The Saturday Weekend Review February #6~Well Behaved Kids Score Their Family A Dining Discount!

Weekend Review

Hot Money Topics Trending Around The Web

You never know where or when you will get a discount, even on your restaurant bill as one family received from Poulsbo, Washington. This has to be one of the most unusual of Yahoo articles I’ve read in a while and I really wanted to share my thoughts on it.  Competition for business especially in the restaurant industry is tight-fisted but for this owner the kids struck a chord with him. A family of 5 was eating at a little Italian Restaurant called Sogno Di Vino and because Laura King’s children were so well-behaved during the service they were rewarded with ice-cream, but that’s not all. When Laura received her receipt for the dinner she noticed a $4.00 discount for “Well Behaved Kids”.  She posted the photo on her blog and she shared this dining experience with the world. What a lovely gesture on the part of the restaurant owner, Rob Scott to recognize his patrons this way. He went on to say in the article the children were well-mannered saying “please” and “thank-you”. It’s spread like wild fire and was a great PR move on his part if you ask me.

When I hear about business owners taking a vested interest in their customers outside the “plate of food” it makes me happy to know there are establishments that take pride in the overall experience while taking it to different levels. We tend to stay away from establishments with the production line mentality, get em in get em out, there’s a line-up after all. It’s not always just about the money, word of mouth goes a long way just as in this case. The personal touch is always so welcoming when you have staff who genuinely care about your dining experience. It’s not everyday you hear stories like this so kudos to Mr. Scott and to Laura and her husband for teaching their children the importance of good behaviour and manners.

At the end Laura offers some tips for eating out with kids such as making sure your kids are well rested, have had a snack and to make sure you are giving them your full attention while dining out. It’s also important to “notice your surroundings”, she says. Although we don’t have any kids I’ve seen my fair share of kids that misbehave but I’m not one to judge as we never know if there is an underlying problem or concern. I wouldn’t expect something like this if we had kids and went out to eat but once in a while it’s nice to hear of someone doing something special for their patrons. I wonder if he will start a trend now and up the playing field for bigger restaurants to give back to their customers even if it is an ice-cream cone. Maybe a “Well behaved Discount Card” for restaurant and retail shops?

Has anything like this happened to you while dining out or in another situation?

How do you teach your children about their manners?

You can read the story in full here.

receipt well behaved kids discount

Photo Credit: Reddit

What’s Been Happening at Canadian Budget Binder?

Now that the happy part of this post is done, let’s move on shall we to the part where my water softener decided to crash on us. I’m moaning about it because the bloody things are not cheap but I’m getting a discount (of course). Who pays full-price for anything these days, not this guy.  I did a bit of research the past few days and will be sharing this expensive experience with all of you in an upcoming blog post. Other than that I’ve been shovelling for the past few days. All I’m going to say is thank goodness I did winter maintenance on my vehicle as it was some rough driving yesterday morning.

The New Website is almost completed and will be up and running very soon, exciting, you bet. Andrea is just fine tuning it because she’s thorough that way and doesn’t like to put out anything but her best work. That’s when the real magic happens and when all the great people that have surrounded themselves with CBB over the past year will be rewarded.  I’ve been branching out and connecting with other Bloggers around the web and it’s been fun getting to know other site owners who share a passion for helping others like I do. It’s amazing just how many personal finance sites there are and I hope to feature some new sites for all of you in the upcoming weeks.

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That’s not all.. oh ya it’s like party time on the web with all these challenges…. Sean at One Smart Dollar has Canadian Budget Binder up for nomination in his challenge for Top Personal Finance Blog… if you have a moment and can click the link here and Vote Canadian Budget Binder I would be appreciative. If we win I get $100 to give to one lucky Fan! If we don’t win, we are still #1 because we have some amazing fans. Every blog on the list is a winner!

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Canadian Budget Binder is fun place where people come to not only learn about personal finance but also to share. Thanks to these sites who linked up to Canadian Budget Binder this past week. 

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What People Searched to Find Canadian Budget Binder:

Search terms really help me to understand what people are looking for at Canadian Budget Binder! Any typos below are simply how the person who searched typed it in search, or me ;-) There were thousands of searches this week.. but not too many juicy ahahaha ones.. so I picked out some of the best ones for you.

