Cellphone Savings

Try these tactics to outsmart sneaky cellphone companies, and get maximum chatting time and service for your penny.   

Timing Is Everything

The best time to buy a cellphone is at the end of the month. Most phone sales teams have a specific “discount budget” or allotment of money they are allowed to discount in order to close deals. At the end of the month, when sales quotas must be met, salespeople tend to dip more deeply into their discount budgets. Sometimes the budgets themselves shoot up. So bargain for that phone at the end of the month—and don’t let them tell you they “can’t do any better on the price.” What do you say? How about, “I’ll sign for two years if you sell this phone to me at this price.”

Skip the Accessories

Cellphone salespeople typically only make commission off the accessories they sell you, not the phone itself. That’s why they seem so insistent that you buy extra chargers and cases. Be a savvy shopper, and only buy accessories that you’ll really use (if you don’t travel a lot, for instance, a car charger might not be necessary).

Skimp On Insurance & Save Your Old Phone

Cellphone salespeople leap at the opportunity to sign you up for a phone replacement policy at anywhere from $3.99 to $6.99 per month. It doesn’t sound like much at the time, especially when compared to the $200 or so they’ll quote you for a full-retail replacement phone—but at the end of the year, you’ve already spent $50 or $100 and have nothing to show for it! Here’s a trick for saving money by creating your own insurance policy against loss, breakage, or theft: Save your old phone. Most phone companies will switch your service to the old phone for free, or maybe $50—which is a lot less than $200.

Know When To Call

If your contract is done, and your monthly bills are reaching a new high it’s time to place a call to customer service. “If you call in and threaten to cancel your account you will be transferred to the retention department, whose job it is to offer you the best deal possible,” says a customer service representative of a major cell phone service provider. To get the most bang for your buck don’t back down until you’ve scored at least a 30 per cent reduction of your rates.

Don’t Be Lured By Internet Access

Most cellphone companies these days are pushing clients to sign up for mobile internet plans. These plans offer mobile mail access, access to mobile social communities like facebook, sports news, weather updates and more. This may sound exciting but look before you leap. Most of these plans come with extra data roaming fees (this means you get charged for loading a webpage depending on its size) which can add a hefty sum to your monthly bill. So, unless you really need to access the internet from your phone for business or personal reasons, it’s better to pass on the plan.

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