How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill

Child talking on a cell phone

Photo by Prima Vera

Approximately every 6 months I go through and try to lower all my bills. All this takes is a call to T-Mobile, my cell phone company. Competition is so fierce that they really don’t want to loose you as a customer. Here are steps to lower your bill and get perks!

1. Go for employment or school discount
2. Ask for promotions
3. Talk to cancellation department
4. Jump Ship!

1. Employment or School discount
Find out if if you qualify for a corporate or school discount. I was able to get 10% off my bill each month because of the College I was attending. A friend of mine also paid next to nothing for a new phone because he used his school discount. On top of school discounts they also give discounts based on the company you work for. I know for a fact that T-mobile has this listing, all you have to do is ask about it and they will get you on the program. You may be able to search online. It takes minimal effort and you usually get between 8 – 15 percent off each bill if you qualify.

2. Ask for promotion
Call them and during your call be honest and say that you are trying to lower you bill. You really like the service but would like a cheaper price. They will check and see if anything is available. You might be in luck and hit a home run here. Often times they will throw in a feature for free. For example, waiving your add a line fee, or charging you for a cheaper internet price. Or just giving a flat out discount. If you heard of a promotional price ask if they can make an exception for you.

3. Talk to the cancellation department
This is the way I got most of my discounts. This way is the sure fire way to give yourself the best chance of saving money. But before we call… let’s do our research. Look up competitors prices. They can be prepaid or contract service. Find a plan similar to yours or a plan you would like to have. Write down the features and the cost.
After doing your initial research, call up your company and ask for the cancellation department. Here is a secret… These companies don’t really have cancellation departments. They are really “customer retention” departments. They only cancel you as a last resort. Their first instinct and priority is to appease you and offer you treats so that you stay.
Once you are talking to the “cancellation department” Let them know that you like the service, and you like the way the company does business. However the price is too much for you to pay. You are also thinking about canceling. Mention that the competitors have this plan for this price… etc. This will let them know that you are serious and did research! This step works even if you are in a contract. Notice we said ” we are thinking about canceling”. (Thinking is the word that prevents any changes from happening to your account). Ask them what they can do for you.
In a few minutes they should come back and tell you what they can do. Let them know that you really want to save $10 a month or $20 a month. Companies have many ways to save you money. They usually give a 6 or 12 month credit. If they really can’t offer money they often give you a feature for free. They should be able to do something since you called one of the most motivated departments. If they really can’t do anything for you. Then say “thank you, I will think it over” then hang up. Try again next week and see. As time passes a different representative might be able to land you the deal you need.

I do this every few months and they keep lowering my bill. They even gave me unlimited calling at one point.

The longer you have been with a company the more muscle your call will have. I’ve been with T-mobile since 2006 so they try to make me happy. Honestly I like their service so I am overall pleased with them.

Why do companies give you discounts only if you ask?
Well, companies are in business to make money. They will accept the highest amount of money you are willing to pay. If you decide that a price is too high to pay, they will work with you and come to a reasonable amount. In the end they will STILL make money off you, but they will be making less money from you. Their best customers and cash cows are the long term customers. They are most inclined to keep the long term customers because of internal charges they incur for setting up accounts etc…

Deciding on a price is like dancing. You can’t let your phone company lead all the time. Sometimes you have to lead and let them know what you are comfortable paying.

4. Jump ship!!!!
If the bill is high, and your company is not willing to negotiate with you, then you should leave the company. In today’s day and age you can get an unlimited plan for one person for $60. There is no reason to pay significantly more than this. Unless you are in a contract you should consider switching to a prepaid company. Companies such as Boost Mobile, Metro PCS, H20 Wireless, Solavei, Virgin Mobile are reliable companies. They use the towers of major companies like Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T etc…

Ask friends or search online to see the quality of their service. You can even check their online coverage map. It’s always hard to switch, but you’ll be saving a lot of money. In a few weeks you won’t be singing the blues because you switch, you’ll be enjoying all the green you save.

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