Step-by-step Guide on How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Contract

Here in Canada we are ruled by only a few wireless service carriers and pay some of the highest cell phone costs in the world.  Namely these companies fall into the “Big Three” otherwise known as:  Rogers (also bought out Fido Mobile), Bell (also bought out Virgin Mobile), and Telus (also carrier of Koodo Mobile)… Can you say OLIGOPOLY??  With Bell and Telus looking to split up MTS (Update Below) and SaskTel “exploring private market options” the Canadian phone cartel certainly won’t be disbanding any time soon.

Save Money on Cell Phones These guys have been “fighting” head-to-head with each other, to keep the prices of contracts and user fees up.  I was paying $40-50 a month for my measly serviced cell phone bill way back in 2004 (I was constantly over my monthly minutes allotment, thus getting dinged 25 cents per minute) until I one day I called in to complain.  I think I fluked into it by calling when my contract was up (unbeknownst to me at the time, because this was back when I was un-edumacated in personal finance).  I really wish a low-cost provider would come in and shake up the cell phone/internet scene in Canada and provide consumer-friendly options the way online banks have in Canada.

Paying less money for Canadian cell phonesI called back then and said I didn’t like how much I was paying.  The CSR (customer service rep) then told me that they could immediately reduce my bill and increase the value of what I was getting (e.g. minutes, texts, free long distance).

Click here to download my Free Printable phone negotiation script.  I've used these exact phrases to not only garner a lower phone bill for myself, but several friends and family as well.  It will guide you through every step of the process, including easy pre-call research, how to get get past the gatekeeper, and the secret sauce I use to get the final perks added to any phone plan.

Wait… What?!  Dollars Off My Monthly Payment Just By Asking?

Why had I NOT done this earlier?? I could have saved so much hard earned cash!  With a few minutes of fairly easy negotiation I reduced my monthly bill by nearly 50% AND got some great perks tossed in.  For example, I never go over my monthly allotment of minutes any more.

Since this point over a decade ago we’ve kind of become experts on phone plan negotiation here at Young and Thrifty – Kyle was even appeared on a couple of regional CBC shows talking about the matter!  Sure, saving $30+ or so a month on your cell phone package might not sound like the stuff of legends, but cutting repeat monthly costs like your phone bill can make a huge difference over the course of a two-year contract.

Quick and Easy Ways to Instantly Reduce Your Cell Phone Bill In Canada

First of all, you need to decide whether or not you want to be on a contract.  There are a couple of different theories in regards to this decision.  One school of thought says that if you purchase your own phone outright, and then shop around for a monthly deal, you maintain the best position to constantly be negotiating because you can threaten to leave at any time.

While I see how that could work, the vast majority of people I know don’t want to navigate a call centre every month!  Instead, what most people really want to know is how to get the best subsidized phone and monthly payment with their standard one- or two-year cell phone contract. 

We’ve used these tips and tricks several times over the years to not only negotiate our own cell phone plan down to rates much lower than advertised, but those of our friends and family as well.  If you have enough time and patience it works almost 100% of the time!

1) Be patient and polite.  Take a deep breath before starting this process.  The cell phone company is banking on the hopes that you will either get frustrated and give up, or get so impatient that you become rude – giving their employee the perfect opportunity to discontinue the call.  Just know that in all likelihood you will be placed on hold a few times during this process.  I actually like to take a good or magazine with me to my kitchen table so that I’m never tempt to rush the process and don’t get frustrated.  Politeness and compliments cost nothing and can gain you quite a lot – why not use them in abundance?

2) Begin by knowing your current contract.  Take out a copy of your last bill and see what you are currently paying for.  Does that fit your current use profile?  Maybe you need more or less data?  Perhaps you now use Skype for long distance calls and don’t need that feature anymore.Save Money with Cell Phones
It’s also key to know how much time you have left in your contract.  If you have more than six months you can often still catch a bit of your break, but six months or less is perfect.

3) Learn what else is out there.  The plans in Canada are all pretty similar, but it’s good to know what kind of special offers other carriers are offering in order to leverage your current cell company into a better deal.  I usually just quickly check the RedFlag.ca forum.  It’s updated constantly and you can see exactly what everyone else is getting.

