Whether your current smartphone voice and data plan is up for renewal or you want the latest phone, negotiating a new contract may seem overwhelming. It’s worth taking some time to research plans and negotiate to be sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Cutting as little as $20 a month off your bill could save you almost $500 on a two-year contract. As a LegalShield member, you can have your provider law firm review a contract before you sign, to make sure you understand all the fine print. Here’s what you need to know.
- New Phone – While buying a new phone outright is the least expensive option in the long run, many consumers cannot afford to pay as much as $800 to $1,000 for the latest phone. All major carriers offer monthly installment plans and even leasing options for new phones. Your credit rating will impact the financing available to you, so it is important to check your credit report for errors. Before you sign up for an installment plan make sure you understand the terms and exactly how much you will pay. Finance charges may add hundreds of dollars to the price of the phone. Call your LegalShield provider if you need help reviewing financing or lease terms.
- Changing Providers – If you are still under a contract you may need to finish out the term or pay the early termination fee. In return for signing a new contract, many carriers offer promotions to help you pay off early termination fees with your old provider. Make sure you factor in any potential payments remaining for your device. Just because you get out of the data and calling plan doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for financing your phone.
- New Contract – Keep in mind, sales staff generally work on commission and want to make the sale. To negotiate the best rate, do your homework. Track how much data you use each month, to make sure you will not get hit with overages on a new contract. If your usage is high, consider an unlimited plan. Research prices from all the major carriers so you know what is available. Ask about fees and taxes, which can add up. Take advantage of special offers and promotions, like waiving activation fees or discounts on a new phone. Finally, don’t be afraid to walk away or take some time to think it over before you sign. The negotiating power is in your hands.