6 Clever Tips to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill
We’ve all been there: you get your cell phone bill at the end of the month and almost choke at the cost. “But I barely made any calls!!! WTF!“
North America has some of the highest telecom prices in the world, which is pretty damn annoying, especially since your ‘phone’ now serves as not only your telephone, but your:
- email account
- internet access point
- weather report
- calendar/daily planner
- portable music player
- movie ticket box office
- e-book reader
- and ‘storefront’ for us bloggers and online entrepreneurs
We’re all pretty dependent on our cell phones.
I won’t get into a tirade here about how much of a ripoff cell plan prices are. But I WILL give you some tips with 6 clever ways to save money on your cell phone bill in an overpriced market!
Step 1: Get a lower priced plan
1) Start a bidding war for your business: A not-so-newsworthy-newsflash for you: competition drives markets. One of the best ways to haggle down your phone bill is to pit a company against its competitor. I had a friend who worked management at a big telecom company, and she told me they always have wiggle room for squeaky-wheel customers. You want to save money on your cell phone bill, they want to keep your business, and many work on commission! The representative you’re speaking to can refer you up to their manager, who has the authority to give you the better deal. As my Dad says, “Don’t ask, don’t get!”
2) Use ads to your advantage: Did you get junk mail from your current company’s competitor offering a better deal on the same package you’ve got? Did you see a commercial from your company advertising that they’re offering new customers a great deal for a limited time? Call your company to see if they’ll budge for you. Just remember: you get more flies with honey than vinegar. 😉 The key is to be pleasant but persistent.
3) Give an ultimatum: If you really can’t get your company to budge, threaten to leave. Like any sales strategy, these companies will have ‘funnels’ they try to push you through for sales at the front end of your contract, and to keep your business once you’re no longer satisfied. That funnel will get tighter as you try to get out of it. See what they offer you once you’ve got one foot out the door.
4) Move on, girl: If they don’t offer you squat, shop around thoroughly for a better deal. This can take some time and seem like a headache to call a bunch of companies, but when you consider your bill comes in monthly, the difference can add up big-time so it’s worth your time and energy.
For instance, I was with X company for my cell bill. We’ll call them Chime. Chime was charging me $90 for a limited amount of data, no international calling, and limited texting. I felt like I was getting robbed every month. That was costing me over $1000/year when I was a recent grad on a really limited part-time retail income.
After searching, I found a new cell plan provider. We’ll call this company Breeze. Breeze offered me a $40/month plan that included unlimited data, unlimited texting in Canada and the US, international calling and voicemail. No contract, no strings attached. $480/year. Yeah baby! I was SOLD!
However, I will warn you that when I tried to cut ties with Chime, they sure put up a fight. They offered a reduced deal that couldn’t meet the Breeze plan by a long shot, and finally, in desperation, threateningly ‘warned’ me that Breeze had terrible coverage and I would for sure be sorry and come crawling back to Chime. Mhm. It was like trying to break up with a clingy, offensive boyfriend. I needed my Freedom! 😉
Step 2: Reduce the chance of overage charges
1) Know your plan inside-out: If your company doesn’t offer you an unlimited plan on expensive items like data, roaming, or downloads, be sure to know the details of your plan so you can manage your communications strategically.
For instance, if you get charged for going over X texts a month but you have unlimited data, send more emails and use GChat or Facebook Chat to connect with people instead of texting.
2) Use free wifi: If you have any concerns about going over your data limit, connect to wifi networks instead. Often if you walk into a restaurant, store, or coffee shop, your phone will give you an indication pop-up saying “Hey, there’s wifi here! Come and get it!” Take advantage. You’re probably already paying for something at that business. You might as well use their wifi!
What’s your bill like? What methods or strategies do you use to save money on your cell phone bill? Share in the comments!
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