Here's When Discounts Just Don't Work

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You've done it — you've made it through a company's endless phone tree of customer support to the correct real-life person who can address your complaint. You lay out everything that's been wrong with your service, and for that kind of package, you are paying way too much! And then the customer service rep does something amazing: While not quite agreeing with you, they may offer you a discounted price going forward.

In the moment, you might be appeased, but new research from the University of Notre Dame shows that you probably won't stick around to enjoy it. In fact, your brain will most likely convince you to take your business elsewhere, even if you're not actually losing anything. Basically, if the average customer is offered a renewal at the previous price, or a new plan with a slightly lower price point but not less than the discount, they're walking.

A recent study found that 1 in 4 American consumers won't get out of bed for a sale less than 25 percent off; 20, 30, and 40 percent discounts are favored by about one-third of us. We already think that paying full price is for suckers on consumer goods, and we hate most of our most common service providers, like cable, internet, and phone. Before you disconnect with your most frustrating services, though, see if you can negotiate on your bills (yes, it's a thing). Haggling is an underrated skill these days, but it can still come in handy. Stay patient, polite, and persistent, and you could talk your way into discounts that stick.