Phone companies are particularly notorious for attracting potential new customers with great offers while leaving their existing customers to overpay. We see this all the time while negotiating bills for our own customers.
According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wireless customer is spending $1,188 per year. With very little competition between the major carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile), big cell phone companies are allowed to consistently overcharge.
In research conducted by ItsWorthMore 56% of US smartphone users who have unlimited data plans consume less than 10 GB per month. If they were to switch to a plan with a data cap, they might be able to save over $250 per year. It’s true that most people overspend and make mistakes with their finances, but there are tangible ways to save.
We need to start learning how to save more money. And, there’s no need to make drastic changes in your life to lower your phone bill. In most cases, you won’t even need to change the type of phone you have. That’s why in this article we’re going to show you 3 methods you can use to lower your phone bill.
- 9 Ways to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill
- How to Negotiate a Cell Phone Bill
- Use a Company to Negotiate Your Bill for You
See how much you could save!
9 Ways to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill
Let’s face it: No one wants to spend their valuable time figuring out if they are overpaying for their cell phone service. In fact, most people sign up for a plan when they first get their phone and never look at it again, but it’s important to know if you are overpaying.
Here are some ways to determine where you stand.
1. Check Your Bill for Hidden Charges
Even if you are set up with autopay, get into the habit of reviewing your cell phone bill every month, paying close attention to extraneous charges. Americans pay an average of $225 per year over and above their wireless charges.
These extra charges can consist of anything from:
- 911 surcharge
- Universal service funds
- Regulatory charges
- Administrative charges.
While there’s not much you can do about these fees, it’s important to be aware of them whenever you sign up for a new cell phone plan and make sure there aren’t any other hidden fees on your monthly bill.
Remember, the average monthly cell phone bill is $99 across all ages and demographics according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Which means there's a high likely chance you’re overpaying on your cell phone bill.
2. Downgrade Your Cell Phone Plan
Data is costly and, as mentioned above, most people don’t come close to using the maximum allowed in limited data plans, yet they overspend by paying for more data than they actually need.
Knowing how much data you use on a regular basis is an important step toward lowering your bills. Evaluate your data usage and consider changing from a costly unlimited plan to one with a cap, which may be more than enough.
Also, think about how you and your family members use your phones and whether all of the devices on your plan are being utilized. That first-generation iPad that you no longer use should be taken off the plan and any others should be switched to WiFi-only.
3. Use WiFi and Less Data
Make sure your WiFi setting is always on and that it automatically searches for networks every time you enter a new place. Don’t be afraid to ask store owners and restaurants if they have WiFi for their customers and ask them to provide you with the password. You'll save money in the long run, especially if you have a cellular data cap.
4. Eliminate Cell Phone Insurance
If you have a cell phone insurance plan but are not prone to damaging or losing your phone, get rid of the plan. It’s often cheaper to repair a damaged phone once without insurance than paying for an insurance plan you may never use.
5. Save Money by Putting Your Account on Autopay
Many cell phone carriers offer discount incentives to enroll in autopay. The savings are generally $5-$10 per phone per month, which can add up to a decent amount for a family of 4 or more. Keep in mind, though, that just because you have autopay doesn’t mean you shouldn’t review your bill every month for accuracy.
6. Buy Your Own Cell Phone
Did you know that Amazon and eBay sell phones you can use with your carrier of choice? You can often get better deals buying from online retailers than buying directly from Verizon or AT&T. Compare prices before deciding where to purchase.
This method is often overlooked because everyone wants a brand new phone. Phone costs are expensive but if you're in the market for an Android phone, it’s possible to find a brand new Motorola or Samsung Android phone for $100. That’s something wireless carriers don’t want you to know and it’s a smart way to save even more money long term. Just make sure your new phone is going to be compatible with your wireless carrier first.
7. Look for Smaller Carriers
If you are one of the many consumers who have been with a large, well-known cell carrier for years, it might be time to switch to one of the smaller players, especially if you find a plan that meets your needs.
Smaller wireless carriers include:
They offer some incredible introductory offers and plans can start as low as $15 per month for a set amount of data.
What’s even better is that most of these carriers “piggy-back” off the networks of these major carriers and pass the savings on to their customers. You are likely to find one that works for you and costs substantially less than the larger providers.
8. Switch Service Providers
If you’ve decided that switching carriers is the way to go, calculate the costs of switching, and then take the leap. Some carriers make it easy by covering switching costs, letting you keep your own number, and easily transferring apps and photos to a new device.
Just because you have been with a cell phone company for years paying the same high monthly fees doesn’t mean you need to stick with them. Search for the best deals and make the changes necessary to start saving money today!
Another way to reduce your costs is to learn how to negotiate a cell phone bill on your own.
