The biggest joke about cell phones is that no one understands the plan they are on. The truth is that a huge number of people just pay their bill each month and do not really understand what they are looking at. Ultimately this leads to a large number of people with poor plans that do not meet their needs and cost a fortune.
I actually worked for one of the major cell phone providers for five years. During that time I saw countless people over paying for their services and getting charged extra fees for things they were using that were outside of their plan. After I left the wireless industry I always had friends asking for my help. So, I developed these three questions to help people know what they needed and if they were wasting money.
Are you with the right carrier? To determine this you need to know the carrier of the people you talk to the most, because all providers offer free mobile to mobile inside of their network. For instance in my scope of friends and family almost everyone is with the same carrier (mostly because I sold them their phones). It would be crazy for me to leave this company because I would use a tremendous number of minutes talking to the people I talk to most.
Can you understand your bill? If you cannot understand your bill, go down to the retail store owned by you provider and talk to a rep. DO NOT CALL CUSTOMER CARE!!! Why? They are terrible. No provider has good call center help. NONE! One will pop up with the best rating but being the best of the failures still makes you a failure. Also, once you find someone at a store that is helpful always go to that person, always buy your accessories from them, send your friends to them and always make any changes, especially new phones, with that person. These people are on commission and they will go to the mat for you if you make them money consistently. This includes “bending” the service plans to help you.
And the final question is, what features do you need? Do you: like to text message (more importantly does your son or daughter text message), go online with your phone, talk in the evening, make international calls, etc., etc. These are important things to know. This is also an area where having someone at the store help you look at your bill is invaluable.
The only other thing you must remember is that when your contract is up it is time for your provider to pay the piper. DO NOT SELL AWAY YOUR NEGOTIATING POWER FOR ONLY A NEW PHONE! Everyone gets a new phone after a certain amount of time. If you pay your bill every month you are a valuable customer and thus deserve the perks of being loyal. What are those perks? There are too many to list, butyou should know there is a code in every cell phone carriers system for every possible contingency. All you need to know is what they are, walk in, and ask for it. You are going to have to research a little but you will find that there are forums about each of the major carriers. Just go to Google and type in your carriers name followed by the word “users”. With that the forums for you cell phone company will pop up and there will be a section with people bragging about their plan. Just go in find one that fits you and ask for that plan in exchange for a new contract. It may take some persistence but you will get the results you want.