Top Pick: What will housing prices to in the year 2016 in BC?- One sec, let me grab my crystal ball… 

  • Horrible Credit Want Mortgage- Say that 5 times… although there are such things as Bad Credit Mortgages.
  • How can you make a woman from Canada love you- Hmm, buddy I’ve learned you can’t make a woman do nothing! If she doesn’t love you for you why would you even want to try and “make” her.. silly.
  • Do I have to say I Love You on Valentine’s Day?- You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. People that date each other buy gifts, go on dates but it doesn’t mean they are “IN LOVE” with the person.  Chill out!
  • Trick, keep a bottle of Vaseline In your pocket.. that will- That will WHAT? Then again, do we really want to know, lol?

It's Not About How Much Money You Make It's How You Spend It

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Haggling the Best Deal with your Communications Company

Do you call your cable company annually to negotiate a better deal? If not, read this post to learn how you can save yourself and your family money each year with a simple call. Haggling with your communications company may seem like a pain in the back side but with high competition for services it’s worth the time it takes to talk to a customer retention agent.

Every year I shake my head when I do the yearly round-up of our expenditures with Rogers Cable. I must admit that I have lowered these costs over the years but am looking to downsize them. Sure I have some of the best Rogers retention plans going but sometimes they make it difficult to want to continue being a long time client of theirs.

The cancellation department also handles the retention phone calls for customers who have promotions coming to an end. Essentially all they are is a customer service representative with retention strategies to try and keep you as a customer. They are the people who can boost your savings depending on your needs and how well a customer you are.

Rogers client retention may not seem like a big deal when you are 1 customer but if everyone decided to move to another company that could put a dent in their earnings. Rogers is one of the leading communication companies in Canada with continued revenue growth up 3% according to their 2012 Quarterly report located on their website with adjusted operating profit up 7% and earnings per share up a whopping 33%.

2013 Rogers Retention Plan 

It’s that time of year where I make the annual call to our communications company as our Rogers promotions are coming due.  I like to update this post with what we were offered or what they call the best “rich offer” they can give us for all of you to compare your deals.

Our end of promotion total bill for the 2012-2013 year was $149.71. Our new bill will be $153.55 which is a bit more but last years promotions were far better than what they are offering today. I’m still not sure what we will do with this promotional deal they offered us. Below is what Rogers offered us for the 2013-2014 year of promotions.

Rogers Wireless Cell Phone Retentions Deal

  • Cell Phone $31.12 includes 200 Weekday and Unlimited Weeknight and Weekend
  • 100 Any time Canadian Long Distance Minutes
  • 6 pm Early Evening Calling
  • Call Fwd, Call Transfer, Call Answer, Call Display Bundle
  • Bundle Discount
  • Total $31.12 (this is apparently the cheapest cell phone plan with Rogers)

Rogers VIP Cable Retention Deal

  • VIP Digital Cable
  • 1 FREE PVR (Personal Video Recorder)
  • HDTV Channel Pack
  • Bundle Discount 20%
  • Total $66.55

Rogers Home Phone Retentions Deal

  • Change from Classic Plan which is no longer available to the Favourites Plus Plan $19.99 month plus tax for 2 year promotion not a contract. It will cost $45.00 a month when the promo is done (I’m sure this will change as prices always go up)
  • 500 North American Long Distance Minutes (it will cost $5.00 extra when the promo is done)
  • Loss of Rogers to Rogers switching from Classic to Favourites
  • Total $22.95

Rogers Internet Retentions Deal

  • Rogers High Speed Lite
  • Bundle Discount 30%
  • Modem Charge $4.00
  • Total $32.93
Previous Rogers Retention Deals

Here is one true example back in 2010 we were paying just under $200 a month for 4 services or $2400.00 per year. In 2012 I received the same 4 services plus more for $159.68 or $1916.16 per year by calling retentions.

In 5 years at the 2012 rate we could have put $9580.80 down on the principal of our home. In 20 years that’s a whopping $38,323.20 although we know this cost will increase over the years. It really puts it into perspective when you see the average numbers over the long-term.

