Thursday night I was in the bath tub shaving my legs because we were heading to Millennium Place the next day to go swimming – and well, I didn’t want to freak out the kids at the pool. You know? Being courteous. The kids were there, hanging out; Let’s face it, bath time is not sacred with toddlers and babies.
Until I heard a splash. And a cackle. And, “You’re phone is swimming in the toilet! Haha!” from Olivia. I jumped out of the bath tub and shook it dry, before putting it in a container full of rice, with a whole lot of hope.
Three days in rice and it wasn’t turning on. It was time to make the dreaded phone call to Rogers to see how much it was going to cost to get it replaced. I braced myself after going through the initial phone message that determined I was going to have to pay $229 for an iPhone 5 and $145 in early upgrade fees, fantastic. Not so much.
Speaking with the customer service representative I learned a couple of things. One, there is not an option to put your phone on ‘vacation’ so I was going to have to pay the minimum data plan for the phone if I decided to do this for the rest of the contract. $55/month. Also interesting, is that we changed our phone plan in June, and it restarted the contract, at this point, I’ve had my phone for two years. (They don’t restart your contract anymore when you change your plan). As they’ve changed it, I asked that they honor that and waive the early upgrade fee.
In the end, I opted to replace the phone with an iPhone 4S (free with the current $50 credit available) and the early upgrade fee was waived. I didn’t want to spend anything, and didn’t really need the iPhone 5 – so, overall pretty happy with the offer.
Here are some tips for negotiating with your mobile phone company:
Speak to the Right Department
Most cel phone companies have a certain department that is going to get you better results when you are negotiating your cel phone contract. The customer retention department is going to be willing to negotiate with you for a better phone contract than the customer service representative you are speaking to in sales.
Know the Competition
Check the plans, phone costs and packages that are being offered by the competition. Though the mobile phone company isn’t likely to ‘price match’ so to speak, they are going to be more willing to bend and negotiate for customers that are aware of the prices and offers being offered by the competition.
Be prepared to spend some time on the phone. Between talking to the sales department, to getting transferred to other customer service representatives, managers and customer retention services. Two years ago, when I made an awful decision to purchase an LG smartphone with a sliding keyboard and I wanted to upgrade to an iPhone after only six-months into the contract I phoned Rogers Wireless three times a month. I begged, I pleaded, I threatened to leave and head over to a competing company. It took three months, but I was finally able to get an upgrade without paying the horrendous fees – Be persistent.
Ask About Your Options
Asking about options other than signing a new contract, like the costs of getting out of the contract early and lowering the cost of the phone bill can help you to make the best decision. There might be some options that you didn’t think about.
Know What You are Paying For
Know your plan. Know what it includes and when it expires. Keep note of your recent bills and the entire contract to determine when you are eligible to get a new phone. Being aware is going to save you money and can help you to negotiate your way to a free replacement phone or fee-free early upgrade if you are close to renewal.
Have you been able to negotiate with your cell phone company?