How I Saved $75 with One Phone Call


I recently switched from Verizon to Sprint’s network. I was getting tired of Verizon charging $127 every month for 2 phone lines that only give 2GB data, unlimited phone, and text service. In my opinion, it possibly can’t cost $127 a month to provide that service. It could be why Verizon enjoys a fat 14% net profit margin from billions of dollars in revenue. This is where Sprint comes in.

Sprint has a promotion going on where if you switch from Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile’s network, Sprint will offer to charge half of what you were paying. The disclaimer is that your bill won’t get exactly slashed by half, but the plan offers very nice savings and switching networks gave me around 40 – 45% in monthly savings. Sprint will even cover up to $650 of switching costs, which sounds great until I tried submitted my early termination fee and was notified that I wouldn’t receive anything back. What gives?!

The First Visit

The day that I went to Sprint to actually switch, I asked if it was OK to keep my current Verizon phone and not have to lease a phone with Sprint. They said it was fine. Then I was worried about the termination fees so I made sure to ask the sales associates if the bill will be completely be covered. No worries again.

Afterwards, I went back, happy that I got  ~45% monthly savings on my phone bill. Yeah baby, more money in my pocket! I received a $150 early termination fee bill from Verizon and happily logged onto my Sprint account to get them to pay it.

Yeah Baby!



Sprint’s online chat service told me that because I didn’t turn in my old Verizon phone and didn’t lease a new Sprint phone, I didn’t qualify for the early termination fee to be waived. The chat went for an hour and went something along these lines:

Them: I see what the problem is, you didn’t turn in your phone and didn’t lease with us so we are unable to reimburse the early termination fee.

Me: I was told otherwise in-store, the associates said that I would qualify and not to worry about the bill.

Them: If you were told otherwise, we wouldn’t want to mislead our customers, we can make an appointment to the store to resolve this issue.

By this time, I moved halfway across the country and didn’t have time to drive 1200 miles to and back just to take care of this issue. I made the appointment anyways and told them thanks. When the appointment time came, I called them instead of going to the store because in my mind, there was no difference between getting this resolved in-store and over the phone.

I spoke with an associate, let’s call him Matt, who wasn’t the one that set up the service. He figured out why I wasn’t qualified but didn’t know what had actually happened because he wasn’t the one who specifically helped me on the day that I signed up so he took down my information to give me a call back the next day.

Next day arrived. This was how the call went that lasted 15 minutes.

Matt: The other associate, let’s call him Phil, said that he specifically remembered me coming into the store and remembers telling me that I would be responsible for the early termination fee on my own.

Me: No, I specifically remember asking him if my fee would be covered and he reassured me that it would. I was under the expectation that it would be covered, which is why I switched to Sprint. Even if he did say otherwise or not, it wasn’t explicit enough to the point that it would influence my choice / behavior.

This is how I felt

The call was 15 minutes of repeating the conversation above. But that was fine. Every time that he said something contrary to me, I would repeat the same sentence in different words because I didn’t want to back down. The issue was moved to the next day where I would be able to talk to the manager of the store.

The call with the manager lasted 5 minutes. Quick and simple.

Manager: What happened?

Me: I explain.

Manager: Let me double check with my director and check the tapes from when you came in to make sure what was exactly communicated and I’ll get back to you the next day.

I knew I wasn’t lying so I was glad that he would do that. If anything, I was glad because I knew that I would be able to at least partially receive something.

The next day. The call I’ve been waiting for.

Manager: We checked the tapes but it is a little blurry / distorted so we can’t verify. Therefore, after talking to my director, we can offer a partial rebate of $75 that will go into effect on your future bills.

Me: I accept.

$75 is sure as heck better than paying $150. If the evidence that I need to prove my case was distorted, I was happy to have gotten at least half of it back. $75 for roughly an hour and a half of work is great. I actually ran the numbers and found that there was no difference between my alternative and what I received. The alternative would have been to wait 2 more months to switch to Sprint and make Verizon richer with no justification.


The spreadsheet is a little blurry but the gist is that my alternative to avoid the $150 termination fee would be to wait 2 more months and switch. This would have a difference of $13, which isn’t significant over 2 years of time. I in turn got to practice negotiating, dealing with people, and standing my ground. It was a price well paid, in my opinion.

This was my second negotiation in the real world. The first time, it was for my car, and the second time, it was with getting what was owed to me. I learned some valuable lessons while going through this process and it has been rewarding.

