Negotiate to save on bills and receive numerous discounts.

Receive discounts on medical bills

Think about this. To keep their cash flow, many medical professionals will knock 5 or 10 percent off your bill if you pay up front, claims healthcare consultant Rocky Fredrickson. Studies show that over 90% of people who do take the initiative to negotiate medical bills are successful in getting some savings. More.

And if you are uninsured, you can get even bigger discounts on your medical bills. Gastroenterologist Martin Bashir says you can get 50% or more savings for procedures that dentists and doctors usually bill to health plans, because medical practitioners are used to getting paid less than full price from those insurance companies. What it comes down to is the discounted rate that doctors give a patient on their bills is still far better than what an insurance company is paying.

You can find out what medical professionals typically bill for their services and how much insurers pay at You need to use this information to negotiate the bill before your procedure. Offer to pay your medical bill up front in exchange for a discount.





Discounts on uncovered repairs

Companies will not always charge for repairs after a warranty period has expired, says Patrick Griffin, a service manager for Dell Computer. Common problems you may have might not require a recall but those problems may be so prevalent that a company will fix the glitch for free.

To research this on your product, enter the full name of the product ("Brand X digital camera M16") as well as the problem ("cracked view screen") into a search engine, and try to find chat rooms where other consumers  have discussed similar problems and learn what the company has done for them. You need to be sure to call the returns department, and not customer service, to talk to someone who can help authorize a free repair or, better yet, a replacement. Be sure to tell them you are loyal to their brand, but that you've discovered online evidence of widespread problems and issues with the product.

Get discounts on cell phone bills you are paying

Your chance to negotiate over cellphone features and minutes is not when you're signing up for a new phone plan plan. You may start getting sales calls from your provider a couple of months before your current contract runs out, but never bite, says telecommunications attorney Art Neill.

You need to wait until your phone contract is about to expire, then you should call the company's customer-service department to ask about options for a new plan. Their job is to keep you with the cell company, and they will probably throw some extras your way to do this. Be sure to tell them exactly what you need in terms of minutes, a new phone, and other features, and it needs to be based on research you have done about what other companies are offering, and the phone company may stretch the rules to get you to renew. Also note that it is always worth talking to a supervisor if others can't help.

Negotiate on credit card debt

Many credit card companies are willing to negotiate credit card bills in the difficult economy. They can eliminate debt, or pay lower interest rates.

By Jon McNamara

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