When you get a new cell phone plan – you can absolutely negotiate a better deal. Saving money on fixed contracts is one of the best ways keep finances in check and avoid long-term direct-debit pain.
The good news is that it’s not hard.
The key point is that consumers have a lot more buying power than you might think. Here are 6 easy ways to get the absolute best deal on your new cell phone.
1) Ask if there are any unadvertised special offers
Many cell phone companies will have special deals they want to sell you – but they’re not always showing their full hand. The big shiny offers on the website or in-store might appear to be all they have – but they’re probably not.
If you’re unimpressed with their advertised offers – ask if there are any other specials available. Or better yet – ask for a special deal based on your own requirements. You’ll be surprised how often they’ll be willing to put something together for you.
2) Offer to combine your phone with a home internet plan
If you’re already getting your home internet through a company that also does cell phones, you’re missing out on savings if you’re not leveraging this for a ‘package deal’. When negotiating a contract, make it crystal clear you’re an existing customer and you want a package price. If they haven’t already, they should make you a better deal almost straight away.
3) Are some older models going at clearance prices?
You may not always need, or want, the absolute ‘latest and greatest’ phone. Even the next model up (particularly if your screen resembles a smashed car windshield) can be a huge update. If you’re not keen on committing to the newest model, ask if there are any older models going at special rates.
A friend of mine was recently offered a deal on an iPhone 8 – but instead locked in an iPhone 7 at an incredible price. It turns out they had an excess of 7’s in stock which they were more than happy to clear – at low prices. My friend had been sporting a barely functional iPhone 5 for the last 3 years. He walked away more than happy.
4) Mention a ‘special deal’ your friend got, and see if they’ll match it
I used this exact strategy no more than 4 weeks ago – and it worked. A provider had an iPhone offer going for $30 per month, but a friend of mine had bragged that he got the same deal for $20. Was this actually true? I had no idea. It really didn’t matter.
Over the phone, I pushed the salesperson for the same deal. They didn’t match it completely (turns out he was also getting his internet with the same company – see #2 above) but without much effort, they came down to $24.
That’s a 20% discount from 10 seconds of negotiating.
5) Make several companies fight for your business
One of the most effective negotiating strategies there is. You have the buying power – so talk to multiple companies and drive down the price. If you’re offered a special deal through provider A, take that to provider B and see if they’ll beat it. If they will, see if provider C will beat that deal.
Make it clear that you’re talking to lots of companies and that you’re shopping for the best deal. If they really want your business – they’ll offer you something to win it.
6) Accept the monthly price – but push for extra data
If all else fails and you’re satisfied with the advertised price – you can still push for a better contract. Ask for more monthly data on your plan – and you’ll likely be surprised that this can be negotiated as well. Mobile data is invaluable in this day and age. Especially for long morning commutes when having fast internet feels like the only way to stay sane.
Whatever the details of your new contract, I want you to remember this:
Don’t just give them your business.
Make them earn it.