Bill negotiation services will use their expertise to get you a better deal on many common bills, often without any upfront costs.
If time is money, then you couldn’t blame people for thinking it’s pointless to spend hours on hold just to shave a few dollars off of your phone or cable bill.
Bill negotiators disagree. They claim that most of us pay significantly more than we should be on our monthly service costs, subscriptions, and medical bills. However, they also understand that without the know-how to navigate bills and billing centers--to say nothing of the time and patience needed--it’s difficult for most of us to act on reclaiming the savings that we’re entitled to.
Bill negotiating services act as the middlemen between customers and the providers that are billing them. Perhaps you’ve wondered if you’re being taken for a ride by your cable company, or you’re not sure how to settle your medical bills. Maybe you subscribed to a service years ago and are still unknowingly being charged. If you’ve wished for a better deal but hate the thought of waiting on hold, these middlemen can do the negotiating for you. Negotiators will use their expertise to get you a better deal on many common bills, often without any upfront costs. If you’re thinking about using a bill negotiation service, here’s what you need to know.
Bill negotiators have been trained to analyze, identify, and act upon discrepancies in common household and service bills. They typically have experience with the top cable, phone, and service providers including Sprint, Verizon, ComcastXifinity, and DirectTV, as well as smaller providers and medical billing centers. When you sign up for a bill negotiation service, all you have to do is submit your bills and they will locate any problems or potential savings. Negotiators will then call the billing centers themselves and correct billing errors and overcharges, negotiate better deals, cancel subscriptions, and arbitrate on your behalf to save you money.
What types of bills can they negotiate?
Some common billing issues:
One of the main hesitations that consumers feel when considering using a bill negotiation service is that of their personal identity and financial security. Not everyone is comfortable sharing their account information with a third party or permitting another service to discuss their financial arrangements with someone unknown, even in order to save money. Some services allow customers to be on the phone with them when they make the call, so that you can know exactly what is shared and discussed. Others reassure clients that all employees have undergone security screening and that all information that goes through their website is encrypted. And some use bank-level encryption for any personal information submitted to the service. Security is an important issue and it’s a good idea, prior to signing on to a bill negotiation service, to ask about their privacy and security policies.
Given that you’re out to save money, the last thing you want to do is to end up paying more of it to someone else. Most bill negotiation services understand that, which is why they make a no savings, no fee promise. If they can’t lower your bill, you won’t pay anything. If they do, you’ll pay a percentage of the savings they’ve scored for you over the next 12 months--typically, the charge will range from 35%-50% of your savings.
Here's a rundown of the top bill negotiation services:
TrueBill has been featured in Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, and other financial and media outlets. Though it’s a general financial management service, the bill negotiation service plays a strong role in its mission to help you gain control of your spending. After signing up and connecting your accounts to the app, you’ll get an overview of your cash, credit, and investment spending. You can view all of your subscriptions, automatic payments, and recurring bills, and then take further action by canceling subscriptions yourself or using TrueBill’s negotiation service to net you lower prices from providers.
BillFixers claims to lower 95% of the bills it handles. Whether or not the number is accurate, the company does offer a no-risk guarantee that waives all charges if its attempts aren’t successful. After you sign up, Bill Fixers takes control of your bills by calling your cable, phone, and service providers themselves and correcting charging errors or negotiating prices. BillFixers has experience negotiating with some of the top providers out there, including Sprint, Verizon, DirectTV, and ComcastXfinity.
Like BillFixers, BillCutterz takes to the phone lines itself to speak directly to your service providers and negotiate lower prices. The process is free and relatively simple to use: send them your bills and they’ll get to work speaking with your phone, cable, internet, and home security providers in order to cut your monthly bills. If Billcutterz manages to save you money on your bills, it will charge 50% of those savings in the next year, either in 12 monthly installments or as a single lump fee.
Bill Shark claims a 90% success rate at lowering its customers’ bills. Like the previous services, it charges no upfront fees and only requires payment if it’s successful--in Bill Shark’s case, a one-time fee of 40% of the total savings its services netted. In addition to bill negotiation services, Bill Shark offers a helpful insurance rate check calculator that lets you quickly compare your home and auto rates and make better spending decisions.
Unlike the above services, which focus primarily on services and subscriptions, Copatient helps consumers get a better solution for unpaid medical bills. This is a unique niche in the bill negotiating field and may be helpful for those with healthcare costs. Whether it’s a trip to the ER that yields a confounding amount of charges, a visit to an out-of-network doctor, or a charge for services not rendered, Copatient scours your medical bills, helps you understand what you’re being charged for, and arbitrates on your behalf to lower the costs.
Trim is an automated service that analyzes your spending, provides updates on new deals and savings opportunities, and spots any duplicate charges or unnecessary subscriptions. If you find payments that are errors or services and subscriptions that you no longer want, Trim’s team will reach out to the provider for you in order to correct the error or cancel the subscription.
Medical Cost Advocate is another bill negotiation service that focuses primarily on healthcare and medical costs. After a free sign-up, you can submit your medical bills to be analyzed and checked for discrepancies, overcharges, and other issues regarding insurance, out-of-network services, and high deductibles. Medical Cost Advocate boasts 10 years of experience and offers risk-free services that only cost money if its negotiators save you money.
BillAdvisor offers a Silver package which charges 50% of the savings, but also a Gold package which charges a monthly fee of $12.99 to negotiate your repeating bills and you get to keep all of the savings. BillAdvisor promises that if it doesn’t save you more than your membership cost in the first 6 months, it will be refunded.
Twof the services on this list, Shrinkabill and BillXperts, have become inactive since this list was published. You may want to check back with their websites, or else choose a similar provider from the list.
Faced with the choice between saving money on regular bills and not losing anything by trying, most consumers decide that it’s worth it to give bill negotiation services a try. Cable subscriptions are the most popular target for bill negotiations, but any service that you think might be overcharging you is worth bargaining down.