The title of this post sounds a bit like a late night TV ad. Can you imagine it, with the huckster voice? But it's true, I really DID save $200 with one phone call. $201, to be precise. Here's the story...
When we received our home insurance bill this year, I put it aside because it seemed high to me at $984 for the year. When I looked up what we had paid last year, it was $864, or $120 less. So I called the agent and left a message. He called me back almost immediately and I asked him why our bill was so much higher this year. (Yes, all these numbers are high. We live in Southern California!)
He told me he'd look over our paperwork and get right back to me, probably later that afternoon. I said that would be great, and that my husband and I had spent a lot of time researching insurance companies and that we couldn't afford random rate hikes (that was the gist of it).
The agent called me back a few hours later and told me that they were cancelling our old policy, and issuing a new policy that would be virtually the same with a few added benefits, and that it would cost $783 for the year. That's $81 less than we paid last year, and $201 less than they originally billed us this year.
Imagine if I hadn't noticed and had just paid that bill. Remember, you can always review all your accounts and ask if you've got the best price. That's particularly true for phone and cable bills. A lot of people have essentially more service than they need, and they're paying for it.
Lesson learned: it doesn't hurt to ask. Please tell us about the deals you've gotten just by asking in the Comments section. We all love to hear a good story about saving money.