Let’s face it, cell phones are expensive. But unless G & I can learn to live without them (not likely at this point!), we’ve just gotta suck it up and pay those high costs, right?!?!

That’s what I thought until I came across this article on how to save money on your cell phone bill. I read it, was immediately intrigued and thought what the heck, might as well give it a shot…

Well, after investing about an hour’s worth of my time, and using that article as my general guideline, our bill for our cell phones has now been reduced by $70 a month!  Well worth the hour I’d say… Here’s what I did…

  1. I logged onto our account on MTS’s website and wrote down each component (basic plan, minutes, data, etc) for our 2 cell plans and the costs associated with each – to see what we were actually paying for.
  2. I went through each of our bills for the past year to see how many minutes and how much long distance and data we used each month – to see what we were actually using.
  3. I looked through MTS’s current cell plan offerings (these are always changing) to see which ones might align better with our actual usage – to make sure we had what we needed, and nothing more.
  4. I called MTS and spoke with the first real person who answered (the ‘gatekeeper’ according to the linked article) to make tweaks to our plans based on #3 above.  Those tweaks alone saved us about $30 a month.  That included $5 off each of mine & G’s plans (G did not need unlimited data as he rarely ever went over 4GBs – he now has 6GBs/month; I did not need as many daytime minutes as what I was paying for), plus changing all of our minutes from Winnipeg-only to MB-wide, which eliminated an average of $20/month in long-distance charges.
  5. Once the plans were tweaked to reflect our actual usage, I explained that on top of that, we were working through our entire budget and looking for ways to save on all of our expenses.  I explained that we were long-term customers, and that we wanted to stay with MTS if at all possible, but that we wanted some sort of discount in exchange for sticking with them so long.
  6. Just as predicted in the linked article, the ‘gatekeeper’ offered us a minor fix, that is, extra services at a temporarily discounted rate.  I reiterated that we didn’t want or need any new services, just a lower price on the services we already had.  He said that was outside of his authority and offered to pass me on to their loyalty department.  I asked for a warm transfer and he agreed.
  7. When the loyalty rep got on the line, and despite the warm transfer, I more or less went over #5, and after a bit of back and forth (she tried to tell me that the savings I’d managed to get through the gatekeeper were all that MTS could offer, and I reminded her that those were simply changes to our plans that anyone could make, and that I was looking for something more than that), she offered me a $30/month loyalty credit for 12 months.  I was a bit caught off-guard by this (expecting more of a fight, maybe?), and replied that if she made it $40/month, I wouldn’t even bother shopping around.  She agreed instantly (which of course, makes me think I could have gotten a much sweeter deal… oh well, lesson learned… next time I’ll try harder!)!
  8. That was it!

So, to recap, after about an hour’s time, I managed to lower our cell phone bill by $70/month for 12 months ($840 in total savings for that year), and $30/month ‘indefinitely’ (or, more accurately, until our needs change again and we re-tweak the plans)!!  And you’d better believe that I’ve already diarized a follow-up call to MTS at the end of the 12 months to see if I can extend those loyalty discounts!

And it was all so incredibly easy* that I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner!!  As dense as this will make me sound, it never occurred to me that I could pay less for our services just by asking…  But I know now!

Give it a try! You’ve got nothing to lose!


*Obviously, this process isn’t fool-proof.  It may have been beginner’s luck that I had 2 very friendly, accommodating service reps.  For example, my attempts to do the same with Bell for our satellite service have been woefully unsuccessful (but that’s a story for another post)…  I keep begging G to let me move our TV services to another provider because of this (or better yet, cancel TV altogether!), but I haven’t had any luck with that either, and I DID promise him early on this money-saving journey that I wouldn’t mess with his TV without his express consent (and that will be nearly impossible to get!)!