If you are considering buying a shiny new generation iPhone (or indeed any other phone), the first thing you have to deal with is the dreaded contract. Our friends at Student Beans have put together a handy guide to getting a cheaper phone contract, so that you don’t have to be thinking about data and minutes, when all you want to do is download Snapchat.
Here are 10 tips to get the most amazing deal:
1. Check your usage
Have a look at your bills. They will show you how much of your monthly service allowance you actually use. They you need to ask yourself some questions: Do I really need unlimited calls, text AND internet? Should I really be sending so many picture messages of cats?
Work out the kind of package that would be best for you, based on what you actually use. If you can get away with using less, then do!
2. Do your research
Knowledge is your friend; the more you know the easier it will be to negotiate a good deal. Sales people can tell if you’re unsure and will try to corner you into getting something that you don’t necessarily want. Find out everything about the phone you want and similar models from other manufacturers, you may even find that another phone better matches your needs. Check the price comparison websites to see which companies are offering the best deals, this will be valuable info when you speak to your service provider.
3. Call rather than go into the shop
If you find situations like this a little intimidating then you’re better off getting on the phone rather than going into your local branch of Generic Phone Retailer. You want to be as comfortable as possible when getting a new phone but you also want to get a good deal; renewing your contract online won’t get you maximum value for money as there’s no way to ask for reduced tariffs or increased services.
4. Remember your manners
You often hear stories about customers shouting and screaming until they get want they want; we think that retaining your dignity is worth more than an extra 250MB of data. If you are nice to the people at the other end of the phone they will generally be more inclined to help you get a better deal.
That said, you’re not calling to help them meet their quota, you’re on a mission. Go in with a clear idea of what you want and ask them politely for their best deal, then keep asking them to improve it. The worst anyone can do is say no.
5. ‘Loyal customer’
This phrase will be your closest ally in negotiations. Once you’ve been quoted what you * think * is the best deal, ask for a customer loyalty discount. If you’ve been with one company for a few years, you are likely to be eligible for a reduction in your monthly tariff. Even if you haven’t been with a company for a long time, it’s still worth a try. Have your research to hand - if another company has a better offer for the same phone, say so. If your provider wants you as a customer, they will do what they can to keep you.
6. Disconnections departments / customer retentions
If your new friend on the phone isn’t budging on the price, tell them that you’re going to have to leave. The aim here is to get to the ‘disconnections department’, which is actually ‘customer retentions’. The people working in this department have greater authority to reduce prices and increase services to stop you taking your business elsewhere. Repeat your request to ‘disconnections’ and generally they will oblige.
7. Don’t feel obliged to make a decision there and then
If you reach a dead-end and it seems like cancelling your contract is all that’s left, don’t feel like you have to. Tell the advisor that you need more time to think, make a note of the best deal they can offer and ask for their extension. Have another go and see if you can speak to someone else, they may be more willing to help. Call some of the other companies and give them your situation, they may well offer you a better deal to try and steal you away. Make a note of everything then have a sit-down and think, ideally with a cuppa.
8. iPhones are expensive
Not just for you, but for the phone company too. Apple are notoriously strict in their price setting and they have a bottom line price that they almost never budge on. This means that the amount your service provider can knock off an iPhone is significantly less than any of their major rivals’ handsets. Always ask for money off but don’t be surprised if it’s not as much as you want.
9. Recycle your phone
If you no longer need your phone because a shiny new one is coming soon, why not make a bit of cash from it rather than letting it gather dust? Most service providers offer a recycling service, so when you call about your contract ask if they will buy back your old phone. Depending on the handset and condition you could get £100!
10. Do you even need a new phone?
If your current handset is still in good nick you could save yourself a bit of cash by transferring to a SIM only contract. You get a much better deal on texts, calls and internet and you can cancel any time, typically with 30 days notice. If you stick with your current service provider you can usually haggle for an even better deal and remain eligible for loyalty discounts if you decide to go back to a phone-based plan.
Check out these awesome phone deals from Student Beans: