My Latest Money Saving Venture-The Cell Phone
At the end of October my cell phone plan expired. I viewed this as an opportunity to save some money and get a new phone. It really is amazing how quickly cell phone's depreciate. My previous phone was 2 years old and it is almost laughable by today's technology. So last week I entered into another contract that was a whole bunch better than my last.
Here are the tips I can offer for entering into a cell phone contract:
1)Shop around. Just because you liked there commercial, or they are your current provider, doesn't mean you have the best deal. Don't just look at the published rates, there are corporate and student plans out there that may be better than your current plan. Asking your friends/colleagues what they are paying, you may be surprised.
2)Don't buy the newest phone. Today the KRZR is the hottest phone and it will cost you about $200 with a new package. Looking at recent history, this phone will be free or close to it in about a year. If you really want that phone, consider that you are essentially adding $16.50 a month to your monthly plan for the privilege of owning it. The free phones they offer today still have cameras/mp3 etc, they just arn't the latest model.
3)Know what you need. Look at your last few bills and look at how many minute you are using and when you are using them. Get an idea of the structure of plan that will give you the best value. Do you need daytime minutes? Evening/Weekends? Would you save a bunch with Rogers-Rogers or Fido-Fido minutes. A plan with a tonne of minutes at a good price may seem great, but if you arn't even close to using all the minutes, you are wasting your money. Figure out your cost per minute for the month. Pay as you go is a great option for many.
4)Speak to the People with the Power. When it comes time to get your deal, call customer service and tell them you are thinking of disconnecting. They will connect you with the disconnection (customer relations) department. It is these CSRs that have the real power to give you a good deal. The 611 reps (Rogers and Fido) can only give you what you see online, disconnections can give you everything available. When you call, tell them you want to disconnect because you don't feel you are getting good value. Then quote whatever the best plan you know...or maybe the best one you can come up with. Just don't be too greedy. You will be surprised the lengths that these CSRs will go to keep your business.
Hopefully all these hints help. Remember, if you don't have a contract, you have the power, if you do have a contract, it doesn't hurt to call and try for something better.
In case your are curious, here is the plan I received from Fido for $20/month +$6.95 SAF :
Unlimited evenings and weekends
Free VM & CD
Per second billing.
A Sony Z710i free on a two year contract (this is listed as $100 on their website).
This plan is as good as anything I've heard of for a moderate user. Do any of you have better plans? Let me know.