Beginner's Guide to Android

Tips: Try to renegotiate your cell phone contract

April 8, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka

Beginner's Guide to Android, Carriers, Featured post, T-Mobile

Tips: Try to renegotiate your cell phone contract

The one drawback to using T-Mobile’s My Account app is that it reminds me how little I used the minutes in my plan this billing period. Most of my friends communicated through texting, and my long conversations took place during free nights and weekend. Why did I pay for all those unused minutes?

This is a common question these days, and deal hunting with your carrier is usually the answer. Reading consumer advocacy blogs has taught me that calling a service provider and negotiating a better deal is a viable option to cutting costs. Cable providers, phone companies, and other subscription-based industries only survive if people keep their service, so they aren’t completely opposed to giving subscribers better deals to prevent them from jumping ship to another carrier. It makes more business sense to offer some type of incentive to keep customers paying their bills.

T-Mobile customers may want to consider calling the company and asking for a cheaper plan or some type of rebate program. When I first bought my G1, the salesperson “mistakenly” told me that I had to sign up for the unlimited text message and data plan. Yet I managed to switch to a data plan that is $10 cheaper after only ten minutes on the phone with a T-Mobile customer service rep. This wasn’t some special promotion, either. It was a standard plan that the salesperson didn’t tell me about, probably because he was trying to drive up his sale numbers.

Getting a better deal from your provider is all about calling at the right time, being respectful, and politely letting them know that you have other options. If you’re considering ditching your G1 when the HTC Magic / Sapphire comes out soon, you may have an even bigger bargaining chip.

Consumerist.com offers several tips in its 11 Confessions of a T-Mobile Salesperson post that can help you in your price break search. Some of the information is a little old, so policies may have changed, but I strongly suggest reading it and seeing what you can use for inspiration. The worst thing that a customer service rep can tell you is ‘no’ and you pay what you’ve already accepted. Want more helpful links on how to renegotiate your cell phone bill? Read these posts:

The Art of Leveraged Bargaining
Five Ways to Slash Your Cellphone Bill
10 Things We’ve Learned from Confessions of a Wireless Sales Rep