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10 Ways to Reduce Your Cell Phone Bill

10 Ways to Reduce Your Cell Phone Bill

Almost three years ago I signed a cell phone service contract because they gave me a great unadvertised plan with all the bells and whistles, including unlimited data, all for a final bill of $47 a month. I also got to stop into a store and pick up a new smartphone for only $99. Now that my contract is coming to an end, I will try to get the plan rolled over for another 3 years and maybe an iphone, but if that doesn’t happen I will consider all the options with these 10 ways to reduce your cell phone bill.

  1. Review your current cell phone bill. Are you paying for more minutes than you are using? If you find some room to cut back, go online or phone your provider and see if you can change your plan.
  2. If most of your calls are to just a handful of people, you may be able to get a family and friends plan that allows unlimited calling to 5 phone numbers.
  3. If you’re not using your cell phone much at all, then look into prepaid phones to get the best value for your usage.
  4. Maybe you have some extra features than you could do without? See how much you are paying and weight that against how much the feature is needed.
  5. If you do need the extra options like caller ID and voicemail, there may be a package deal you can get instead of paying for individual features.
  6. Consider an unlimited text messaging plan if your thumbs are sore from constantly typing messages.
  7. If you have a contract ending soon, call your provider’s customer service department and see what they can offer you in to sign a new contract and stay on as a customer.
  8. If the customer service department isn’t able to win you over, ask to cancel your service and you’ll be transfered to their second tier, or loyalty and retentions department. They will have more authority to give you a special deal.
  9. Once you have a plan that’s worth signing a contract for, you might as well get a free phone, or at least a reduced price when it comes to some of the smartphones.
  10. When your current provider just isn’t cutting it, it might be time to look at new cell phone providers entering the Canadian market like Wind Mobile.

Comments

  1. dave0

    Note that Virgin Mobile isn’t a “new” provider — they’re owned by Bell:
    http://www.bce.ca/en/news/releases/bm/2009/05/07/75140.html

    Most of the other “new” cellphone providers are either just additional brands used by Bell/Rogers/Telus. Wind Mobile is one of the exceptions.

    • Tom Drake

      Thanks for letting me know that dave0. I knew about Fido, but didn’t realize Virgin was part of Bell. I’ll edit my post to just Wind Mobile!

  2. BeatingTheIndex

    I would have to say item number 8 has always worked. Do not be afraid to give it a shot and insist on getting a deal especially nowadays when you have increased competition.

  3. Steve Zussino

    #8 is bang on.

    This has worked in the past. These companies have large loyalty departments to handle these calls – be prepared for a long call.

  4. Barb Friedberg

    While helping/watching my daughter choose a plan, I am daunted by the unbelievable amount of choices for plans/companies/phones. Fitting one to your actual usage, without wasting or overspending is tough. Your tips should serve as a guide.

  5. John

    What about adding another line and splitting the costs with a family member? My wife and I added our mother in law for another $9.99 per month and now can split the bill by 3 phones.

  6. Arjun @ InvestingThesis.com

    Tom,
    Those are good tips, especially number 8. You just have to make sure to be fully prepared to walk if they don’t give you a deal though, just like when buying a new car.

  7. Echo

    I find that when you initially purchase your cell phone plan, the agent typically pushes you to a data plan that is larger than you need. For the one or two month’s that you may go over your minutes or data, it’s probably worth it to reduce your monthly plan.

  8. Suzanne

    Getting on a family plan has definitely helped my family save! We joined to households onto one plan and split the cost.

    But one thing I’ve noticed is that if I upgrade my phone to something with more bells and whistles, I end up getting used to those bells and don’t want to give them up, even if they’re costing me extra each month and I know I should streamline. So, I’d suggest people stick with a phone, or at least the equivalent, for as long as possible. It’s too easy to get sucked into costly new features (or maybe that’s just me)!

  9. Khaleef @ KNS Financial

    Good tips. I think that many people will find that they are paying too much for their phone services. No sense in having expensive cell and home phone plans. Also, if you already have data on your plan, Google Voice is a great option!

  10. Ken @Spruce Up Your Finances

    One of the ways that we are saving on our cell phone bills is by taking advantage of discounts from work. However, not all companies offer group discounts so we are really fortunate. Of course, we can save even more by following your great tips.
    Thanks

  11. youngandthrifty

    Sounds like we both are getting/got new phones at around the same time. I’ve been clunking around my phone for almost three years too and am getting a new smart phone.

    If you’re interested in how to proceed calling the retentions department, here’s a post I did that I follow myself lol!

    http://youngandthrifty.ca/communications/step-by-step-guide-on-how-to-save-money-on-your-cell-phone-contract/

  12. Andres

    I love number 8! I actually was redirected to the “cancellation” department for my cellphone and they gave me a nice perk. The same thing happened with my landline as well. they took $20+ dollars off my bill. All it took was a little charm and persistence hehe.

  13. Dawna

    I was able to reduce my minutes considerably when I got a monthly subscription to Skype. You must have an internet connection or WiFi hotspot but it’s definately worthwhile to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the calls – very often BETTER than my current Telus calls.

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  15. Jon Pertwee

    Great article. But man these companies just keep on bilking the consumer! Stumbled across this the other day – honest cellphone ads! Very funny!

    http://riotwire.com/cartoon/the-ads-canadas-wireless-oligarchs-dont-want-you-to-see/

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