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How To Haggle To Get The Most Out Of Your Bundle Plan

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Services we rely on seem to come in a package these days: cable, internet, even a landline phone.

But will bundling save you money? WCCO took the question George John, a professor at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.

It turns out bundling typically is the best way to go. The more you use from a company -- cable, internet and phone -- the better deal you'll get.

The idea from the provider is if they get a customer to buy in on more services, they'll be less likely to walk away.

It's called the "stickiness effect." The discount comes on the front end, and the best deals usually go to new customers.

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So, how does a long-time customer find cost savings? What companies don't advertise is that your bill is open to negotiation.

It costs companies to process customers when they come and leave and come and leave, so they're willing to pass that savings on to you.

But first, you need to know how valuable you are as a customer. If you have a bundle plan, a company is more likely going to want to keep you, too. They have more to lose.

Most of us don't think about bargaining for our bill, or don't want to. But if you're up for a phone call and you're willing to negotiate and say you're ready to walk away, customer service representatives are typically authorized to slash your bill by 10 to 15 percent.

At the very least you may get some extra premium channels thrown in for a month or two.

If you only have one service from a company, you can still try calling, but don't expect to get 15 percent off your bill. That's about the highest they'll go, and that's reserved for the most-valuable customers.

Every year when tax time rolls around, it's a good idea to check your bill to make sure you know what you're paying for.

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