Lynsey is employed in the financial sector and also has experience in improving her own expenses. She enjoys sharing any tips along the way.
Usually, the best deals with providers- whether electricity, gas or mobile phones- are for NEW customers. You can often find vouchers, cash back offers or even free gifts when signing up for a new provider, but often returning customers are left unable to claim those incentives, even when their existing contract has run out. I have found this to be particularly true of mobile phone providers...
However, when it comes to business, there is one thing that is just as good as a new customer- a returning one. If someone is so happy with the service that they come back, a business can make a reliable income from a stable customer base.
With that in mind, the returning consumer has more power than ever to haggle to get a better deal on their purchases. But, haggling is such an outdated concept that no-one knows how to do it!
Whether a new or returning customer, I aim to help you learn how to negotiate the best mobile phone contract, tailored to your needs.
The first step to getting a good deal is: research. "What am I looking for?" I hear you ask!
Look at the package features you would like to have, as well as those that would be a nice bonus to your package- such as internet, sms, call minutes.
Look at phone models you would be happy with. What is essential for your phone to have? A camera, 3G, radio? (if applicable, some people are happy with sim only deals)
Look at offers and deals that are available at the moment from all of the leading providers- who offers the best deal in relation to your wish lists?
Now, decide on your budget. Be realistic- you wont get unlimited everything plus the latest iPhone for 5 bucks, but you can always try!
Write down a list of essential components, as well as any wish list items, ensuring that you are happy with your choices. Once you have your list, you are ready to approach the provider.
Whether you are a new customer, or an existing customer, it is likely that you already know which provider you would ideally like to go with. Whether it be good coverage, value for money, or exclusive phone models, that choice is yours alone.
If, like me, you never change your provider and always pay your bill on time, you will be a valued customer and your current provider will be eager, if not desperate, to keep you. Keep this in mind!
On the other hand, new customers are also valued as they allow the business to grow. You are a valued potential customer, and be aware that even if current introductory offers don't appeal to you, they should be able to tailor something better suited.
Either way, remember that contract customers provide mobile companies with a regular, reliable income each month- they don't want to lose you to the competition!
Consider Sim- Only?
Call Your Chosen Mobile Provider
I know that it's tempting to click click click on the internet to get the best deals, but calling your provider is possibly the best way to get a tailored deal to suit you. (depending on the company) Speaking to a human is better, as there is more flexibility than checking a box and regretting it when the bill appears. All calls are recorded, so if any errors are made, there will be evidence of it, and the phone company will be liable to upkeep their verbal contract from the call, or risk defaulting on the contract.
Don't be nervous!!! Here are a few tips to help you through the phone call.
- Stick to your list, but be open to alternatives.
- Have a computer handy to look up alternate phone models offered- some are just as good as your wish list, if not better!
- Don't give your rep selling points. Don't reveal why you want to use your preferred provider- they will use this to try to sway you and close the sale!
- Don't reveal your budget- use terms like "I'm looking for more value for money" or "I like the package, but not the price" when made an offer that doesn't quite suit your budget. Don't go above your maximum!!
- Remember, they are not the ONLY phone providers in the world- know that they are aware of this, and of their competition!
- Let them know you have done your research eg. "Virgin are offering the X phone, with Y Texts and Z minutes for half that price!"
- Don't be forced into an instant decision- you can call back once you have evaluated whether the offer will work for you. Remember that this decision will be with you for at least a year, so you can take a couple of days to decide if you wish.
- Be confident- don't be swayed to accept something you don't want- it's up to you!
- If your rep doesn't seem to be very forthcoming with offers, ask to speak to a manager- they will have more authority, so will perhaps be better able to tailor a package that suits your needs.
- If they fall short on too many of the things on your list, let them know that you intend on going to a competitor. For existing customers- expect a grovelling call within a week! For Newbies, consider taking your business elsewhere.
Enjoy Your Phone
Even if everything is signed, sealed and delivered, it doesn't mean you are restricted to the same usage for the minimum contract term. Many providers allow you to add extras at any stage of your contract, so if you become more affluent and want to splash out and add some more internet allowance or picture messages, feel free. Remember, if you don't ask, you don't get!!!
© 2013 Lynsey Hart
Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on March 26, 2013:
Thanks! Yeah, it can be used with pretty much anything :)
Nell Rose from England on March 25, 2013:
Hi, this is so useful, I am trying to get a new pc deal at the moment, same thing really, and I did need to know what to say, how to get the right one and so on, so thanks! voted up and shared! nell