Note: DON’T tell anyone from your cell phone company that you went to a website like RedFlag, or even read this article.  Just pretend you’re kind of clueless, but genuinely don’t have much spare cash and are looking to save some money every month.  Don’t mention a friend or relative, just stick to the script.

4) Make sure you have a pen and paper handy.  Recording who you are talking with and what is being offered will be essential as we go along negotiating your new and improved cell phone plan.

5) Call your phone company and navigate the phone tree until you can talk to a representative about your current cell phone contract.  Some companies also list their customer retention/loyalty line online – this is where you ultimately want to end up anyway, so if you can call there directly you can save yourself some time.  Remember: Polite and patient!

Negotiating cell phone contracts in Canada

6) Jot the customer representative’s name down.  Know that this isn’t likely the person you’re going to get a deal from.  This first line of defense is what is known as a “gatekeeper”.  Their job is to offer you minimal perks and to talk to you until you get tired and hang up.  Don’t do that!  Simply state that as you’re coming to the end of your cell phone contract you’re realizing that <cell phone provider here> competitors are offering much better deals for the package you want, and while as a loyal long-time customer you really want to stay with your provider, gosh, times are just really tough right now and you simply can’t afford to stay with them.  The key things you want to get across are that you know your contract is up soon, that you really like the company (you want them to want to hang on to you), that you are going to LEAVE. 

The rep will throw a minor fix at you.  They are not authorized to give you the good stuff.  Ignore this offer.  Simply say, “Hmm… we’re moving in the right direction, but it’s still not as good as what ____ is offering.  Perhaps I could speak with a loyalty representative for long-time customers?  If not, let’s proceed to cancelling my contract.  This is the magic phrase you might have to repeat a few times.  Everything else is window dressing.  “Cancel my contract” is your “open sesame” to get past the gatekeeper.

Save Money with Cell Phones in Canada

7) When the rep says they will put you on the line with her manager or the customer retention/loyalty representative, ask for a warm transfer.  This simply means that rather than having you repeat everything again, the original rep should explain your situation to the next person.

8) Enjoy your book while your cell phone company inevitably experiences “unseasonably high call volumes”.

Save Money with Cell Phones9) Ok, so now you’re on with someone who can make stuff happen.  You may have to go one step higher, but usually these people can get you to a good place.  Start by writing down their name and simply repeating your line: “Gosh, I’ve had a pretty good relationship with ____ over the years, but I just really need to save a few bucks and _____ offered me this great package.”  Now simply name the exact package of data, long distance, day-time minutes, etc. that you want (so you don’t pay for what you don’t need), and state the figure that you read on RedFlag or another website. 

10) I like to say something like, “If we can’t come up with a plan sort of close to that I guess I’ll have to switch over and cancel my contract.”  They’ll respond with some generic line about keeping your business.  Then I say, “Well… what can we do to improve things a bit, I don’t really want to change if I don’t have to.” This puts the ball in their court.  You usually get at least a couple of “Well… that’s an improvement, I like where we’re headed, but could we look at this…” type of lines before they won’t budge. 

11) At this point you have to play things by feel a bit.  You might be able to go one level higher and get a better deal.  You might hit someone that really doesn’t want to deal with you – often I’ll simply hang up and repeat the process again so that I get a more friendly loyalty representative.  Remember, it’s all just reading time for anyway.

12) Keep in mind that you can always switch carriers, or at the very least ask the rep to note these discussions in your file and that you’ll think about it and call back.

Save Money on Cell Phones13) A closing line I like to use when we’re getting close to the best plan I read about when I did twenty minutes of online research is, “You know what, I appreciate your time and effort working with me today as a long-time customer, if I can get <my final request that I really want> at <new lower price>, I’ll give you my credit card information and we can get this thing wrapped up today.  A lot of these folks get bonuses and commissions based on keeping you in a locking you into a longer deal.

14) At several points in this convo you’ll be put on hold in the hopes you’ll hang up.  Yay!  Your book is just getting good!

15) Rinse and Repeat!

