Cell phones – most of us have them, and sometimes wonder why. But in the end, we would be hard-pressed in this day & age of immediate response times, to live without them. They take a good chunk of dimes & quarters out of our monthly budget to keep the convenience handy. Remember when you just used your phone as a phone?! In addition to actually using it as a phone, we get charged for data plans in order to keep up with the times – apps, pictures, & texts. Sometimes you look at the bill and wonder why you are paying so much, but then – just then! – you get that text or email you’ve been waiting for with a picture of your best friend trying to win a hula-hoop contest at a birthday party. Yikes. So, we continue to keep up our phone service, promising to compare & contrast cell phone companies when our current contract is up. Below are two tips to trim your cell phone costs.
Review Your Minutes Plan. As part of the competitive market, most major cell phone carriers now allow you to switch your minutes plan on demand. I just recently went through this process, which is simple. I reviewed the average minutes used over a three or four month period to assess how many minutes I needed with my cell phone carrier’s customer service representative. A big portion of my minutes are cell-to-cell calls, which are free with my carrier. As a result, we were able to step down two plan sizes, saving me quite a few quarters per month. The change in my plan took effect immediately. I did lose a lot of rollover minutes with the reduction in plan, but in all likelihood, I wouldn’t have used that many minutes anyway.
Upgrade Savings. Some carriers offer upgrade savings as a reward for your loyalty in keeping your business with the company. Be mindful of when these upgrade savings opportunities are available. A friend of mine visited the local office of her cell carrier to replace a broken phone. The representative was able to help her approve an upgrade savings on a new phone that was supposed to be valid starting in the next month of her plan. The effort on the part of the representative to help out my friend provided for several results: 1. saved my friend from having to buy a temporary phone to bridge the gap to her new contract; 2. provided savings on the new phone instantly that would have been purchased at the time of the new contract; and 3. increased my friend’s loyalty to her cell carrier. That scenario is a win-win for everyone involved.
Cell phone savings are not always apparent, and can take a little research. From deciding whether or not to switch companies, upgrade your phone, or change your monthly minutes plan, the process can take some time and effort. The best experiences my friends and I have had in what can be a labyrinth of fees & negotiations have been to talk to our cell phone service carrier’s representatives in a face-to-face environment at the locally authorized dealership (it’s almost like buying a car these days!). In this situation, the representative is most likely to try to keep you happy with your service, so you stay with your current cell service company. And, as a customer, you might be able to save a little bit of money in the process.