Today I got to Interview Barry Gross from BillCutterz. I hope you enjoy it!
Links from the Show: BillCutterz (www.billcutterz.com/lessdoing) Promo Code LESSDOING2013
Ari: Hi and welcome to the podcast. Today I’m talking with Barry Gross of billcutterz. Hi, Barry. Barry: Hey, Ari. How are you today? Ari: I'm doing great. Thank you so much for making the time to talk to me. So first of all, let everyone know what billcutterz is. Barry: Billcutterz is a money saving program for individuals, businesses, and organizations. We have a niche market, so to speak. We help parties negotiate, on their behalf, with their service providers. This will be for electricity of phone bills or internet or cable TV or satellite, so that we can save them money on any of their monthly bills. It’s a very simple, easy process. You just go online and find us at BillCutterz.com, enroll which takes just a few minutes, upload your bill and we make a very quick call to you to make sure that we don’t change any services that you want or bells and whistles that you have with your current provider. What we do is basically just negotiate on your behalf, discounts, that you can save money and actually put money back into your pocket from your monthly bills. Everybody, in our opinion, has been over charged or is being overcharged. We just continue to write checks when we receive our monthly bills for payment of services rendered. In that respect, I don’t know many bills that have gone down over the course of time. Usually your telephone bill or your electric bill will otherwise continue to increase year after year; we just keep writing checks. But there are methodologies and techniques that we implement on behalf of our customers so that we can get promotions from service providers and/or discounts on your monthly bills so that literally you put money back in your pocket. That’s important to all of us in this environment and economy. Ari: Absolutely. Now, it’s one thing to be able to save money on this stuff which is great, but if we don’t have to spend any of our time doing it, as far as I concerned, that’s even more time and money saved. We can focus on the things we really need to instead of spending time on hold and negotiating with big companies that are just going to get us frustrated. What's the typical savings you guys see for customers? Barry: Typically, we’re running anywhere from 15 to 35%, depending on the type of bill. The bills that we work with are your electric bills, cable, cell phone, internet, insurance, even your home mortgage bills. We’ve had some success in that respect. Church’s even, I’ve helped them save money on their elevator bills. Anything and everything that you might pay on a monthly basis, we can help you save money with. There's always room to negotiate. With the caveat there are some bills obviously that we cannot work with. Many of the water companies are regulated; they're the only water company in town. If there are no competitors, we can’t help you in that respect. It’s the only game that you can play with so you have to just pony up and pay their prices. They are more or less considered a monopoly. We also don’t work with student loans but any other type of bill is accessible to us and we have nurtured relationships over time whereby we can get some pretty significant savings for our customers. 20% on a bill for a year can translate into 50, 60, $70 a month for the people that we represent and work on, on their behalf. It can be some real significant savings. We’ve been in business, coming up this May 9th, it will be four years. We’re A+ rated by the Better Business bureau, our website is as safe and secure we could possibly make it, and we’ve achieved great success over time helping people with their bills. Businesses and organizations, church’s, everybody that is 18 years or older, for lack of a better word, that have a monthly bill is a potential customer and/or someone we can help save money so that they can use it for whatever their purpose is. The church’s that we help with their bills, they use it on children’s retreat. Individuals might use it to pay other bills; maybe they want to pay off their credit cards. It really just gives them a little more liquidity. I, for one, forever paid my phone bill and paid my phone bill and paid my phone bill. Every year it seemed like my phone bill was going up 2 or 3 or $4 a year. Before I knew it, my landline, for lack of being antiquated here, went from $33 a month to $54 a month. I called the company…If an individual calls the company, they may spend 20, 30 minutes on hold and then unfortunately might get disconnected. Then, if they do go to somebody, they may give them a $10 discount per month. What differentiates billcutterz from John Doe public – for lack of a better word – and calling on their own behalf, is that we can get them probably 4 to 5 or 6 times the savings that they would normally get on their own. The reason is we have techniques and we know the promotions, as well as, how to work