With Manitoba and Saskatchewan’s independent carriers on the ropes, along with two-year contract maximums, Canada’s major phone companies are raising their prices to unprecedented levels.  It’s up to you to protect yourself by taking one hour of your time (most of which will be spent reading) and negotiating your cell phone agreement.

Save Money with Cell Phones

Hope that helps, folks.  My next post will be an example of how I negotiated a better cell phone contract for my sister with Rogers Wireless.

Update 2017

With the acquisition of MTS officially going through this spring, there is one less competitor for Canada's communication titans to deal with.  With MTS being split between Telus and Bell, it's only a matter of time before Sasktel collapses as well.  Soon the popular cross-Canada “cell phone hack” of getting a Manitoba or Saskatchewan phone number so that you can negotiate a lower cell phone rate will go extinct.  I wonder if our government will ever actually get serious about forcing some competition into the market in order to combat the fact that Canada has some of the highest communication costs in the world?  In the meantime, your negotiating skills will be more important ever as you seek to find creative strategies to rack up monthly savings!

Let us know how your call and cell phone negotiation with Rogers Mobility, Bell Mobility, Telus Mobility, or one of Canada other carriers went so that we can all benefit from your experience!

39 Comments

  1. Investing Newbie on February 22, 2010 at 8:55 am

    These are some great tips and definitely applicable to American phone companies as well. I’m going to try to see what my parents can do for their phone contract!
    .-= Investing Newbie



  2. Steve Zussino on February 22, 2010 at 9:12 am

    This is a great resource you have.I can’t wait until you have your example with Rogers. I have to negotiate for my wife and mother-in-law.

    A huge point to mention is to record whom you spoke to. These companies can always deny this unless you keep a record. I use a Google Spreadsheet to record this.



  3. young on February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    @Steve Zussino: Yes, you’re right! I meant to put that in- it is indeed very important. I’d be interested to know how your negotiating goes =)! Good luck and you’ll get addicted to it, I’m sure.

    @Investing Newbie: Yes, I’m sure they’ll be applicable to American cell phone companies too! I wasn’t 100% familiar with your carriers and wasn’t sure if there were other options out there (e.g. non-contract phone companies). If you feel like you have better negotiating skills than your ‘rents, you can have them sit beside you while they give consent for you to speak to them. Good luck!



  4. The Rat on February 22, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Nice tips. I just finished up working with my employer this past January and was fortunate to be able to keep the iPhone.

    Because the phone plan was just so ridiculously priced, coupled with the fact that I don’t necessary ‘need’ to be connected with a cell phone for the time being, I’m using my iPhone as a ‘souped up’ iPod Touch. Basically, I connect and communicate with others when I’m out of town in wi-fi spots and use programs like Ping!

    You can basically eliminate a lot of the monthly bill this way. My brother in law has an iPhone and his wife has an iPod touch and we had no trouble communicating without the actual phone plan.

    Nice thread!!
    .-= The Rat



  5. young on February 22, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    @The Rat Yeah, data can really add up!! Did you hear about the guy from Calgary about a year ago who tethered his phone to his laptop? He didn’t know it would cost an arm and a leg until the bill came from Bell, totally $11,500 or something ridiculous like that. I think Bell gave pity on him and reduced his bill to half, but he still had to pay it. I don’t have an iPhone (yet) but plan to get one… AM planning on paying a little extra for data. I have an iTouch right now and would love for internet to work everywhere I go (yes, you could say one of those “hyperconnected” types!).



  6. The Rat on February 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I hear you. When I was out of town, the hotel I stayed at had free wireless, and so does a host of restaurants and coffee shops. For example, Second Cup offers free wireless for customers, so I went there often.

    Believe it or not, even when my iPhone was fully connected with the phone system, the phone didn’t always work for browser purposes; don’t get me wrong, it was good for most of the time but it wasn’t flawless.

    What did you mean by ‘teethered’? From what I can gather I can still use my iPhone the way I do as long as I can get access to a free wi-fi connection. I wouldn’t think that would be an issue..would it?
    .-= The Rat



  7. young on February 22, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    @The Rat Yeah, I find that on my boyfriend’s iPhone (he’s with Fido) the browsing is a bit slow for my liking- but I believe the 3GS will be mucho faster. “Tethering” is when you share your internet connection with lets say, your laptop. So instead of having a router or any internet connection, you can connect your phone to your laptop and surf the web with the internet connection you have on your phone. Crazy huh!?



