Bundle Your Services
Bundling your cell phone, internet, TV and home phone with the same company saves a ton of money!
Phone companies are eager for your loyal business, so they’re willing to offer you discounts in exchange for bundling more services with them. Try it: add up your internet, home phone, tv, and cell phone bills separately, then compare it to the price of a bundled package of all four. Even thrifty shoppers will be surprised to see the bundled price is less expensive.
But don’t take the bundled price at face value. Research the prices posted at each company’s website, and contact customer service to ask for any discounts or coupons available. Canadians can often snag a discount of 15-25%, but only if they ask for it. Once you get a quote over the phone, you can contact another company with some leverage and purchase your services from the lowest bidder.
This low-price bundle does mean that all of your eggs are in one basket so to speak. If services are down with one provider they may be down across the board. And if you ever want to leave, you may have a contract left on one service or another; bundles often require a contract commitment.
Unfortunately, not all providers offer every service, so bundling may not be possible. The providers that do have bundling options may not have them available in your area.
Call Your Carrier
You might be able to take advantage of new promotions or get them to price match competitors.
Your phone carrier can do more than just bundle services. Call them to let them know that you are frustrated with the price of your bill and you want to lower it. Remain professional and polite. The customer service reps are trained to open your account and review your customer history. The longer you have been a customer, the more eager your company will be to keep your business. There is often a new promotion or a more efficient plan available, you only have to ask.
If the first person you’re speaking with isn’t helpful, ask to escalate. Get to the loyalty or the retention department and complain. Let them know something has to be done about your bill or you may have to switch providers. The more specific you can be the better. If you research prices beforehand and have exact prices to quote, you are more likely to be taken seriously.
Your company might not be able to get your bill any lower than it already is, and they may call you on switching providers. You should be serious about making the change if they are not willing to negotiate. At least you will be able to get a bottom-dollar option from your current provider to use as a bargaining chip with other companies.
Beware of the Lowest Price You See
Just because it’s the cheapest doesn’t mean it’s the best; your plan has to meet your usage requirements.
Freedom Mobile (formerly Wind Mobile) is typically ranked among the absolute cheapest phone provider in Canada. The price you see isn’t always what you get. There are extra costs like taxes, fees and in Freedom Mobile’s case, lots of roaming charges. They’re notorious for spotty coverage: add this to their limited coverage, hidden and extra fees can add up fast, even if you’re just traveling out of your city and not the country.
Freedom Mobile was just bought out by Shaw Communications, and they’ve promised to increase coverage going forward. The Central Toronto and Vancouver areas already have increased LTE coverage, and the newly-branded Freedom Mobile is promising coverage to rollout to all areas in 2017.
If you don’t roam much, Freedom Mobile might be the best price option for you. They’re gonna save you big time on unlimited calls and texts to Canada and the US compared to a Rogers plan ($55/mo compared to $110/mo).
Reduce Those Pesky Extra Fees
Manage your data and set limits with apps.
It can be hard to get by with the limited data you have, but you can take steps to reduce that. Always connect to wi-fi when it is available. Avoid data-heavy apps like Netflix, YouTube, and other media streaming sites. You should always monitor and keep track of how much data you and the rest of the people on your plan have used.
iPhone users can download a free data manager on the app store. My Data Manager is a highly-rated free app that can show you how much data is left in your cycle, how much each person on your plan has used, and alert you to data usage before you get gouged for a costly extra fee.
Samsung users have a data manager built in that allows them to set data limits. If you get to your monthly limit before your cycle is over it will automatically turn off your data (unless you tell it you want it back on).
- Get to your settings
- Touch “Data Usage”
- Touch “Set Mobile Data Limit”
- Touch “Data Usage Cycle”
- Touch “Change Cycle”
- Set to your billing cycle date for accuracy
Your phone’s data manager and an app store data manager may be considered “third party tools” by your company. The data sometimes varies slightly. This is typically by less than .1%, but it can sometimes cause a bill that you didn’t expect when you’re on the cusp of the limit. This is because of the way data charges are calculated; certain activities like text messaging are not considered data usage by most third party data managers, but providers may consider them data if you sent video or images.
To get around this, set your data limit a little bit lower than your actual limit. If it warns you and you’re near the end of the month, you can proceed using data with caution.