UP FOR NEGOTIATION
New services help lower bills on users’ behalf
As addressed in our latest report, young people consider the concept of price to be flexible. They increasingly feel empowered to name a cost they think is fair, having grown up amid price-matching policies and peer-to-peer marketplaces that encourage haggling. New services are tapping into these asking price expectations, negotiating bills on the consumer’s behalf.
The Clarity Money app is designed to advocate for consumers’ financial wellbeing by using data science and artificial intelligence to negotiate bills for users. In addition to helping them plan their budgets, manage their spending, and cancel bills, the service identifies which bills are up for negotiation, and users can activate a feature to have their fees lowered. For instance, users can use Clarity Money to help them lower the cost of gym memberships, media subscriptions, and monthly delivery services. The app saved users an average of $300/per year in beta testing by identifying and cutting excess expenditures.
New York-based startup Hiatus not only makes it easy for users to cancel recurring bills, it also does the work of negotiating them on their behalf. The app connects to users’ bank accounts to identify their ongoing subscriptions and then reaches out to companies to reduce monthly payments while keeping users on the same service plan. Hiatus charges half of what one saves in the first year, which users can pay upfront or in monthly installments. Given people’s frustration with having to contact customer service, there’s growing demand for tools that take this task off their plate.
Many Millennials dislike the haggling process that typically occurs at car dealerships, and Carjojo offers them a solution. The company provides a free search tool for people to browse different automobile makes, models, and features in their area and determines the lowest possible price of the vehicle they want based on numerous factors. Users get a deal sheet that explains the price breakdown, and for $199, they can then outsource the negotiation process with a dealer based on this information, or alternatively, they can use the info to haggle over a fair price with a salesperson directly.