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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.