After my son complained about how slow the internet was at home, I thought I'd call my cable company to try to get a faster connection. They told me I had their basic speed package, but for ten bucks more a month I could get "upgraded" to their faster service.

Remembering the poker player that I used to be, I bluffed them and asked for the free upgrade that they were offering. After being told five times there was no "free upgrade," I asked if they had any special trial offers. I was put on hold, and two minutes later the customer service rep came back on with some "good news": They were running a limited-time offer for their upgraded service. They had a special 12-month trial, and my cost would be $13 LESS per month than my current slow service. After hesitating for about one second, I said, "ALL IN!"

Instead of trying to get a faster connection for the same price, I wound up getting the upgraded service and SAVED $156 for the year...JACKPOT!

The moral is: Everything is negotiable, and never take no for an answer. Gotta run; I think I'll call my home alarm company and see if they have any "specials" this week.