There are always price hikes with Rogers (most companies for that matter) for one reason or another so always keep in mind that your promotional price likely will go up over the course of the year. There is nothing they can do about it so you have to suck it up or leave which might mean you break a contract although their service agreement states:

If a change to a Month-Month Service of a Term Service entails an increase in your obligations or a decrease in your our obligations and if you do not accept such a change, you may terminate the affected Services without a Cancellation Fee by sending us a notice to that effect no later than 30 days after the amendment takes place.

So make sure you read the service agreement which you will find at the bottom of the Rogers Home page. It pays to stay informed because you can’t turn around and say you didn’t know if they offer it to you. If you are late paying your Rogers bill they will charge you a 2% late fee per month calculated and compounded monthly on an account that is not paid to the tune of 26.82% according to their service agreement.

Do we really need all those services?

Ask yourself the above question and if the answer is no cut out some of the services. We are looking at chopping some of the features we pay for this year such as a bundle pack on our cell phone.  We might cancel the VIP cable for Basic cable and find internet services elsewhere.

Before We Call Our Cable Retention Department

The first thing we do is sit down with our budget spreadsheet and look at our yearly total for our communications bills. Take the time to add yearly costs of your Cell Phone (s), Cable, Internet and Home Phone so you have the exact numbers. You can’t haggle a deal if you don’t know what you previously were spending. If you are a new customer you might have more ammunition for better start up deals so don’t be afraid to ask, they do want your business after all. 

If you have just completed this task I bet you are surprised to see costs in the thousands if not more per year for these services. In 2011 we spent $2030.09 for our Rogers services for the year. The next year in 2012 we paid$1807.25 to bundle our services with Rogers for the year through the retention department promotion pricing. That was a difference of $222.84 for the year which is better than nothing and for some a month of groceries in their grocery budget. So, we have home phone, cell phone, internet and cable with Rogers.

Your communication costs are all variable spending habits, meaning we really don’t need them at all. They are a luxury but one that shouldn’t break the budget in order to have them.

How To Negotiate 

If you want to learn how to negotiate with Rogers or whoever your communications provider is remember it’s a business. As a client you want to be professional and at least be prepared to make the phone call to haggle with them. Below is how I go about tackling my annual call to our communications company.

  • Write out your year to date totals for your communications bill and review your current bill for pricing.
  • Know when your service contracts are due and write this information down so you can prepare your negotiations ahead of time. ( I like to call the retention department one month or more before our promotions expire)
  • Keep junk mail from other cable and phone companies as you may need this information.
  • Search the internet for companies in your area that offer the services you need.
  • Call or Email these companies to get quotes on comparable items that you receive from your provider.
  • Tell them that your contract is coming to an end with your current provider and you are looking for the best deals.
  • Bundling your services with one provider may end in a better price but not always, research is best.
  • When you have all this information in front you then you are ready to do the next step, haggle with your current provider.
  • Typically there is a customer service number you can call to discuss your services. I like to call and ask for the Retention Department when calling Rogers or you can ask the cancellation department for retentions as they are the same people from what I was told from an agent today. 1-888-Rogers (7643)-1
  • When I reach the retentions associate I tell them I am potentially considering cancelling my services because I have found a better deal unless they are willing to negotiate with me. I am being honest as this will be my intention if they cannot match or beat a competitive quote that I have. It’s not a means of blackmail it’s just the way business goes just how they tell us there will be an increase in price for our services. Don’t just call and act like you are owed something, be considerate.
  • Be polite to the retentions agent on the phone, use their name just like they use yours as you are not aiming to cause a confrontation as they are simply doing their job.
  • Let them know what quote you received from a competitor comparing apples to apples(meaning for the exact same services) and for how much and ask them if they can meet or beat it.
  • If they say no you can either continue to negotiate, cancel your services or call back another day until you get the answer you want.

Almost 99% of the time these retention agents have given me better promotions than advertised or others have received. If you have been a long-standing customer with an excellent account use this to your advantage. Tell them how dedicated to the company you have been and wish to continue being although I’m pretty sure it’s obvious as they can see your account history. There’s nothing wrong with reiterating your commitment to their organization.

I also follow Red Flag Deals (RFD) “Hot Deals for Rogers Customers” at redflagdeals retention thread but I would also like our fans to post their internet, cable, home phone and cell phone deals here in our comment section so others can follow CBB Communication Retention Deals here!

Arm yourself with the best defence, in the end its your money, so spend it wisely.

Quote-Budget and Money

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