“If you are currently stuck with an outrageous cellphone plan, do not despair.”
By Tony Ge, Staff Writer
As a post-secondary student, I know first-hand how hard it is to keep up with the bills. The big three cell providers do not care about the hardships of students, and as a result we are slapped with a hefty phone bill every month on top of having to pay the rent, tuition, food, textbooks, and so on. That’s just not right.
What they are doing is down-right atrocious to every Canadian, not just students. When compared to countries in Europe or developing countries in Asia, Canadians pay the most for cellular services. That is mainly due to features such as the two-way billing of phone calls (caller and receiver are both billed) and three-year contracts that render customers powerless to change their fates.
Now, if you are not locked into a contract, have a look at what Wind Mobile offers. Although they are still expanding their service regions – which means you may have to pay roaming charges outside major population centers in Ontario – their rates are indeed very competitive. Most importantly, they do not lock you up in contracts; you are free to switch whenever you wish.
Why is that good? Because the market is constantly evolving and thus forcing down the price of cellular services; but when you sign a three-year contract, your prices are essentially fixed at the current rate. That will amount to a big difference by the end of the contract.
If you are currently stuck with an outrageous plan, do not despair. There is a way to make your life less miserable: talk to the customer relations department of your carrier. Below is a guide on how to negotiate for a better deal:
- Find out how much time is left in your contract: the closer your contract is to its end, the more leverage you will have with the customer reps. It is also beneficial to know how long you’ve been with your current cell carrier; the longer you’ve stayed with the same carrier, the more leverage you have.
- Call the customer relations department of your cell carrier. Be polite. Jot down the name of the customer service representative and their ID number.
- Tell the representative that you want to switch because of high price and unsatisfactory service. Tell him/her your intention to switch to another carrier. If you are with Rogers DO NOT say you want to switch to Fido. Same thing with Bell and Virgin, and Telus and Koodo. They don’t care if you switch to their subsidiary.
- Tell the representative specifically what you want, and ignore what he/she says about adding more money. Make it clear that you don’t want to pay extra.
- Talk about better plans other carriers are offering. These have to be real not made-up, so it pays to do a little research before hand.
- When the representative offers you the ideal plan then accept it. If not, tell him/her to record it on your account, and that you will think about it.
- Repeat steps 1-6 but keep building on what you had from the last negotiation. Do this until you are satisfied with your plan. But be reasonable, or your account will get flagged. Call once every couple of weeks.
Good luck! Remember: be firm but don’t get greedy!
By Tony Ge, Staff Writer
Business News with BITE.
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