  8. The Rat on February 23, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Thanks!
    .-= The Rat



  9. Paul on February 23, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Good advice. It works for other services too. The same thing happened to me a few years back when I complained and threatened to cash out with my discount brokerage.



  10. young on February 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    @Paul thanks giving me the correct term! It was on the tip of my tongue but I couldn’t place it… I knew monopoly wasn’t the right word. =P

    Discount brokerage? You mean like Questrade or iTrade? I didn’t know that! So what perks did you end up negotiating?



  11. Forest on June 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Oh man I HATED the prices of mobile phones when i lived in canada…. In the end I gave mine up and went without for 2 years.

    Great tutorial here 🙂



  12. young on June 11, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    @Forest- Hey cool- didn’t know you lived up here! Where? I know, mobile phone contracts are super overpriced here- unless you have loyalty and can negotiate your way down. Did you at least do the “pay as you go”? (even then it’s not worth it because the minutes expire after each month I think!)



  13. Forest on June 14, 2010 at 1:42 am

    I was living in Montreal, I love that city!!!

    I had a pay as you go for a short while but it was like owning a portable slot machine…. it just ate my money.

    I was usually online for the majority of the day so just told people to email me if they needed me in the end.



  14. JP on January 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Funny thing happened to me a week ago. I called FIDO with the intention of renegotiating, but started with the “I want to quit fido” ruse. Well, they didn’t seem to mind, and offered me nothing…. needless to say, I cancelled the service. While it was nice to be able to cancel so easily, it was strange that they didn’t fight to keep me at all.

    In any case, I’m now switching to WInd or Mobilicity, haven’t decided which. Anyone else have this experience lately?

    -JP



  15. young on January 25, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    @Jp-how many months remaining did you have on your contract? I have helped some friends negotiate and found that the customer service reps a hit and miss. You often need to call back until you speak to someone willing to help you. I know a lot of people are jumping ship from the big three and going for the new guys in town 🙂



  16. angelle (SEO Marketing Agency Scotland) on August 31, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    These are some great tips and definitely applicable to American phone companies as well.



  17. young on September 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    @angelle- Thanks- good to know!



  18. D Y on September 6, 2011 at 7:07 am

    I could say monopoly, but I would be incorrect. The correct word is oligopoly.



  19. James on February 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Great cell phone bill hack. Big three definitely have a monopoly and it’s a bit of a joke how they operate.



  20. ninojolly on July 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

    thanks this was useful

    some comments:
    telus doesnt care if you’ve been with them for a long time. they will offer a few bucks more rate then competetors and leave you choosing to leave straight out.

    try and seekout corporate plans or search for taking over someone elses hot contract. once it expires you can typically stay with it month to month till you wish to renew.



  21. Pam on October 21, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I am so glad that I found this page. I recently paid $187 for a one month cell phone contract and I am currently trying to lower my bill. I will use all your tips that you gave.

    Thanks,
    Pam



  22. Young on October 25, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    @Pam- Good luck!



  23. amanda on July 15, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I so need your help I am so awful at negotiating and a pushover they c me coming a mile away I got my kids and I 4 I phones on a 3 year plan and had the data taken off right away so I wasn’t getting any outrageous bills well that didn’t work all of our bills haven’t been over 800 dollars and two of the phones don’t work and there is still 2 years left on my plan I want out so bad I am going broke paying bell I heard that they passed a law saying they couldn’t charge these outrageous prices so I was hoping for your advise they told me it would be 600 a phone to get out of the contract and in don’t want my credit bad over this please call me or email me I need help desperately Amanda I live in shannonville Ontario in Canada and I deal with Bell Canada



  24. Teacher Man on July 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Hey Amanda, that’s a rough deal you have yourself in there. I’m interested in how you managed to rack up the much fees without any data? The harsh truth is that you probably should give up the iPhones for a little while and just focus on something that allows basic text and calling (re: cheaper!). There were some new laws passed, but I’m fairly certain they won’t affect what happened to you Amanda. What I might do is talk to Telus and/or Rogers and see what they could do for you in terms of transferring you over. That would give you some negotiating leverage. You also have to identify a better plan for yourself, you have pretty good leverage with that many phones to negotiate with.