best with these companies. They want to keep your business with them and they know that there's competition out there. We leverage that, if we can, on behalf of our customers. Our savings that we would get on your behalf, we’re the ones wait on hold and do all the work. Our motto is we do the work, you save the money. It’s a win/win for us and our customers. Our incentive is to save you, obviously, to save you as much as we can. If we can, is we take a percentage of what we save our customers. If we don’t save you money on your bill, there's no charge to you, whatsoever. If we do save you money, we charge 50% of the savings. For example, if we saved you $20 per month on a monthly bill, which would be $240 for the year, we would get $10 of that and you would net save $10 per month or $120 per year. Billcutterz takes 50%, we split it 50/50. You really don’t have to do anything, it’s just the savings. I'm giving you those figures on a very nominal scale. Our typical savings are 25 to 50, 60, $70 per month, on a bill, which is a lot of money. Ari: Absolutely. Any situation where the provider is incentivized to do better, I think is a great one. I can obviously say from personal experience to everybody that billcutterz saved me $40 a month on my time warner bill. Actually, you just reminded me of another situation. A bill that I forgot to send you guys because I have a real estate development property in Rhode Island. You're required to have two phone lines for the fire alarm system. Even though that fire alarm, phone line is used for about 10 seconds a day to make computer calls just to verify everything is working. It’s still like a minimum of $50 a month for the line. You just reminded me of a bill I need to send you guys. Barry: Excellent. Ari: So, you basically said that you would do any bill except for the water bill and stuff like that. What's some of the more unusual bills that someone’s asked you to get their costs down? Barry: Well, as I mentioned to you, I literally was able to negotiate a savings on an elevator bill. Elevators are required to be inspected quarterly. This was on behalf of a church and they charge a pretty significant fee. Of course, the churches rely on tides to operate their business for janitorial service, choir robes, children’s retreat, etc… They are so grateful and gracious when we saved them as little as $10 a month. They were delighted because the economy is not so good and their tides have gone down and they rely on that to sustain their, for lack of better words, business. We were able to save them, I'm not sure, 40 or $60 a month on their quarterly maintenance fee on their elevator, which was very significant to them, that’s just a point in case. We also had another business that has a kitchen, if you will, and every kitchen typically has grease traps. The cities require that the grease trap be cleaned, for our environmental standards, quarterly. In the same respect, we were able to negotiate with the waste management company that recycles that to lower their bill on a quarterly basis. They saved, I wanna say, 200, $220 for the year through our negotiation techniques and our savings expertise – for lack of a better word. Those are two kind of unusual bills. Even the typical bills we work are the same bills that everybody gets every month. As I mentioned, everybody – at least in this day and age – has a cellphone. We mostly have internet. We have insurance bills. We have cable TV, satellite TV. Most of us have a home payment. All of these are common, standard bills. We work with these people day in and day out. Our savings experts make two kinds of calls, if you will. For example, they will call you to consult with you briefly for 3 or 4 minutes to make sure that on your time warner cable bill, just for example, if you want HBO and Showtime and you want those things, we want to make sure we don’t change something that you want to have; your bells and whistles. Your phone is the same kind of thing. If you have call waiting or conferencing or any kind of special bell and whistle on your phone, we’re not going to change that. We’re going to either upgrade or improve and/or just get you a straight discount with the same services you're used to being provided. That’s the premise behind billcutterz; it’s been very successful for us and our customers. It’s been one unique business that I’ve been able to create and I’ve been in these kinds of businesses for 35 years, where it’s a literal win/win. I was a stockbroker for 10 years and that’s a great business but in the same breath, I can’t control the market. I can’t promise anybody that if they make an investment in a stock that the stock will go up. That really hurt my feelings, on the flip side, because I want to help people save or make money. On the flip side, billcutterz is a win/win and I'm just delighted that I and a friend of mine were able to create it. Again, if we don’t save you money on your monthly bill, there's no charge to you. If we’re able to save you