According to statistics provided by “Pews Study of the State of the Media”, 80% of Americans have a cell phone and 2/3 use it for something other than making calls. Nearly half of all American adults report that they get at least some local news and information on their cellphone or tablet computer. More and more families have more than one cell phone and they not longer have a home land line, opting to use their cells instead. And all of these trends are rapidly accelerating. How can you get the most value for your cell phone plan? Here are ways to save that your cell phone sales rep will not tell you.
Just Say “No” – We have to resist temptation when it comes to cell phone plans,especially when your contract obligation expires. If you do nothing for a few weeks, you’ll begin to get all kinds of incentives and good deals that might be better than if you ugraded right away.
Timing is Everything There is a better time of the month to buy a plan or upgrade one and that is at the end of their accounting period when sales teams are trying to meet quotas or reach incentives. This usually occurs at the end of the month.
Don’t Pay for Information — There’s also a way to save on 411 calls, instead of getting gouged with ridiculously high fees for an information call. Just enter this free phone number in your address book: 800-FREE411 or 800-CALL411.
Rebates or FreeBates – I’m often asked if I think that phone rebates are they a deal or a dud? They are only a deal if you apply for them. Cell phone providers make money on rebates because many customers won’t go through the hassle. Be sure you get all the info and apply online the same day you get the phone. That way, it won’t get lost on your “to do” list.
Don’t be All Wet! — Protect your phone by securing it when you’re around water (doing laundry, bathing the kids, etc) and don’t even put it in the bathroom when you’re taking a shower. Don’t have it close to your skin when you’re working out either! The results of a steamy shower or workout can be as bad as dropping it in the toilet. If you get your phone wet, then immediately dry off what you can, separate the battery and the phone, then submerge both in an air tight container of rice for 24 hours. This should absorb most of the moisture and may save your phone!
Kids Will Be Kids – So let’s say, hypothetically, that you have a child who goes way over their minutes or text messages one month. You could end up paying outrageous fees for extra minutes. If the billing cycle hasn’t closed yet, then call your company and upgrade to the next plan. It could save you 35 to 45 cents extra (per minute or text) for all the extra activity.
Little Known Discounts – When one of our teens, Jonathan, went in to see how much a new phone would cost, he decided to ask them if there were any extra discounts we could qualify for. We found out that my hubby’s corporation, Northrup,offered a 28% discount for employees. Be sure to ask if your large company, government agency or credit union association can get you an additional discount on your already exisiting plan. You might be pleasantly surprised!
America’s Family Financial Expert (R)