Time to Upgrade? Saving on Cellphone Plans
A few years ago, we decided to jump on the smartphone bandwagon. We did a little bit of research to see which carriers had the best deals on plans. In our area, it happened to be who we were already going with, US Cellular. Not only did they have the coverage area we needed, their prices were considerably cheaper than the others.
We headed to the store and signed ourselves up for a plan that was about $130, which included TONS of data per phone and all the unlimited extras that everyone else always had. This was a steal at that time! When we got our first bill, imagine my surprise when it said $170! My jaw dropped and I started to sweat a little. We hadn’t budgeted for our monthly bill to go up that much…
I called them as soon as I could collect my thoughts and asked, “Why is my bill so high?”. That’s when they explained about the extra fees and taxes. Then I asked, “What can I do to lower my bill?”. The customer service rep was so helpful and asked who our employers were. I, being a stay at home mom, didn’t have one. Then she asked who my husband’s employer was and I told her, knowing they also used US Cellular. I thought to myself, what does that have to do with our bill?
As it turned out, if your employer has a business account through them, they will give you a discount just for having your personal plan through them(Verizon, AT&T, and others also offer this). The percentage off your bill per month will vary depending on your employer, but ours came to be 10%. All I had to do was take a pay stub to the US Cellular store to prove employment. I could totally do that!
Then she told me about paperless billing and auto payments. Both saved another 5% each! That was 20% off our bill when I was all signed up! I wish I had known about this years earlier! I can’t believe how much money we had wasted not knowing this information. This brought our bill back down to what we thought we would be paying.
Each time we go in for an upgrade, I call to see if I can strike a deal with the customer service rep. They can do more for you than the people in store. Yes, the people in store can offer great help, but they will even admit they can only do so much. I had to recently make a call because both my husband and I cracked up our screens. We still had over a year to go before we became eligible. But with the awesome customer service rep I had on the phone, we both got to upgrade that day with no penalties or additional fees!
Another small tip that will go a long way…be as nice to them as possible, even if it doesn’t seem like it’s going your way. They could have just gotten off the phone with an extremely upset customer that made them feel bad. You could be that person to help bring them back to having a better day!