Negotiate Your Cell Phone Bill: How to Be Successful
I’m not going to tell you you’ll never know unless you try, because I have personally tried this, and successfully reduced my cell phone bill and other bills. My success comes from years of negotiating, but you can do the exact same thing if you’ve got the desire to save money.
Examples of bills I’ve reduced:
- Cell phone: $145 down to $83.00, including taxes
- Cable TV & Internet: $150 down to $30
- Savings: Cell phone $60/mo ($720/year)
- TV & Internet: Saved $120/mo ($1440/year)
- Total annual savings: $2160/year
I will cover other types of bill reduction in other articles. For now, let’s go over your strategy for your cell phone plan.
Visit your current cell phone company’s website.
View the current plans available, and write them down. Here’s an example, as of February 2016.
Verizon: Unlimited talk & text, with 3 gigs of data is $45. 6 gigs is $60 and 12 gigs is $80. However, there are monthly access charges in addition. The following is stated on Verizon’s website….
“Monthly access charges for smartphones on The Verizon Plan differ based on:
- If you’re currently making monthly device payments or own the phone, the monthly access charge will be $20
- If you purchased the phone at a discounted price, the monthly access charge is $40″
AT&T 2 gigs of data is $30 plus a $25 monthly access fee. (Plus taxes)
Contact Your Cell Phone Company
Now that you have familiarized yourself with pricing, contact your cell phone company. Tell them you’re disgusted with your bill and are considering going to another company. Tell them you’ve tallied up what you spent last year on your cell phone bill and it is time for a change. Use words such as “deplorable”, and “reprehensible”. Let them know you’ve seen much cheaper companies.
Begin Negotiations on Your Cell Phone Bill
Don’t let them get a word in when they begin saying, “We are the only ones that…” or “Our competitors can’t beat us.” Here are the key questions you’ll want to ask during the call. If you must repeat yourself, or if you get confused, then repeat these questions or statements:
- Have you solved my problem yet during this call?
- I will pay no more than [insert amount] per month. (If you’re paying more than $90/month for service that includes very low gigs of data, you’re paying too much.)
- Why are you offering new customers discounts when I’ve been a loyal customer for x years? That’s not very nice, is it?
- Have you solved this problem yet? The clock is ticking, and I’m beginning to get a stress headache waiting for a proper solution.
- The plan you just offered is unacceptable. I require a plan of $[price] per month. If you can’t offer me this price, I will end the call and begin contacting the others on my list.
- Do you prefer to check one last time for an option you may have missed? Or are you 100% sure you cannot provide me with the service I’m requesting?
- I’m not sure that you’re aware of the fact that I will, in fact, obtain a better deal on this service, whether through you, or through your competitor.
- If you’re unable to provide me with anything better than what you’ve offered, perhaps a manager is better suited for this situation. I am unwilling to settle, and so far, you’ve not solved this problem.
- (After getting manager on phone) I have thoroughly explained the situation to the other party. Am I correct in stating you leave me with no other options than to begin calling your list of your competitors? Or, do you need a moment to put me on hold and come up with a solution to the problem?
Tip: The trick is not to bend, remain calm, and remain scarily assertive. This does not mean to be a bully or lose your temper. Assertive means you’ve convinced yourself that you will get what you’re asking for, and you’ll accept nothing less. You will continue calling, requesting managers, or contacting other companies until you’ve reached your goal. You have the right to try, and companies don’t have the right to make you feel nervous or insecure about your choices.
Request a Manager (again…)
Many times, you’ll get a customer service representative who will be rude or snotty. Request a manager, and respectfully state that you’ll not tolerate rudeness or inefficient service, and that your time is limited. You can even keep requesting managers until someone listens and properly addresses the issue.
When Customer Service Managers Won’t Help
This is bound to happen when you contact cell phone companies. Continue to request managers. If you have a bad string of managers, hang up and begin again. Keep track of the number of times you’ve called by writing down dates and times. Each time, tell the new representative that you’ve called in a few times before and not received proper assistance. Ask for their names and a customer service ID# and state that you’ll need this for your “record”. You should see them getting nicer, given this information.
Tip: You don’t have to do it all in one sitting. It can usually be done, and likely just takes patience. Eventually, you should hear what you wish to hear, and have completed your mission. Continue to remain calm and assertive, and don’t allow anger to get the best of you. Remember that this is a challenge you’ve accepted, and you’re owed excellent service and a lower cost on your cell phone bill.
Don’t Give Up. Stay in Pursuit.
I have had conversations with people who say, “This is too frustrating. I don’t feel like going through all that. I’ll just pay the extra money.” If this is the way you continue to view paying extra money on your cell phone bill, chances are you’re probably paying too much elsewhere, too.
You have two options. You can continue overpaying on your cell phone bill, or put the time in to save money in your wallet, and spend it on things you enjoy.
Many times, I have saved money and received nice reductions on my cell phone bill. Verizon Wireless also offered a new phone in order to keep me as a customer, when customer service refused to reduce the bill. With the phone came a new contract, to which I refused and told them I wanted a lower bill, not a lower phone and another 2 year contract. Sticking to the topic at hand and not letting them use sales tactics on me are what usually seal the deal and bring good success.
Tips for Bloggers, Youtubers & Social Media giants:
Are you a blogger or someone with a lot of followers? There’s nothing wrong with telling the company that you’ll be reporting on the success or failure of this call to your audience and on social media, as part of a company review. If you’re legally recording the call, (check your state laws) you can advise them of this toward the end of the call, if you’re not having enough success. Use this tip with caution and pull this card out only if you have gone through several attempts with little to no success.
You can follow these same basic guidelines for reducing other bills, such as your cable bill. However, in another article, I’ll discuss ways you may be able to lower your cable or internet by trying different things.
Be careful of cheap cell phone companies
I have been told by a few people before that they have had good success with companies like Straight Talk. However, each area is different, and many have experienced problems with low cost companies. Thinking about going cheap with Straight Talk or other service provider? Be careful to read the reviews. Here, you can read the complaints on Consumer Affairs, regarding the known issues with Straight Talk.