cell phone

Top 5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Cell Phone Plan

Posted on March 2, 2007. Filed under: cell phone, tips |

Below are my top 5 tips that you can use to get the most out of your cell phone plan. Some tips may not apply depending on where you live (some carriers have horrible service in certain locations)

1. Switch carriers every year

When you are new customer and sign up for a cell phone plan with a provider they always give you those sweet incentives. The newest phones are free, you get extra minutes, etc. This is because each provider spends upwards of $300 to acquire each new customer (advertising, rebates to cell phone stores). But when they already have you as a customer, there are very little incentives to keep you as a customer. Thanks to number portability, you can change your cell phone provider, keep your number, and get a sweet new phone every year!

Make sure you do not get locked in a two year contract! They might give you a better deal but it don’t be worth it in the long run. Two years is a long time; new phones and new plans come out all the time.

2. Make money by getting a new phone

Go on Amazon.com to the wireless section. Some of the phones they offer actually earn you money (after rebates). However, make sure you read the fine print, some carriers (Cingular) will not let you transfer phone numbers.

3. Text as little as possible

Texting in America, unlike Europe and Asia is expensive. Without a texting plan, each text is 10 cents! Although it might seem a small amount. Trust me, it adds up really quick. If possible, call the person instead.

4. Don’t renew your contract

Like I said in the first tip, cell phone carriers are much more willing to give out incentives to new customers. If you are an old customer, there not as inclined to give you the good deals. For example, Verizon only gives you a $50 credit towards a new phone if you resign for 2 years! Thats ridiculous! You can change to a new provider, get entirely free phones and only sign a one year contract.

5. Visit your local Chinatown

In my experience, the local Chinatown offers some of the best deals in cell phones. I was able to get a Sony Ericcson K800i (3.2 mega pixel camera, mp3 player, etc) for $100 with a 1 year contract with t-mobile. The reason I was able to get it so cheap is that the carriers will pay the cell phone store (around $300 for each customer) they sign up. The cell phone store then passes the saving onto you.

Whats also cool is that you are able to get phones not for sale in North America. You’re able to get your hands on the cool phones that are sold in Hong Kong and China.

I recommend going to Chinatown and browsing the cell phone stores for phones you’re interested in. And don’t forget to bargain!

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