Customer since 1996
I have a grandfathered Premier account, Regional Sports Package, and HD Extra Pack.
I have subscribed to NFL Sunday Ticket every year since it started with the exception of one year.
I make sure I pay my bill on time, but do not use AutoPay.
About 10 years ago after reading about all the "negotiating", I call about this time every year (NFLST time) and make sure I get to Retention.
I simply ask "Is their anyway you can help me lower my bill". The normal response is "Let me see what I can do for you", followed by excessive keyboard noise.
Looking back on my statements from those years (Yes I keep PDF copies) I have always gotten no less than $280 a year of credits. Many times, I am given several different options for discounts and have to take quick notes to see what saves more and is best for my programming.
There is always some type of discount program code on the statement as shown in the first line. This is what I "negotiated" this year.
Keep Valued Customer - $0.00 $0.00
Red Zone Channel 2013 HD - $0.00 $0.00
Advanced Receiver-HD - 12moFreeHDExist ($10.00) ($0.70)
PREMIER - $10/6mosSPORTS ($10.00) ($0.70)
PREMIER - $20/12moBasePkg ($20.00) ($1.40)
So this year I have $449.40 in discounts that will be credited to my account (taxes shown also) and the Red Zone Channel for free. I am paying regular price on NFLST this year. It seems that I am in the every other year free cycle on that.
It's like the saying "You miss a 100% of the shots you never take". If you never ask, your never going to get a discount.....
P.S. To share a great example of never asking for a discount or negotiating. About 20 years ago, I had a co-worker tell another and myself that she had just put a $500 deposit down on a new car. After discussing the car and asking about the price, we realized she had paid Full Sticker Price for it! She was about 22 and apparently never had been "coached" about car purchasing and pricing. The other co-worker was so mad that he called the dealership and gave them an earful. They said "tough luck". He said she wouldn't complete the deal. They said she wouldn't get her deposit back. He said fine, as they would lose more from not selling the car to her and he would help her purchase the same car at a different dealership and still save her more money than the deposit in any event. They said come back with her and "we'll work something out". That something was about $1800 off the price of the new car....