If you’re anything like us, you’re always looking for a way to lower your cable and internet bill. And if you’re a Windstream customer, you probably have a ton of questions about your internet service right now. You may have seen stories in the news about Windstream facing bankruptcy. How will this impact you? How will this impact your internet service and your monthly bill? We wrote this article to answer all of your questions and to offer you our favorite tips for getting the lowest possible rates with Windstream.
First of all, let’s get the bankruptcy questions out of the way. Yes, Windstream has filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy may be painful for Windstream’s creditors and investors, but it’s not expected to impact customers. It shouldn’t lead to service changes or interruptions, and it shouldn’t cause rate hikes either.
Now, I’m going to be upfront with you. Windstream is not an easy company to negotiate with. In many parts of the country, Windstream has a monopoly, and they know it. Windstream is notorious for offering lackluster customer service. I know, all of this sounds like terrible news. But don’t give up hope. I We have plenty of tricks up my our sleeves to help you out.
If you want to lower your rate, you have to start by negotiating. And with Windstream, you need to do that negotiation over the phone. Emails won’t work. Neither will filling out a form online. If you want a shot at negotiating a lower rate, you have to actually pick up the phone and call Windstream.
Deals for existing Windstream customers: What to Do Before You Call
I’m going to say it again: Windstream is not an easy company to negotiate with. That’s why you need to be as prepared as possible before you pick up the phone and call Customer Service.
Before you call, sit down and calculate how much you’re spending on Windstream service on an annual basis. Write down that figure and keep it next to you. Make a note of how long you’ve been a Windstream customer, and calculate how much you’ve spent on the service over the years. Be prepared to quote this figure when you speak to Customer Service.
You should also do your research on other options in your area. Windstream does have a monopoly in many parts of the country, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are your only option for internet service. Later on in this article, we’ll talk about satellite internet and LTE, which are alternatives to a home broadband connection. Take detailed notes on the options available in your area and be prepared to tell the customer service rep about those options.
Once you dial the phone, settle in and get ready for a wait; Windstream’s customer service is notorious for being slow. We suggest using a hands-free headset to make the call. That way, you’ll at least have your hands free to take care of household tasks while you’re on hold with Customer Service.
How to negotiate with Windstream to save on Internet over the Phone
No matter what, you should be polite and calm when calling Windstream. Remember, the person you’re talking to didn’t cause your problem. They’re a customer service representative who probably listens to angry people all day. They deserve your respect and patience. Besides, you have a better shot at being offered a good deal if you are friendly, understanding, and clear.
Don’t Try a Cutthroat Approach to Negotiating with Windstream
Every company is different. Some companies respond well to a cutthroat, take-no-prisoners style of negotiation. With some companies, if you call and say that you’re ending your contract and switching to another provider, the company will start to woo you. They will offer you a lower rate to try and get you to stay with them. However, if you try that with Windstream, the customer service representative will probably just laugh at you. That’s why I do not recommend calling up Windstream and telling them that you’re switching to another service provider. That tactic isn’t likely to succeed. I have some other ideas you should try first.
Ask for an Upgrade
Once you get connected to Customer Service, make your point as simply and clearly as possible. Tell them that you are unhappy with Windstream and that you’re looking for a better deal. Tell them that you’d like to upgrade and ask them if they have a good deal to offer you. Make that point again and again, if necessary. You were happy with Windstream in the past, but now you aren’t. You’d like to stay with Windstream but you need a better deal.
Remember, asking for an upgrade doesn’t mean that you’re offering to pay more. You want to pay less, not more. You also want to improve your service. Chances are that if you’ve got Windstream, you’re not thrilled with your internet speed and reliability. That’s something that an upgrade might be able to fix. Windstream customers have reported that they’ve had decent luck with customer service when they ask for an upgrade. If you can manage to combine a service upgrade with a promotional offer, you’re in luck.
This is why you need to remind them what a great customer you are. Talk about how you always pay your bill on time, every month. Tell them that you’ve been a loyal customer for many years. Remind them that they don’t want to lose you. Be prepared to tell the customer service rep how many years you’ve used Windstream. Tell them how much money you’re paying per year, and how much you’ve paid over the years. Remind them of what a valuable customer you are.
They may offer you another deal on Windstream internet right away. If you’re happy with the new deal, great! Accept it, and go on your merry way. Give yourself a pat on the pack for negotiating a great new deal.
Be Prepared to Negotiate Next Year Too
Internet companies usually offer their customers a low rate for one year. Once that year is up, the rate goes up too.
That means that even if you call Windstream and negotiate a lower rate, you’ll probably have to do the same thing all over again next year, when your rate suddenly skyrockets again.
But the good news is, you can use the exact same tactics every single year. And the entire phone call probably won’t take more than about 15 minutes once you get through to a representative. Considering it could save you hundreds of dollars a year, we’d say it’s worth it.
What if negotiating with windstream doesn’t work?
Windstream is notoriously difficult to negotiate with. The company has a monopoly in many areas. They aren’t facing a lot of competition, and they feel like they can get away with charging high rates for spotty service. That’s why a lot of Windstream customers have reported that negotiating with the company just doesn’t work.
But don’t worry. If negotiating doesn’t work for you, you don’t need to give up hope. When this happens, there is one more trick you can try. You can actually cancel Windstream and have someone else who lives in your house — a friend or a family member — sign up for Windstream under their name, so that they qualify as a new customer and get the low introductory rate.
DISCLAIMER: We don’t recommend this approach. It’s dishonest, and it’s not a long-term solution. Besides, if your family member has the same last name as you, this approach may not work. There may be something else you can do to lower your rates instead.
Look Into Satellite Internet
Windstream doesn’t face a lot of competition from other cable companies and internet service providers. But there are other ways to get internet. Some former Windstream customers are now very happily using satellite internet services. HughesNet is popular with some former Windstream customers. Other customers have turned to Viasat (formerly Exede), another satellite internet provider.
A word of warning: satellite internet is typically much slower than cable. This is going to be a problem for gamers or people who do a ton of streaming. But customers say that while slower speeds can be frustrating, satellite service is generally more reliable. In other words, the satellite providers are slow and steady, without the kind of outages that Windstream customers often complain about.
Try an LTE Connection
Some Windstream customers have canceled their service and replaced it with an LTE connection. Which company you go with depends on what part of the country you’re in. Some customers say they’ve successfully replaced Windstream with an AT&T wireless card. Other people have turned to Verizon or Sprint hotspots.
The point is, Windstream is not your only option for internet. Keep that in mind as you call them to try and negotiate your bill. If you successfully negotiate to get a lower rate, terrific. But even if the negotiation doesn’t work, remember that you have other options at your fingertips. Knowing that should make you a stronger, more confident negotiator.
Go Ahead and Lower Your Windstream Bill Now
There are a few tried-and-true tactics for lowering the cost of your internet bill if you’re a Windstream customer. But none of these tactics will work until you actually try them. The first step is to pick up the phone and dial. That’s why I’m giving you Windstream’s Customer Service number right here: 800.347.1991.
Go ahead and give it a try. You might be amazed at the results!
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Patrick Ward is the Consulting Editor for High Speed Experts, a broadband connectivity search engine and IT industry education platform. A writer featured in Forbes and Ad Age, he has worked extensively across the insurance, real estate, finance, travel, and tech industries, with notable clients including Allianz, Cathay Pacific, and Fiji Airways.