9. Use the Benefits of a Family Plan
With some wireless carriers, it's possible to save money by adding more people to your wireless plan. We've seen friends or roommates come together and join a family plan to save on their cell phone bills. Check with your carrier but you don't need to be related most of the time to reap the benefits. You might even be able to upgrade your current plan to a family plan right away and start saving money immediately.
How to Negotiate a Cell Phone Bill On Your Own
After you have gone through the 8 steps to reduce your costs, the next step is to negotiate. It’s easier for some people than for others, but with a little advance planning, you should be able to effectively state your case to your provider to get a better rate.
Just make sure to pick a time when you aren’t rushed and can spend time waiting to get to the right person.
Call Your Service Provider
Do a little advance research to see what your provider’s main competitors are doing. If you see that these top carriers have better deals, be sure to mention exactly what they are.
- Verizon Customer service number - 1 (800) 922-0204
- AT&T Customer service number - 1 (800) 331-0500
- T-Mobile Customer service number - 1 (800) 937-8997
- Sprint Customer service number - 1 (888) 211-4727
You might also want to see what the smaller players are offering and mention that, too. Your homework will pay off.
Write Down What You’re Going to Say Before You Call
It’s much easier to negotiate when you are prepared. Have your numbers ready and try to anticipate what the customer service representative might say, so you have your responses ready. Follow one of the key rules for successful negotiating -- be willing to walk away. If the company won’t budge on price, make it clear that you will take your business elsewhere.
Have Your Recent Bill with You
Be ready to provide all your information to the customer service rep such as:
- Account number
- Amount of the last bill
- Data usage vs. what you are paying for
- Any hidden charges
Then ask what your carrier is offering to new customers and challenge them to offer you the same deal.
Compare Your Bill to What Other Carriers Offer
As mentioned above, be sure to refer to the deals that are currently being offered by other carriers and ask for an explanation as to why your carrier is charging more. Nicely mention to the service representative that you want to cancel your account if they don’t match the price.
Ask for the Supervisor
If you feel you aren’t getting anywhere with the service representative on the phone, ask to speak to a supervisor to try to escalate the issue. You will often have better luck speaking to someone with the authority to make decisions and changes to your plan than those who answer customer service calls.
Bottom line: you should not be overpaying. Cell phone companies count on the fact that people are too busy and too hesitant to call and challenge them on pricing, so they continue to overcharge.
Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and ask for what you want. However, if you don’t want to deal with the headache of doing it all on your own, you can let a company negotiate your bill for you.
Let a Company Negotiate a Bill for You
If negotiating on your own seems too daunting, too time-consuming, and too unpleasant of a task, consider hiring a bill cutting service to do all the work for you.
Contacting providers on your own can be an unpleasant experience, often resulting in long hold times and uncomfortable confrontations with salespeople trying to get you to stick to the plan you have. BILLSHARK is skilled and trained in the art of negotiation to get the lowest possible prices.
Our expert negotiators know the ins and outs of companies’ pricing strategies and do exhaustive research to find out the best deals around. Since these deals are constantly evolving and changing, it’s helpful to have a professional take over for you.
Here’s how it works:
Use Our Cost Calculator - It’s easy and takes just 2 minutes. You tell us your service type, service provider, and current monthly payment amount and we provide you with estimated savings. It’s quick, easy, and painless.
Send Us Your Bills - If you decide to work with us, just send us your bills from the past few months and we will take care of the rest.
We Get to Work - We immediately get to work by looking at what you are paying and start researching the best deals from competitors. We then contact your provider to start the in-depth negotiation process.
We Lock in the Best Rate - BILLSHARK’s experts will negotiate your bill to the lowest possible rate. We have an 85% success rate. In fact, the average customer who gives us two bills to negotiate will save up to $1,500!
We Provide Excellent Service - We do all of the work so you don’t have to. We provide SMS updates on our progress to keep you in the loop throughout the process.
We Keep Working for You - We keep track of your plans and update you when your savings are about to expire. Then we renegotiate new rates for you automatically, so you don’t have to stay on top of the latest deals.
Billshark is the leading authority in getting our customers the best rates. All bills are negotiable and we offer cost-cutting services on most of your recurring monthly bills.
Monthly wireless bills Billshark can help reduce include:
The largest savings we've negotiated for our customers have come from wireless family plans! You'd be surprised at how much plans overcharge. Our clients save an average of $285 annually per bill negotiated. Our highest savings was $10,000 for a single customer and in total and we’ve saved our customers over $8 million!
There are zero risks of using us. You only pay us a one-time fee when we save you money. Looking for savings can become a full-time job, so hiring a company like Billshark to do that for you is the simplest solution.
At the end of the day, everyone wants to reduce their overall spending and no one wants to feel like they are overpaying, but figuring out how to get savings on all of your bills can be time-consuming and stressful. Cutting your cell phone bill is the first step to reducing your overall spending. Let Billshark help you take that step. It’s quick, easy, and risk-free.