Readers, have you gone through negotiation lately or ever? What has been your story? Has it been successful and what did you gain from it? Let me know in the comments below.

Finance Solver

I grew my net worth to $40,000 as a college student through hard work, discipline, and a little bit of luck. I graduated college in 2016 and will be starting to plan for my retirement once I start working.I am planning on reaching financial independence by my early 30's and I will document my moments of inspiration all the way to desperation here.

My goal is to enable your success in personal finance so that you can realize the American dream. The first step is starting today!

Read more about me here.

Latest posts by Finance Solver (see all)

16 thoughts on “How I Saved $75 with One Phone Call

    • Finance Solver says:

      Thank you! It’s fascinating how words can get what I want. Communication is so important when it comes to dealing with people and anything financial. I will be saving so much money and am ready to invest all that money I’m saving! 🙂

    • Finance Solver says:

      Thank you. I have to fight for everything my entire life to get something that I want. Even in a line at Chipotle I ask for extra things just to make sure I get my money’s worth. Negotiation is everywhere, it’s hard to recognize when it happens but I have to stand my ground!

    • Finance Solver says:

      Thanks Stefan! I’m glad to have found a low cost provider, the service is great also. Low cost, high service is the product I like!

      I’ve been trying to stop being so passive aggressive and be more vocal of what I want.

      I used to be terrified (I still somewhat am) of saying what I want cause I’m afraid of being judged but trying to work on that.

      I can talk to you more about what I think of sprint or Verizon over email if you want! Just a suggestion.

  1. I felt frustrated just reading the post! Good for you for following through to save the money. We are considering switching cell phone providers in the near future. The thing holding me back is we have US Cellular phones and I do not want to have to buy new phones for 4 of us!

    • Finance Solver says:

      It was frustrating because I felt a little baited but they at least partially solved the problem and they gave me a great rate on my phone bill.

      Ah, yes, leasing or buying a phone is always a costly procedure.. Especially a smart phone. If you do write a post on it, looking forward to reading it!

  2. Congrats on making the switch and saving that extra $75! I’m traveling for three months and have my Verizon phone on pause (so paying $10/month). When I get back I’m likely switching to Tmobile, as I am not thrilled with Verizon’s behavior and prices as well.

    And unfortunately it seems like all phone companies pay commissions to sales people — because I have had at least two encounters with Verizon where the rep promised me the world, but then I was told otherwise after making the purchase and calling back later.

    From now on I think I’ll get a recording or signed letter about any promises that a phone rep makes.

    Great job holding your ground and I look forward to seeing more great content on your blog!

    • Finance Solver says:

      Thank you! It may not sound like a lot but it had a lot of significance and learned a few lessons on negotiation and dealing with people. I agree, I’ve been a loyal customer for 5 years with no trouble paying bills but then I asked to get my bill reduced because there are other alternatives and they gave me a 5% reduction in my bill when I could get a 40% reduction elsewhere. Moved on from that!

      I’ve just realized that. I really hate conflicts of interest between a sales person and a customer. It can only end badly because if they say the wrong thing, lawsuits can happen.. I’ve been in sales before but I never lied to the customer because lying can’t be good over the long term.

      That’s a fantastic idea! I’m going to start doing that with a sales rep to make sure I can use their words against them if they lied. Good thing iPhones have a built in recording function in it 🙂

      Thank you for following along! I’ll be following your blog along as well 🙂

  3. Picking up the skills of a good negotiator are essential in my opinion. You probably have to negotiate something every day if you think about it. And not only that but when it comes to big money items, like your car, or in the future a job salary, or house, this can turn into years and years of savings if you are a good negotiator. I’d say you picked up some good experience and also you were able to save money along the way!

    • I agree, it’s fascinating to know that communication can be a great personal finance tool and it’s so important in the big purchases, like you’ve said. I agree and definitely saved a lot of money on my phone bill!

  4. Man, I HATE having to argue with customer service like that. Good on you for doing it and trying to hold them accountable!

    I can’t believe the store has tape of the date/time and that they can listen to the audio! Do you think they made that up? I would think they would have to warn customers and/or get their consent to be audio and video recorded in the store.

    • I hate arguing also. But conflict is something that’s going to occur in life and in business so have to try to get comfortable with it because it’s going to happen whether I like it or not!

      I’m pretty sure they made that up to see what my reaction is because I don’t think he ever asked what time I came in, the date that I came in at, and the fact that he called me a day after that I called him. It can’t possibly take just one day to go through the data and actually figure everything out. I still got my $75 so better than nothing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *