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…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!)!
- 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!)!