When you own a phone and go for a phone service provider, most of the time, you might not check out bills details and other important things. I personally choose the best (subjective, right?) cell phone service provider and then leave it to them to manage my bills. I just assume they will optimize it for me based on my needs. I believe you are no different than me and even if you are not by a long shot. We mostly assume that we are paying for what we are using. However, this is not the right way to do it. If you are a little proactive about how you handle your cell phone bills, you can easily save yourself as much as $40-$50 per month on your phone bill.
1 of every 3 people reading this (especially in USA) are paying more than what they should be paying for what they actually use. You might even be subscribed to certain features or applications which you don’t even need and also have no idea about them being included in your service. So it’s always advised that you check your bills and its details and launch a compliant if you find any discrepancies. I went through Marco’s bill last month and now he promised me a Pizza for saving him money on his AT&T Road side assistance feature. I mean not that it is useless but he already has it via AAA. However, instead of the Pizza he contributed to this post.
How to reduce cell phone bill costs
Here are a few ways by which, you can keep a tab on your phone bills and make sure that you are getting and paying for just what you need and nothing extra-
Analyze phone bills, put in complaints
First of all, you should analyze the phone bill which you have. If you find anything extra or missing, cross check it with your log list and messages. If you find some problem, you should contact your phone service provider right way. Some service providers require written application through snail mails or email systems. However most of them let you dial a short code, for instance AT&T customers can dial 611 to contact the customer care, similarly T-Mobile users can dial the same 611 number from their phones. Do the necessary but make sure that you let the company know about the problem you have with your bill. If you see that these problems are not being solved and if these questionable mobile phone bills keep piling up, it’s probably time for you to switch to a different phone network provider.
Go over every row in your phone bill and check that you are not paying for any of the services you are not subscribed to. There are all sort of services that you might notice on your bill such as Roadside assistance, GPS, International Roaming, unnecessary insurance etc. If you haven’t used such service in last 2 months and you don’t see a definite event where you need it in near future put a stop at it.
Explore prepaid phone plans
Secondly, you can go for special prepaid phone services or Pay as you go services even with your own provider or others. Many companies offer both prepaid and postpaid phone services. You can go for the prepaid plans so that you pay first and then use your phone. This way, there will be no way by which you’ll be charged for something extra. You’ll know exactly what you’re doing as the money will already be paid. There will be no surprise charges at the end of the month – think of getting stuck with a $10,00 phone bill. However, prepaid is bad if you are out of talktime and need to make calls urgently. There are services which offer a comfortable way out though. Check next section for such.
Switch services, get cheaper calls, keep your number same
Sometimes, changing your number can be a problem. If you are being charged per minute for long distance calls and you want a cheaper option, you can go for a cable service phone provider. For this, you won’t even have to change your existing number. All you have to do is ask the cable phone provider about the service which they provide and put in a request for number transfer. Most cable providers give free and less charged call facilities to most states and nationwide calling is also allowed at cheaper rates. Most providers have such services around Canada and Puerto Rico as well. You can go for a device as well. There are many well known companies which sell VoIP products – read our review of best VoIP services for both home as well as business readers. Such devices can be attached to the phone and you can make cheap calls in the usual way and stop worrying about staggering phone bills.
Reduce cell phone bill while roaming overseas
Our readers who travel a lot ask if they can save money on phone bills while traveling. The answer is yes. If you have an iPhone or Android, then you can download special apps such as ChatTime (free $3 credit), KakaoTalk, Rebtel (free $10 credit) etc., which can help you make a number of free international calls to the United States of America from anywhere in the world. You would have to apply for the package, pay the necessary fee for the service and download the app. After you install it in your system, you can make the provided number of calls within the given time for free. Once you get the service, you can avail to several other facilities too which differ from one company to another. Choose the facilities according to your convenience.
Luxury vs. the bare minimum
The way I define value for money is that every single penny that goes out of your pocket should be for a service you use, not for the services you “can use”. The rest is luxury and if someone intends to offer that you should not be the one paying for it. Here are the bare minimum things which a service provider should be able to give you through your cell phone service plan
- Most have a caller ID detection system. So choose a provider which can give you this facility.
- Call waiting, connecting, holding and conference facilities can also be availed to at cheap rates from certain providers.
- Make sure that the service provider gives 24×7-assistance for customer care service. You might need technical help anytime, so make sure that they are available.
- You should be able to make calls at lower rates (if calls are limited)
Now that you know what to look for, go ahead and choose a credible and reputed cell phone service provider which can give you cheap services of good quality. If you leave a comment with what you already pay and what services do you need, we will help you save some money by doing the homework for you.