GRS-reader Fritz writes with a money-saving tip:

I just wanted to share a way I saved some money on my digitalphone bill. I live in Wisconsin and have TimeWarner cable TV/Internet/digital phone service. The phone service costs $39.99 a month with unlimited long distance calls in the US. I thought it was a good deal when I signed up for it a year ago. Since then I have been thinking about switching to Vontage since they are only $25.99 a month. I called TimeWarner and mentioned this, and they dropped my phone service to only $29.99 a month. While Vontage is still cheaper, I don’t want to go though the hassle of switching services. I am glad that I called and saved $10/month.

A lot of people swear by this method: they call and ask for lower rates. I haven’t tried it myself yet — I get shy when calling bureaucracies. And I wouldn’t know what to do. Do I simply say, “Hi, I like your service, but I’m wondering if you can do anything to help me out on the cost?”