How To Save Money On Your Mobile Phone Bills?
July 23, 2013 1 Comment
The first piece of obvious advice would be to use your mobile phone less. This is an obvious piece of advice, but one that is woefully underrated. For example, on many mobile phones you are charged for calling free numbers such as 0800 numbers. So, why not use your landline or a payphone for such calls? Also, consider the fact that you do not have to give your friends or family running updates on what you are doing. If you really have to contact people for such matters, then save up the stories of your daily activities and make one phone call in the evening, or send a batch of text messages at night or after work/school.
Check your actual consumption before signing up for a package deal
This is something you should do because many people incorrectly guess their actual amount of phone usage. This will result in people having to “use up” their credit, calls, texts near the end of each month. If this is the case then you should seriously consider lowering your subscription. You should also take serious stock of how much you use your phone prior to signing up for a package cell phone deal.
Check your actual usage
This relates to the first point at how people often find themselves having to “use up” their free messages or 3G or call time because they have oversubscribed in a desperate bid to get a better price. The Billmonitor.com website did research with a test group and found that only 30% of the people actually exceeded their subscription amount and had to pay extra.
Having to pay extra is a bad thing
Paying extra is obviously a bad thing, but so is paying for a subscription that you are not fully using. You should calculate how much you are actually using your phone by looking at your bills and creating a realistic usage number. You cannot simply assume that you use your phone a certain amount, because that assumption is always going to fall into the figures that your phone company are offering you (that is how they ensnare so many people with their deals).
Get a solid idea of your consumption before shopping around
Other online experts are going to tell you to shop around, and in most circumstances it is good advice. But, with shopping for cell phone packages/plans, you need to have a solid idea of your consumption first. And, then you need to hunt around for the package that suits your consumption. Do not simply look online for the cheapest deals, because there are literally thousands of plans out there and the marketing companies will slowly manipulate you into buying the plan/package that suits them as oppose to the one that suits you.
The package deals make more seem like much more
They will show you a hierarchy of payment plans, and they will make the slightly more expensive deals seem like a fantastic deal. This is called up-selling, and it is where you ensnare a customer with a very low price, and then up-sell in order to have them pay more. It comes in the guise of offering you a lot more when compared to the slightly cheaper deal.
An example of the up-sell
For example, a 1000 text per month package may be upgraded for a 6000 text per month package for just a few extra dollars per week. But, if you only use 900 texts per month, then there is no real benefit. You should also keep in mind that they are offering such enticing upgrades because they make their money via the up-sell premise. If they had started with the 6000 text per month plan, they would not have gained your initial interest.
Do not consider the things you are missing
If you want to avoid falling into the trap of being up-sold to, then you should ignore the things that you are missing. With the example above, if you were never told that the next plan up has 5000 more free texts then you would have simply gone for the cheaper deal. When you see that the slightly more expensive deals have more, simply ignore them. This leads you onto to the next piece of advice.
Consider the yearly cost
The slightly more expensive deals will sell themselves by telling you that it is just a few cents more per day or week. Or they will tell you that for just $X more per month you can have all of the benefits. But, you need to calculate the cost over the course of the year. For example, when they say “For just 20c more per day”, they are actually saying, “For just $109.50 more per year.” When they say, “For just $2 extra per week, you can have…,” they are actually saying, “For just $104 extra per week, you can have…” The marketing companies know that the original cheap cost is the one that sticks in your mind, so you have to work against the influence of marketing.
Use the free elements of your package first
If you get a certain number of free texts per month or free minutes per month, then use these first. It is difficult sometimes, for example, if you have friends who text you all the time and most of your freebies are call minutes (or vice versa). If often means that you have to use up your free text messages and start paying for them by the last week of the month. But, you will just have to be brave and call your friends. Wait until you have accumulated a few texts and give them a call. Or, you could opt for a package that allows you more free text messages and less free minutes.
Resist the urge to fall for longer cell phone subscriptions
The longer lasting cell phone subscription plans/packages are always the most enticing. They offer you a cheaper monthly rate. However, once you have bought it you are locked in. This means that if the plan is not right for you then you are stuck with it.
The two ways you can deal with the long subscription temptation
There are two ways that you can deal with this. You can opt for shorter subscriptions, which is often the shrewder move because it allows for the unexpected. Or, you can save some money with a longer subscription, but you have to be ultra careful that you are making the right decision and that nothing is going to change over the course of your subscription, such as that you are not going to get a new phone or suddenly need more call minutes.
This post is written by Kate Funk from Tutorsclass.