Do you have a cell phone plan? When you signed up for your plan were you told that your bill would be a certain amount every month? Have you signed a contract and can hardly afford paying your cell phone bill now? If this sounds like you I completely understand your pain. I used to work for a cell phone company and have learned a few things about how to keep your bill where you want it. The information I will be providing is information that is not broadcasted because it would cause cell phone companies to lose a significant amount of money.
Tip #1 – Block what you do not need
If you are not going to be text messaging or using the internet then put a block on it! That means that you should call up your cell phone provider and advise them that you would like to add either a text block or data block. The reason for this is because many unwanted charges will pop up on your cell phone bill that you did not expect to be there. If you have a teenager and do not want them to use the internet or text for whatever reason then the block would be your best option. Definitely put a text messaging block on your account if you do not want anyone in the family to send text messages because your bill could be hundreds of dollars more than expected. The same applies for adding a data block. There is also a purchase blocker that can be added to your cell phone account as well. This block will prevent unapproved purchases on your cell phone bill such as games, ringtones and applications.
Tip #2 – Monitor your minutes
If you happen to have a family plan it is even more important to monitor you cell phone minute usage for the entire family. The first few months that you have your new plan require the most attention. If you have a family member on your plan that likes to talk it would be wise to get an unlimited plan. Many cell phone companies also offer the option of putting a minute limit on your cell phone. If you have a teenager and only want them to be able to use 400 minutes a month that can typically be done. Also, many cell phone companies also offer free nights and weekends for certain plans. Talk to your family about chit-chatting only during the free night and weekends. This can definitely prevent you from having overage charges.
Tip #3 – Understand your cell phone
It is very easy to get sucked into buying a cell phone that you do not need. If you want to buy a new cell phone it is almost better to purchase the cell phone online because you will not get sucked into buying something that is beyond your price range or unnecessary for you. If you have purchased a cell phone that you do not like and have had it less than 30 days you can typically return it for a phone that better suits you. Do not purchase a smartphone if you do not need to access the internet on a regular basis. The reason I say this is because smartphones require a data package that is anywhere from 15-50 dollars extra per month. Many salespeople will not acknowledge that your phone requires a data plan if it is a smartphone. You will probably sign a several page document that describes this to you in small print. Most of the time if you have a smartphone and are not using the internet you can call your provider and ask them to put a data block on your account that way you will not have the extra smartphone data plan charges.
Tip #4 – Business and military discounts
A large majority of companies in the United States will offer discounts on cell phone plans. This amount is typically anywhere fro 15-30%. This fact is not always broadcasted at the store because it would cause the company to lose money. Call your cell phone provider and ask them if you qualify for a business discount. If you are in the military you are eligible for a discount! You are also eligible for many other benefits as well.
Tip #5 – Get rid of what you do not need
After a few months of using your cell phone look over your bill. If you are not using nearly the amount of minutes on your allotted plan then check to see if you can go to a smaller plan. This will allow you to save money. If you have unlimited text messaging but only send 50 texts a month then check to see if you could change your text messaging plan. The same applies for your data usage as well.