first.
- Step #3: Email results – BillFixers will email you the savings they find.
BillFixers is risk-free. You pay nothing if the service can’t find you savings. If BillFixers is able to reduce your bill, you pay them 50% of the first year’s savings. You receive an invoice from BillFixers and have the option to pay a lump sum or to make monthly payments.
The BillFixers Trial
Moving on to the test run. We submitted an AT&T bill to BillFixers for negotiations.
This bill was an unusual one because it was for an AT&T account that was grandfathered into a plan with unlimited data. If you’re unfamiliar with this scenario, many years ago AT&T stopped offering unlimited data to new customers.
Users who already had the unlimited plans were able to keep them. Many AT&T customers have held onto these unlimited plans for nearly a decade to avoid newer plans that have data caps and expensive overage fees. My husband is one of these customers.
Although unlimited data is great, AT&T over the years began increasing the cost of this unlimited plan every so often making it less and less appealing and pushing customers toward other options.
This year, AT&T popped back up on the scene with new and more affordable unlimited data plans.
I figured this would be a perfect opportunity for BillFixers to dig into the new plans for us to make sure there are no hidden catches. And to see if it was finally time to say goodbye to the grandfathered unlimited plan.
The experts at BillFixers seemed to be familiar with the AT&T bill situation, which was very helpful.
All communication about the bill negotiations happened through email. They initially had trouble accessing the cellphone account. We emailed back and forth to provide them the information necessary to negotiate.
It took a little over one month for BillFixers to come up with results. That time included some delays where we had to pass on information.
They did find us savings in one of AT&T’s new unlimited plans.
The old AT&T plan we had was a Nation 450 Plan with rollover minutes, unlimited messaging, and unlimited data for $99.99 excluding taxes and additional fees.
BillFixers sent us an email with the proposed plan.
The new plan offers unlimited talk, text, and data under the AT&T Unlimited Choice plan for $65 per month excluding taxes and fees. This is a savings of almost $400 per year.
Before making any changes, BillFixers asked for permission to move forward with the deal. Before agreeing to the change, we double- and triple-checked that this service still includes unlimited data.
Here’s the update:
The Billing Process
Again, there’s no upfront cost commitment with BillFixers. Our bill review would have been completely free if they couldn’t find us a comparable plan for a better price.
You can pay BillFixers 50% of your savings upfront or monthly. We plan on paying the invoice monthly. Then, after the first year, we get 100% of the savings from this new AT&T plan.
Pros and Cons
- You don’t have to pay any money up front.
- BillFixers takes the frustration out of getting the runaround when negotiating bills.
- BillFixers has experience working with many major service providers so they may find you discounts, credits, and deals that you aren’t aware of.
- You have to give up part of your savings for a year, which takes away from how much money you’re actually saving from reducing your bills.
- All communication happens through email. There isn’t a BillFixers portal where you can stay up to date on negotiations or to review and approve your bill options. An account management feature on the site could make the process a little easier.
The best scenario is to lower your own bills to keep all of your savings. In our case, we’ll save about $200 instead of over $400 from AT&T this year because we’re sharing the savings with BillFixers.
That’s an extra $200 that could be in our savings account had we worked on the bill ourselves. Take a stab at negotiating contracts and bills first to keep your savings. If you run into trouble or prefer not to deal with the hassle, BillFixers is a good second resort.