5 Money Saving Cell Phone Service Tips

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By Mark Nickelson

Cell phones are a necessity of modern life.  Service, however, can be quite expensive.  This is especially true if you require more than a basic talk-and-text service.  Data plans, which allow users to access the internet and send multimedia messages, can more than double the cost of service each month.  Add contracts into the mix, and the price tag can reach into the hundreds each month.

While people who regularly rely on their phones for both work and fun might not have a problem with the monthly charges, there are others who are looking for ways to cut costs and still get the service that they need.

Here are some money-saving ideas for these thrifty cell phone users:

  1. Use a family plan. You don’t have to be legally related to someone to take advantage of cell phone providers’ family plans. Family plans allow you to split the costs and minutes from one plan in between several people for a small additional price per month (between $5 and $25 for each added line).  If you trust family members, friends or colleagues enough to not leave you with the bill, you can split the cost of a family plan equally.  So rather than paying $80 a month by yourself, you can add too lines at $10 each and split the total $100 bill between 3 people (that’s only $33.33 per person).
  2. Ask yourself what you need your phone to do. Do you really need a high powered smart-phone when all you do is check your Facebook account and your email once per day?  Do you need unlimited text messages each month or can you get by with 1,000 or 2,000?  Make an honest assessment of your cell phone habits and needs and decide what your plan should include.  Only slightly more than 10% of all cell phone users would really benefit from an “unlimited” plan.  Most people who have these unlimited plans are wasting their money because they do not use enough minutes or messages.
  3. Go prepaid. Prepaid cell phone plans like the T-Mobile prepaid phone plans are becoming more and more popular.  Pre-paid users do not have to sign a contract with a provider and can pay for their service from month to month.  This allows them to tailor their monthly purchase to their needs and to adjust to a new plan each month if necessary.  Major providers offer pre-paid service, but  smaller providers, who rent space on major companies’ networks, generally offer cheaper prices.  Another advantage of pre-paid: you can buy extra minutes or services if necessary.  You can simply purchase extra minutes if you go over your allotted minutes before the end of the month (there is no need to worry about expensive overage fees).
  4. Forget about the extras. Cell phone companies offer add-ons like roadside assistance, information services (411 calls) and numerous applications.  Each of these costs additional money and most, if not all, are unnecessary.  Sure, GPS service might seem useful, but a $100 GPS unit can be installed in your car and be more convenient than continuously glancing down at your cell phone.  There is no need to spend $5-$10 per month for this service when a one-time purchase can give you years of similar service for absolutely free.
  5. Advocate for a better contract. If you are at the end of your contract with one provider, it can be worthwhile to contact them and ask for a better deal next time around.  You have the threat of moving to another provider on your side.  Ask for the best deal possible.  You can even cite current promotions aimed at new customers (which include new phones for free or for steeply discounted prices) and ask for a similar deal.  Of course, this will not always work, but it is worth a try.  Major providers have a “customer retention” office that can be contacted.  If other sales representatives in retails stores or over the phone cannot give you what you want, a call to this department can be more productive.

Author Information

Mark Nickelson has been blogging for 4 years. He currently blogs about how companies can utilize qr code for their businesses and how to locate free online insurance.

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Categories: Personal Advice