You can and you NEED to call your provider and ask for a better plan/reduction. Here is how: using the power of silence and persistence (plus keeping it polite)
1. My Story
To keep it short, my December phone bill was $140! I was outraged, calling Fido and was ready to have a fight with them. I talked to the rep for half an hour about how I went over the minutes and got charge 25 cents for every one of those overtime minute. Plus apparently I was told that I am in a roaming region (which made to sense to me because I signed the contract in Abbotsford and most of the numbers are in Abbotsford). So the rep said it was a computer error but that I still went over the limit minutes and the charge was correct.
I paused for a moment and asked “Do you know how much I would have to pay for the penalty if I was to cancel the plan right now?”
The rep did the math and told me that it would cost around $210-$230. Of course, I had no intention in cancelling. However, it puts the pressure on them because it costs more to acquire new customers than to keep existing ones, a lot more actually.
He added that he could transfer me to the Customer Relations Department for my cancellation. And I said “please and thank you”
The Customer Relations rep (CRR) asked why I’m calling. Very politely I explained to him that I was charged for an extravagant amount and seriously considering a cancellation to save money. He promptly offered a plan that is “only available from that department” which means it’s not listed on the website or any where else. On top of that, he also got rid of the $64 dollars over-the-minutes charge, without me asking for it!
My old plan cost $25, plus $7 system access fee, plus 9 dollars for call display and voicemail plus extra charge for text messages. Which never comes in less than $50
Now my new plan also cost $25, but get this: with no system access fee, unlimited incoming calls, free fido-to-fido, unlimited evenings 7pm-8am and weekends, call display and voicemail included, 2500 text messages for free. That’s more than I’d ever need! And it cost $25 + tax. That’s it. No nag, no additional charges!
2. Your Turn
We students are poor. This is a huge money saver right here. You have to do this. Call your service provider, even if they are not Fido. You can still refer to this plan and ask them to compete for your service. Below is an outline of what you can do
- Examine your phone bills for the last 3 months and identify any errors or questionable charges. I saw that a lot of phone calls in Abbotsford are labelled ROAMING and thus could make an argument with the rep
- Call your service provider and explain the situation. It could be that you were charged too much or there was something suspicious about your bill and ask the rep to go over the bills with you. More likely than not, he/she will stumble and bam, you’ve got their neck!
- Now pause for a moment. Don’t tell them what you want yet. After grabbing their neck, let them come up with something first. If the rep can’t do anything for you:
- ask him how much it costs if you were to cancel the plan (again, you have no intention on cancelling yet, at least not until you talk to the Customer Relations department)
- The rep is likely to transfer you to the CR department
- If asked, explain again your concern. If he or she doesn’t give you the plan right away, do what Ramit Sethi recommended over at iwilltechyoutoberich.com
You: “Listen, you know times are tough and I need to get a better deal to stick with you guys. You know and I know that your customer acquisition cost is hundreds of dollars. It just makes sense to keep me as a customer, so what can you do to offer me this plan for less money?”
7. I bet 10/10 that they would have to either reduce your existing plan or give you a much better plan that is “not available anywhere else”!
As strange as it may seem, this is nothing more than bargaining. The reason why wireless phones are so expensive is because that’s how much you (other people) are willing to pay. If we were just to bargain like every where else in the world, more money would be in your pockets instead of going toward their tall and air-conditioned towers. Go bargain go!