Mobile phone bills seem to steadily inch upward year after year… Especially if you’re regularly upgrading phones or using one of the big service providers.
So what's your options when your mobile phone bill makes your wallet want to run and hide?
You could call up your service provider and talk about a new phone plan or a discount.
But let’s be honest here…
That takes time and isn’t exactly fun.
So what can you do if the thought of calling up your carrier and haggling your way to victory sounds too stressful?
Yep, that’s right. There’s a whole market emerging around services designed to save you money on your monthly bills.
You skip the calls and negotiations and rake in the savings.
Sounds too good to be true right?
Turns out, there are legit options available.
A Quick Look at How These Services Work
We want to get one thing out of the way first…
These services don’t do anything you can’t do yourself.
In fact, we have a handy guide for negotiating your bill yourself already. It even includes a script so you don’t have to worry about what to say.
That said, these services do offer convenience.
Many will also monitor your bill for a period of time to ensure that you don’t miss additional savings opportunities and that service providers follow through on their promises.
So how does it work?
The steps differ slightly between providers, but the general steps look something like this:
Create an account and submit your information. In most cases, this is done using an online form. Before you enter any sensitive information, be sure the site is using HTTPS. If you can avoid sending sensitive information over email, we’d recommend it. With the state of security these days, you can never be too safe. Some companies also do a consultation call. This is probably the simplest method if you don’t mind spending 5 minutes on the phone to start things off.
Authorize the service to speak on your behalf. Most phone service providers will require you to confirm that you want the negotiators to speak on your behalf. While it’s a bit of a pain to conference call in, most companies handle this for you and the process only takes a few seconds. And, again, security is good.
Wait. This is the longest part of the entire process. Most services only require a day or two. Though if they don’t have any luck at first, they might keep checking back for you. Be sure to check with the service to see their time frames and recommendations.
Take the Deal (or Don’t). Once the negotiating service finds savings, they’ll get in touch with you to confirm whether the deal sounds good to you. If it does, you’ll agree and they’ll set the changes in motion. Don’t like the deal? Tell the negotiators and most will keep looking and let you know if they find a better option later.
Pay the Negotiation Service. In most cases, there’s no fee unless they find savings. If they do, rates run between 25% and 50% of the total you’d save over 1 to 2 years. Some services allow you to pay the fee each month as your new, lower bills roll in. Others request a lump sum payment after changes are finalized on your account.
For example, let’s pretend you signed up and they saved you $50 a month on your bill.
They might request a monthly payment of $16 for the next 12 months in exchange for the service provided.
After a year, you’ll see your full savings.
Alternatively, they might give you the option to pay $200 at once--roughly equivalent to the sum of the monthly payments.
You’ll see your full savings upfront, but it’ll take 4 months to break even on what you spent on the service.
That’s all there is to it!
A few minutes on the phone to establish information and expectations, followed by a few days or weeks of waiting for results.
You stay in control the entire time without the heated discussions, waiting on hold and the stressful back and forth.
Are They Worth the Cost?
These services have in-depth knowledge of the current market, competitor deals, common promotional deals.
They also know exactly who to talk to and where most carriers draw the line on savings.
This knowledge (and the convenience of not having to call yourself) is what you’re paying for.
If you don’t mind researching competing offers, waiting on hold and being stern with customer service agents, you might save more by negotiating with your phone service provider yourself. Mainly because you’re not paying a middleman to do the negotiating.
However, for the average person, unless you are willing to dedicate a significant chunk of time to researching options and possibly deal with multiple rounds of negotiations, there’s a good chance a service would save you more.
Moreso, for many people, the ability to provide a bit of information to a negotiator and let them handle the rest is well worth the cost.
This is particularly true if you have multiple accounts or services you’d like negotiated.
While there's a range of services for negotiating your cellphone bill in the US, options in CA are limited.
The only reputable consumer-based service we could find was MyBillsAreHigh. You can see their details below.
|Company||How It Works||What You Pay||More Info|
|Sign up for a free consultation and they'll gather information about your current bills.||
If they cannot find you savings, you don't pay anything
If they do, you'll pay a portion of the total savings as a service fee. Exact totals will depend on the amount saved and complexity of your billing situation.
If you're a business, there's a few more options:
|Company||How It Works||What You Pay||More Info|
|You provide the information about your accounts and required features and they'll set to work optimizing your plans, auditing your bills and finding savings opportunities.||
Costs are not mentioned on their site. However, they offer a consultation to discuss details and outline expenses.
|PBC Communications Inc takes a look at your current accounts and bills, as well as past bills, to understand your needs. It then audits bills and looks for opportunities to save you money.||Costs are not mentioned on their site. However, they offer a consultation to discuss details and outline expenses.||PBC Communications, Inc|
|CMC and Co looks for opportunities in your existing bills to save you money. Services include bill audits, negotiation and price comparisons.||Costs are not mentioned on their site. However, they offer a consultation to discuss details and outline expenses.||CMC and Co|
Be sure to confirm details with a service provider before agreeing to anything.
As fees and terms differ between providers, check out all of your options to ensure the best deal.
The services we listed above don’t charge anything unless you save, making them a fairly risk-free way to check your options.
Even if they find savings, you’ll never pay more than a portion of your savings. So there’s really no way to lose.
Not sure if you’re getting the best savings?
Once you’ve received a price from a negotiator, call your carrier and see if you can do better.
If you can, call the negotiator and deny the deal. If you can’t, then you can accept the deal knowing that your bill is optimized to the fullest.
Just remember to check specific requirements before agreeing to anything.
This will help you establish a timeline of what to expect and that you won’t be surprised when your next bill rolls in.
Have you used one of these services to save money on your cell phone bill? Have a favourite service provider we might have missed or a question we didn’t cover? We want to hear about it in the comments below!