How to Negotiate a Cheaper Phone Plan

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated November 17, 2017

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cell phone
Money Saving Tips
November 17, 2017

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Cell phone carriers today are constantly competing with one another to offer you what they claim is the best phone plan. But amid the promotions and promises that often leave out a lot of fine print about additional fees, taxes and limitations on data usage, you may find that many cell phone plans aren’t that cheap after all.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean you must accept them as they are. It is often possible to negotiate a cheaper cell phone plan with your current carrier or a new one by trying a few simple tactics. This can save you plenty of money over time, especially if you are paying for a multi-user family plan.

When you sign up in a store, the reps there are often eager to sell you a specific plan and are not inclined to give a discount. But call center reps can often be negotiated with, as they sometimes have the authority to offer special deals if you appear to be dissatisfied with your current plan or mention using another carrier’s plan.

Tip: If you call and state that you want to cancel your current plan, the service rep will typically transfer you to a customer retention rep who has more flexibility in providing discounts.

Many occupations offer employee discounts on various services that employees aren’t always aware of. A cell phone plan might be one of those services. If the discount is with a specific carrier, you can use that as a bargaining chip with another carrier if you prefer.

Several companies that will actually negotiate a better deal for you have sprung up over the last few years. They do this in exchange for a cut of the savings. You will have to provide them with some of your personal information, though, as they need to pretend to be you.

If one carrier is offering to buy out your current contract with another carrier, you can take that deal or use it as bargaining chip to negotiate a better deal with your current carrier.

Lastly, don’t pay for extra services or data that you won’t be using. Look at your current data usage, and see if you really need your current plan or if you can downgrade to a cheaper one. Many worry that they may not have enough data and purchase a more expensive plan to start but then wind up not needing it.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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