    Finally, the simplest answer might be to make your children responsible for paying their own phone bill Amanda. Sometimes hard lessons can be good teachers?

    If nothing else work out a payment plan with Bell so that your credit rating won’t get hurt – then at least you should be fine on that front.



  25. Solifluction on January 18, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    These are all very valid suggestions. They can and probably will help you but remember to play nice. CSRs (whether in their respective companies “Retention” department or otherwise) are NOT useless and aren’t simply there to absorb your initial beating before they get you to someone “who can really help”.

    In today’s day and age, especially in organizations where you can “lease” your device (Bell/AT&T) where you pay a certain amount for your device on a month to month basis rather than commit yourself to a well-intentioned but altogether meaningless other than in-name-only “contract” you are often not committed to anything other than “keeping service” and the level doesn’t matter.

    SOMETIMES–and I can’t stress that enough–sometimes someone will either see something others didn’t or understand a way that you can in fact save money or get more value for your dollar. You ABSOLUTELY WILL need to be willing to accept that there is no “need” to give you what you want or lack of “customer service” if you don’t get it. You have options for service, you chose what appealed to you at the time, and in effect you’ve made your bed and must therefore “lie in it”. Just because you want to pay less doesn’t mean you should and doesn’t mean that your provider is obligated to. Most providers have concessions for individuals who become chronic callers complaining that their services are too expensive and demand adjustment for this or that based on what their brothers-cousins-nephews-uncles former room-mate gets with Provider X. That’s great for them and just possibly too bad for you. And as they saying goes the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” and sometimes that grease is that your provider will simply deign that it’s not worth their time to deal with you any longer and they will shunt your calls to a queue designed specifically to tell you “can’t have it” and disconnect your call.

    That’s not bad customer service because part of getting good customer service is being a good customer. If you’ve had 10 years of loyalty but are constantly late, then you don’t deserve special treatment. If you’ve just signed a new contract or commitment and then notice the grass is greener on the other side… well maybe it’s simply time you go over and mow that lawn for a while. Your providers job #1 is to make profit and from time to time they will make little concessions to satisfy an otherwise quiet riot and often they will bend over to right a wrong. The key thing in ANY market place to remember is regardless of who or what you’re dealing with Caveat Emptor; this is the rule and not simply a guideline.

    Remember, every carrier has a service agreement of some kind. Most often simple usage of the service constitutes legally binding acceptance of its terms and conditions. When you have millions of customers and constantly changing options in a constantly evolving marketplace it’s impossible and unrealistic to assume that you’re going to have to sign on the dotted line for every little thing that ever happens. Your contract terms often boil down to; “You bought it and it’s your problem now! You use the service and you’re accepting that Provider X can pretty much do what they want when they want. If you’re not observant nor persistent or just not-dumb-lucky enough to see a mistake or better deal then you’re often going to accept the fact that after a set period of time it simply becomes a you problem and not a provider problem.” And yes, I’m 100% certain that on a whole EVERY provider recognizes that they are going to lose customers because of it.

    Consider the following. If a customer does their homework, reads their agreement, makes sure they understand all of the policies and their responsibilities, they generally don’t ever have any problems. When they do discover and issue 75-90% of the time it’s an error and it will be fixed. Quickly and almost surreptitiously.

    As for the other 10% of the time. Well that’s probably misinformation. When it’s misinformation you are doubly screwed. As the consumer you did what you were supposed to and even wrote down the name of every person you talked to and a complete transcript of every conversation and it STILL WON’T MATTER because EVERY provider has built into their terms of service (and this I PROMISE YOU) that when you’re misinformed by little Johnny Minimumwage they will gladly correct the misinformation and offer you the choice of options A, B, or C of which I can guarantee you the original promise made by Johnny will not be a part of. And even that I can understand because these are National, albeit uber-wealthy, corporations with 1000s of employees. The entire company will NOT be held responsible for what some eager beaver front-line worker had the misfortune to screw up yesterday. That’s just not realistic. If that were the case then we’d ALL be getting service for free on the regular with no charges and a free iPhone every year with a thank you card and a plate of granny’s fresh baked cookies.

