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Since I had my cell phone stolen while on vacation (I almost lost it last year in Bali, Indonesia and ended up paying an exorbitant amount of money to get it shipped back to Canada) so it's almost like the movie “Final Destination”. My cell phone was going to disappears on me inevitably. So when it did, I was glad that it happened less than 6 months until my 3 year contract was up.
As I recently acquired an iPad as a Christmas present to myself, I started paying extra for data charges on my iPad. As someone used to paying $56 including taxes for:
- 250 minutes anytime
- 6 pm evening and weekends
- unlimited text messaging
- 500 MB data
- Voicemail 3 (visual voicemail)
- Caller ID
I wasn't really happy paying an extra $10 on average on a monthly basis. Also, I had not realized (yes, I know, I am quite technologically impaired unlike the proprietors of this blog!) that you could tether your iPad to your iPhone for data and basically use it as a Wi-Fi hotspot. I should have realized this earlier before I bought my 3G iPad, but I digress.
Negotiating A Cell Phone Plan
Going back to negotiating for the new cell phone contract– I had a great steal of a deal for a corporate plan with Rogers, but for some sick reason unbeknowst to me, I like the commitment that I have had with Telus for over 11 years. Also, I am a Telus shareholder (I am also a Bell shareholder but that's beside the point). To be honest, I had some anxiety about renewing because I haven't had the time to research the deals available out there, but spent about 30 minutes looking at the latest Red Flag Deal retention deals and was able to see what was available/ out there.
I was also deciding whether or not to buy a phone outright like Kerry from Squawkfox did, or get a discounted version and just commit to another three years like I did earlier. Although Kerry bought an unlocked phone outright from Apple and found the saving to be substantial, I was thinking of doing the same. Until I talked to the customer service rep and found that that Telus can unlock the cell phone for you for a $35 fee after 90 days of owning the phone. I like this idea because as an intrepid and frequent wanderlust traveler, not having a cell phone handy can be well, kinda difficult. I also like the idea of paying $179 for a $700+ cell phone (I know I know, I'm paying for it by being tied to a 3 year contract, but quite frankly, I am pretty happy with contracts especially if you are getting a good price for what you want).
I decided to give my good friends (lol) at Telus a call, and yes, I Googled my own blog post Step By Step Guide on How to Save Money on your Cell Phone Contract from a few years back as reference to find the retention department number. I talked to a customer service rep and told her my situation. I had about 4 months left on my contract. Although I would have LOVED to have waited until my contract was over so I really will have the “upper hand” in terms of negotiation, I couldn't because of the circumstances. Nonetheless, I was pretty happy with what she offered me. I mentioned the Rogers corporate deal and although they couldn't match it, they did a good job in offering me more. I had 100 Canadian long distance minutes for free a few years back (before my iPhone 4) and I wanted it back. She wasn't able to offer this to me.
I called back again and talked to another customer service rep and he was able to add this to my plan.
So, after about 1-2 hours of my time, this is what I got for $50+tax:
- 250 minutes anytime minutes
- 6pm evening and weekends
- unlimited text messaging
- Voicemail 10 (visual voicemail)
- Caller ID
- 100 Long distance minutes (Canada)
- 1 GB data
I cancelled my iPad plan and will tether it to my iPhone when I don't have wi-fi. I don't use more than 1GB of data on both devices, so I'm pretty happy with that.
So to summarize, negotiating isn't dead, even after three years. Some tried and true tricks are:
- Don't be afraid to ask for what you want
- Be nice (this is the MOST important thing) but be ready to “ask for the supervisor” if you get pissed
- Be humble and friendly (you are at the customer service rep's mercy- if they don't like you they are going to do jack sh*t for you)
- Call again and ask for what you want
- Note their names
- Write down what they offer you and make sure they put these in the “notes” on their system
Readers – Any other tips out there?
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