Cable, phone and power service problems are a fact of life. Even the companies with the best equipment can sometimes have outages, leaving their customers without working service for days or even weeks at a time. Of course, most companies don’t have the best equipment, they can cut costs, fail to upgrade and leave their customers in the lurch.

You may think that when you have an outage, you don’t have many options. You may believe that you just have to live without any compensation for the time that you lost. However, many people have found that isn’t necessarily true.

The truth is that you can get a lot from your service provider when you’re willing to press them. You should always ask for credits after internet, cable, phone and power service problems. Here are 5 reasons why.

They’re Likely to Say ‘Yes’

It only takes a few minutes worth of effort to call your service provider to complain, but it’s almost a certainty that time is going to be very valuable for you. Many customer service departments consider giving out credits to be the most time and cost-effective ways of dealing with an angry customer.

This is pretty simple math. Customer service representatives have to be paid for their time like any other employees. If you’re using up more of that time than the credit you want is worth, they’re likely to figure out that the best way forward is to give you what you want.

It May Move You Up in Line for Repairs

Calling to complain about outages is a good opportunity to ask for credits, but even if you can’t convince them to give you any, the call may not be in vain. You can collect some other benefits by being willing to call, such as a chance to get your problem fixed more quickly.  

When your service company realizes that you’re angry enough to call, they may be motivated to move you up in the line of people who are having their outage repaired. This may not compensate you for the value you’ve already lost, but it can at least prevent you from losing more.

It Creates a Pattern that You Could Use Later

Your requests for credits will not always be successful, but even when they fail, they can still be valuable to you. 

When you call customer service, there’s often a record created in your account. This record will be visible to your customer service representative the next time you call about a different outage. Even if they refused you the first time, they’ll be more likely to help you out the next time when they know they have a pattern of letting you down. 

It May be the Only Way You Get Compensation

Outages happen often for many reasons. Companies do not make a habit of offering credits for these outages, and will rarely admit that an outage even happened unless you call and complain about it. While service companies don’t offering credits by default, that doesn’t mean that they don’t provide them—just that they only provide them to people who ask.

If you want to get compensation at all, you’re going to have to call them and ask. In some cases, this may be enough. Certain companies coach their customer service representatives to offer small credits to anyone who is upset. Even if your company doesn’t, you may be able to get credits as long as you can show that you’ve lost value. 

Depending on the number of days that you’ve been experiencing an outage, you may have lost quite a lot of the value that you pay for in your monthly bill. If you divide your monthly bill by 30 and then multiply that number by the number of days it was out, you’ll have a “money lost” number that you can give to the customer service representative.

You Could Permanently Lower Your Bill

When you call your service company to complain about an outage, you may be hoping for some credits, but you can get a lot more than that. Companies use a lot of different tools to ensure customer satisfaction. One of those tools is access to special rates and discounts.

These rates can help you save money over the entire length of your service contract, but you’ll only ever learn about them if you call to complain. This makes it very much worth it to be someone who asks for credits after internet, cable, phone or power service problems.