    Lets just wise up as a group. As an entire consumer body we need to recognize what we’re dealing with. It is, no matter where you go in North America that I’m aware of, a sea of us knuckle-dragging Neanderthals by comparison to the relative ivory-tower eliteness of the oligarchy that are our cellular providers. And we all run up in arms to them whenever they place the slightest kink in our expectations of service. It’s a cellphone and not a pace-maker. We need to take a step back and relax about it. Accept the fact that to stay as intimately in touch with our friends/family/enemies/twitter/facebook/tinder what-have-you we have to pay through the nose for it. It is a LUXURY and we’ve all forgotten that… “My life is on that phone… I can’t live without it… I can’t afford this”… One of these things is not like the other… One of these things just doesn’t belong.

    If you have a problem paying for what you WANT.. and lets be ABSOLUTELY clear here.. it is a WANT and IN NO POSSIBLE WAY IN THE UNIVERSE OF POSSIBILITY AT ALL IN ANY WAY AND I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO EXPLAIN HOW HARD I’M STRESSING THIS RIGHT NOW a NEED. You DO NOT NEED it you WANT it and you don’t want to pay for it.

    You want something to REALLY complain about.. In Ontario AT LEAST please lets all go to our respective hydro-electric companies and ask for a layman’s explanation than is justifiable in earnest and backed up by truth why we’re still paying a debt retirement fee for our services since the dissolution of Ontario Hydro lo those many years ago… Or why it costs less to own and more to rent… Or why there are so many people out there incensed by the cost of cellular service when there are actual real problems in the world that we apparently don’t or simply aren’t willing to give the same level of crap about. You’re sick of waiting 45 minutes on hold to reduce your bill… Go volunteer for 45 minutes at a soup kitchen every time you’re mad about you’re phone bill and tell me who has the real problem.

    I’m just saying.



  26. Sandra on December 8, 2015 at 6:45 am

    I am a long term customer of bell mobility. My 2 year contract just ended for 5 iPhones with 3gb data sharing etc for $85 for my phone and the other 4 phones pay $55. Our plan was to finish off the contract and go month to month with our existing devices. We were told it should be a lot cheaper like $35-40 per month per phone. But my son’s iPhone 5c broke last week. Now I am in a dilemma. Any tips for me when I call bell?



  27. Kyle on December 13, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Hey Sandra. Look up what other providers are offering. I’d even give Telus and Rogers a quick call and ask what they would give you to switch. That should provide some negotiating leverage. Know what features are key for you and which you can probably leave out.



  28. Scott on December 16, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Agree with Solifluction above… They don’t HAVE to reduce your rate to make you happy. If they do, it’s a nice perk, but, they’re not evil if they don’t. It’s a business, to make profit, and they’ll balance the loss of customers vs the loss of income from offering a discounted rate.
    For internet, I call Telus and say “Shaw is offering a lower price so I may move to them.” then Telus matches it to keep me. But for my cell phone, even though I want a better deal because I’m a long term customer, I don’t actually see any better deals offered by the competitors, thus I don’t have much leverage to negotiate with. (though for my carrier it looks like new customers actually get rebates that existing customers don’t get – that’s something I will demand)
    In general I’m finding loyalty offers are dying out, or when they exist, they’re only for high-end plans/rates (eg get a $70 plan for just $65). I want a mid range phone with a lower usage plan (eg $40) but they don’t have any loyalty incentives for that.
    Oh well, shop around all the competitors and see what I can get as a new customer.



  29. Bernard Rausch on August 13, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Here’s how I solved overcharging and poor service problem. I bought an AT&T phone at Walmart in the U.S. for $40 with $60 monthly fill up. Good for Canada, U.S. and Mexico including 4 GB of data. Fill up by CC for 3 month is $180 and painless. Loving it.



