Anyone with a mobile contract that’s ended after 24 months and is still paying the same amount they were when they first took it is throwing money down the drain. Chances are the plan you’re on factored in handset repayments so you’re now overpaying by a big chunk every month.
When this happens, it’s all about haggling to get yourself a cheaper monthly plan or more minutes, texts or data. In fact, you have three choices: upgrade to a new phone with your existing provider, switch to a sim only deal and keep your current phone or cancel your contract and move to a new provider.
Since I am all about saving money and cutting our monthly bills, I think it’s best to go keep your phone and switch to a SIM only plan. So how do you go about doing that?
Speak with your current network provider
The first port of call is to get in touch with your network and tell them you want to change tariff to either a 30 day or 12-month sim only plan and you want their best price. Get the deal from them and make a note of it.
Don’t agree to anything yet as you want to compare what the market has to offer.
See if you can source a cheaper deal elsewhere
Several mobile phone comparison sites are ideal for quickly finding the best prices – put in your usage details and you will soon find cheapest tariffs and packages available.
Make a note of these, where you found them, what they come with (minutes, texts, data) and their prices. You can then compare them to what your existing network provider offered you, in my experience, it’s never as good.
The best sort of deals are the ones that give you a competitive price but don’t remove your flexibility by tying you in again for another 12 or 24 months.
Most networks now offer pre-paid SIM deals that renew every 30 days, these often carry the moniker ‘no credit check sim only’ but all they are is just a SIM card where pay for the usage up front. Giffgaff, for example, are one of the most popular providers of this type of deal with their ‘goodybag’ format.
If the deal your existing network offered doesn’t match up to the ones you have found elsewhere then it’s time to negotiate:
Speak to ‘disconnections’ or what is really the customer retention dept.
The disconnections department is really another name for ‘customer retentions’. So their job is to keep your business, not disconnect you.
Once connected, let them know you want to leave as you have found a better deal elsewhere. Don’t be vague either – tell them the exact deal you have found and where you found it. Then see what the person can come up with.
Does it come close to the deals you found elsewhere? If yes, then you are in business.
But don’t think the job is done just yet. Never go with the first offer. Chances are, it’s not the best deal they can do.
Here are some handy phrases you can use to get some more money off:
- ‘I’ve worked out my max budget, and it’s X per month.’
- ‘Your offer is ok, but X can do it for less.’
- ‘I need to think about it.’
- ‘What’s the very best you can do?’
What if they can’t match the deal?
If they can’t match the deal just buy yourself some time and say you will think about it and end the call or live chat.
At this point, if there are better deals elsewhere, you really should consider changing network provider and going with the best deal on another network.
But if you don’t want to change, then it’s always possible to call again, speak to someone else and get a different deal offered! I have heard rumours that staff at some networks have different quotas of how many deals they can do. Even if that is not true, maybe you spoke to the wrong person at the wrong time when you first tried. Calling back a few days later and talking to someone else can pay dividends.
Ask if they can throw in extras
If the network doesn’t meet your target price, see if they can include any extras, like a bigger data allowance or promos they run with partner companies.
Finally, if your network cannot come anywhere close to the deals, you have found for new customers on the comparison sites, vote with your feet and switch. It’s not difficult to do, and it’s easy to keep your number.
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