3 Services That Negotiate Your Bills for You

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KEY POINTS

  • The average person pays $250 yearly in overdraft fees.
  • Rocket Money, DoNotPay, and Trim are online services that negotiate your bills.
  • You can choose how to pay for a bill-negotiation service.

One of many reasons I switched from Mint to Rocket Money.

You're going about your morning, checking your emails, when boom -- you see it. There, in your inbox, a notification that you've been charged an overdraft fee from your bank. You've overdrawn, and now the Piper's come for payment.

The average American pays $250 yearly in overdraft fees. Yikes. All right, fine. Maybe it's worth reaching out to someone to lower those charges.

You could ring up the bank and give them the what's what, but… Ick. Nobody has time for that. You may not want to spend time negotiating with your bank for an uncertain payoff. The same applies to negotiating lower cable service and cellphone bills.

Fortunately, some services do the negotiating for you -- for a fee. Here are three.

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1. Rocket Money

Formerly known as Truebill, this money-management app will automatically negotiate lower bills for subscribers. They claim to have an 85% success rate in lowering cellphone, cable, and security bills. They will also track and cancel recurring subscriptions if you request it.

The service costs $3 to $12 per month. Subscribers choose how much they're willing to pay for the service. At a minimum, it costs $36 per year. That's about 10 cups of coffee.

I've gotten a few refunds on $36 overcharge fees through the app. Though Rocket Money no longer calls banks on your behalf, they will remind you to do so when your account is charged.

2. DoNotPay

DoNotPay is an extension that negotiates bills on your behalf, among other things. They claim to be able to overturn bank charges, including overdraft fees, ATM fees, and late fees. The service will require some manual input on your behalf.

DoNotPay costs $36 for three months, so it's charged quarterly. There is no free trial or way to be charged monthly, so if you sign up, you're in for at least three months. Their website offers many services, ranging from power outage compensation to scheduling DMV appointments.

Note that DoNotPay has a disappointingly low Trustpilot score. However, most complaints seem to address the quarterly payment plan, which some customers need clarification on. Make sure you know what you're paying for before signing up.

3. Trim

Trim is a bill-pay service that "automagically" negotiates down your bills, among other features. They claim to be able to lower your bills by up to 30%. Customers may be required to upload a picture of their Comcast bill (or similar documents) to start the negotiation process.

The service claims to save customers an average of $620 per year. They average a 4.2 rating on Trustpilot. Not bad.

By signing up for Bill Negotiation, customers pay Trim 15% of whatever savings the service negotiates on their behalf. If Trim saves you $100, it will keep $15 for itself as payment. If you don't save any money, Trim will charge you zero dollars.

To recap:

  • Rocket Money charges a monthly subscription.
  • DoNotPay offers the most features, but it costs the most up front.
  • Trim charges a percentage of Bill Negotiation savings.

The only app I use is Rocket Money. Like the best budgeting apps, it's simple and gives me a clear view of my monthly spending habits. However, if the price rises, I'll consider looking into other apps that negotiate my bills on my behalf.

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