  30. Kevin E on September 16, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I just used a Bell online offer to get a better deal at a brick and mortar Bell store.
    I may have had some more leverage as I was shopping for 4 new phones, and 4 monthly plans. My wife, myself and my in laws were paying $65, $60, $75 and $80 monthly for our plans at Telus, Telus, Sasktel and Sasktel. We were all using iPhones that were 3-6 years old, so wanted to upgrade.

    Bell has by far the lowest $/month plans in Saskatchewan at the moment out of the big 3. I used the Bell chat function on their website for about 30 minutes seeing if I could get a deal by switching to them. Their promotion is up to $100 off a smart phone for new customers. I had to ask four separate times, but they were willing to do the full $100 off 4 iPhone 6s



  31. Kyle on September 17, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    That’s awesome Kev!!! Love how you used the leverage of four plans to save thousands of dollars. So I hope the in laws are at least paying for dinner tonight?



  32. Carl on November 28, 2016 at 3:48 am

    This is such a great article. I’m in the UK but I still found this to be one of the most detailed, and friendly out there. Having gone through stuff by the likes of Which?, MoneySavingExpert (big over here) etc. this is the one article that got my attention. LOVE those images!!



  33. Syed on December 26, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Wow just tried same script , saved around 700-800$ on 2 year contract.



  34. Kyle on December 27, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Congrats Syed!!



  35. catherine on February 5, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Hi, i know a couple of friends suggest to say “i want to cancel my services” if they don’t give what I want, but I am afraid of saying that because what if they really cancel my services, and deep down i like my carrier just want to get a cheaper deal



  36. Kyle on February 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    You will always have the chance to change your mind Catherine. If nothing else just hang up the phone before cancelling and say the line went dead due to cell phone reception – yet another reason they should cut you a break!! Remember, they don’t want to let you go as a customer at all!



  37. Ken on March 7, 2017 at 11:12 am

    When my kids had outgrown the call/texting pay-per-use plan I had started them on, I went to a non-big three company that would have good coverage in my area and purchased a family plan with 4 seperate phone lines. Unlimited calling/texting/data (it slows down after 5GB per user per month) and it has never cost me more than $125 per month — including all taxes and fees. As a bonus, one of my children has been working/studying in California for the past year and all I had to pay was an additional $15 per month for unlimited calling/texting/data in the US as well — effectively he is paying 44 CDN$ for unlimited everything in the US and Canada — that is around 33 US$, which he tells me can’t be beat by any provider in California for what he uses his phone for. Don’t be afraid of using someone other than the big three and ignore the noise about bad coverage from the smaller companies…if you live in an urban area your coverage will be fine.



  38. Brent Spillich on March 14, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    This is really great advice. Plus that script gives everyone a leg up when it comes to that actual negotiation. Milk that carrier for all she’s worth. One thing I would love to see an article on here is about prepaid as a way to save money out the gate. If you own your phone, you have all the leverage when dealing with your carrier (since you can walk at any moment).

    After I rolled off my last contract, a friend of mine recommended this route. I approached the carriers and talked them wayyyy down. Highly recommended tactic for flipping power dynamic when negotiating with carriers.



  39. Lisa on May 25, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    I am with Bell, we bought 2 samsung galaxy 5s’s in November 2015, exactly 11 months later, the screen on my phone went black, no reason, it was still within warranty but Bell told me that they would have to fix it to factory spec it would be $280. So no warranty. I refused and have been using my husbands old Iphone. Two days ago my husbands Samsung had the same black screen issue and quit working, we are still 5 months away from the end of our contracts but the customer service with Bell has been terrible since day 1 and we want out. Are there any Canadian companies that will buy out contracts??



  40. Alice on October 28, 2017 at 12:50 am

    My carrier turned out to have a “loyalty BYOD” plan that’s month-to-month. It gave me everything I was already getting … for $30/mo cheaper. I “negotiated” my way into it when my contract was set to expire. I have seen a couple of ads for cheaper deals for the same service – but on a carrier that doesn’t work in my area. So I’m content for now.

    My carrier did let me know I can save additional $ every month if I go on a pay-as-you-go plan, but I would no longer be eligible for device upgrades. Not yet sure if that matters to me …



  41. Kyle on November 1, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Awesome negotiation Alice – thanks for letting us know how it went!



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