money, we simply get a percentage of it and it takes you 5 to 7 minutes of work, on your own behalf, and we do all the work there beyond. People really like the premise; I’ve not talked to anybody over the course of four years when I explain what we do, which I’ve elongated just a little bit. But, when I explain what we do, nobody doesn’t like it. Everybody loves the program and we’re starting to get a lot of repeat business. We were picked up by lifehacker last week and I won’t say went viral but we got a lot of press and awareness from that. We’re starting to get a footprint after almost four years in business so that we can really expand ourselves and become a premier player in this niche environment; and we’ve got the infrastructure to do it. I'm just delighted that we are able to help people and in the same breath, we’re able to make a few dollars ourselves. Ari: Yeah, as you said, it’s win/win. Now, in all the businesses that you have been involved in and now one that I think is certainly optimizing peoples financial situations; a big part of their time and life, what are your kind of top three personal productivity tips? The things that make you as effective as you can be? Barry: Personally? Myself? Ari: Yeah. It could be anything . . . some form of exercise or the high of saving people money? Barry: Sure. I have a little bit of different set for business but on a personal level, I'm a big believer in TDL’s or to do lists. I usually do a to do list in the evening before I go to bed so that i can clear my mind and I don’t have the things I need to be thinking about. They're already written down and out of my mind for the next day. I just do a to do list every day. I usually do it on a yellow tablet and it’s low tech but nonetheless, it works for me. As I'm able to accomplish those tasks in the course of the day, I can scratch them off and it’s an accomplishment; whether it’s a mini accomplishment, M I N I, or many accomplishments, M A N Y. So, it really works for me, at the end of the day I get a lot of productivity out of that. I exercise. I do yoga 2 to 3 times a week. That gives me a lot of stress relief and it’s also a very lowimpact, meditative, clear your mind, help your spirit, and gives me energy for my work days. One other thing that I do is, getting up in my years – and I hate to say that – I'm starting to live a lot more healthy lifestyle. I love to cook and I love to eat and I eat fresh, good food. That’s really important to me. I would guess on a personal level one of the primary aspects for myself is I have to get 8 hours of sleep, a night. If I don’t get my 8 hours, I’ve done a lot of research on this, if I personally don’t get my 8 hours, I'm sluggish during the course of the day. I make sure that I get my rest and I'm planned and ready to go and that helps me. From a business perspective, a couple of things that we do are we do some strategy meetings on Monday so that everybody’s clear on what their goals are for the week. Everybody knows what their position is in the company and what our expectations are. At the end of the week on Friday, we do an assessment with every individual on a one/one. Try to make sure or see if we did achieve those goals, how we might better achieve those goals for the next week. Talk about common threads; we share and collaborate amongst ourselves so that we can share not only techniques but specific promotions otherwise where we can help the customers that we work on behalf of and also ourselves, in the same breath, and improve the seamlessness of our business. Those are a couple of examples that I like to do. Ari: Those are wonderful and thank you for the personal [16:24]. Now, you’ve been kind enough to offer a discount for our listeners. Why don’t you tell everyone how they can take advantage of that and start saving some money. Barry: I sure would, thank you Ari. First off, our website is BillCutterz.com and we do have an enrollment page. It’s very simple; it only takes about 2 or 3 minutes to enroll. On our enrollment page, we have a promotion code box, if you will. If you will just enter LESSDOING2013, we’ll give you an additional 5% off our standard fees or charges that we have discussed in this podcast. In conjunction with, we’ve also created a landing page for LESSDOING as well, which will take you to our website and it’s BillCutterz.com/lessdoing. That will also direct you to our site and to our enrollment page. We’d be happy to help anyone save money on their bills. Ari, I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity. I'm delighted that we were able to save you money on your personal bill and we look forward to doing the same thing with some of your audience and moving forward in that regard. We’re just delighted to have the opportunity to spend some time with you and your audience. Ari: Thank you, Barry. I really appreciate you talking to us and I hope that everybody here has some serious savings on their monthly bill. Take care Barry. Barry: Thank you so much. Recording ends