We get a lot of questions and complaints about the cellphone shopping process, so we thought we’d put together a list of 5 things consumers say to cellphone sales reps that they really should just keep to themselves. Enjoy.
1) I don’t need any extra features or accessories, so don’t bother trying to sell them to me.
Cellphone sales reps are under a lot of pressure to sell features and accessories. Go ahead and use this information to your advantage. Avoid expensive accessories, but go ahead and see if you can’t use extra features as leverage. Need that data plan anyway? They don’t need to know that. Let them convince you.
2) I’m under contract with you guys, can I have a better phone anyway?
The answer to this question is “no.” If you’re under contract, the sales reps have no reason to give you a deal on a phone, unless you’re close to your contract expiration date. Even then, you’d be better off waiting until your contract is up and shopping around for the best deal.
3) I’ve been a loyal customer for many years! There’s no way I’m switching! Reward me!
You can try calling your cellphone company and asking for a “loyalty credit” before heading over to the store to begin your negotiation, but keep in mind that sales reps tend to get less commission for retaining customers than they do for getting new accounts. You’re probably going to get the best deal from a company that considers you a new customer.
4) Yes, I would like a 2 year contact!
You ideally want no contract. If that’s not possible, you’d like a one year contract. Cellphone reps tell us again and again that there’s no real benefit to you, the consumer, for signing up for a 2 year contract. Sometimes you can’t avoid it, but you owe it to yourself to try.
5) I have not shopped around, I do not know what your competitors are offering, and I have no idea what the hell is going on right now.
Shop around. Look at each company’s website. Check out the phones. Read reviews. Learn about the plans. Then go around to each company and ask when they’re willing to offer you. Write each offer down. Now you can start your negotiation. Don’t believe this is possible? Check out this letter from a reader who used tips from Consumerist to save lots of money on his new cellphone plan.
Bonus Tip: Go cellphone shopping at the end of the month, when some reps are under increased pressure to meet their quotas.
We know you have lots of cellphone shopping tips. Add them to the comments and help your fellow man.
(Photo: medalian1 )