Your phone bill can skyrocket without you knowing, but there is always room for negotiations. You can change your plan, switch to a different carrier or find ways to minimize your data usage.
Here are five tips to enjoy significant savings on your monthly phone bill:
1. Review your previous bills
The best way to determine the average data, call minutes and texts you consume is to look at your previous phone bills. Check if your current postpaid subscription matches your activity level.
For instance, if you are paying for 10GB of data each month but you are just using 5GB on average, you must lower your monthly data limit. On the contrary, if you are using more than 10GB of data, you can either increase your data limit or lower your data usage.
How to Lower your Data Usage
Connect to Wi-Fi whenever possible
If you are at work, at home or any place where a trusted connection is available, you must use the Wi-Fi. This can dramatically reduce your data usage. A data tracking app is helpful because it sends you alerts if you are nearing your data limit. This way, you don’t have to pay for overage charges.
Monitor your data usage
It is a smart move to use a third-party app so you know which apps are draining your data even when they are not in use. Remember that games and other apps that are supported by ads will make use of a significant amount of data.
Use mobile messaging apps
There are plenty of mobile messaging apps you can use today instead of sending SMS. With these apps, you can get rid of the unlimited texting charge from your plan. But be aware that unless you connect to Wi-Fi, doing so will increase your data usage.
Try Wi-Fi calling
If your carrier and mobile phone support it, you can actually make calls over Wi-Fi. Instead of subscribing to the unlimited calling plan, you can just use available Wi-Fi spots to make calls.
2. Regularly check for lower-cost plans
Log in to your account on your carrier’s website and check if there are new, lower-cost plans. Make sure that all fees are included in the quote by choosing a plan and navigating to the confirmation page. Here, you will see the actual price that includes fees and taxes. From there, determine if you are saving any money or not.
You can also get in touch with your carrier in-store. A representative will be able to assist you and provide information on promotions that may not be published in the usual channels.
3. Get a shared phone plan
Carriers like Zain allow you to share call minutes, texts and data with your loved ones. But if you are using your plan for business, you can enjoy unlimited Closed User Group (CUG) minutes. Join your account with your child, spouse, parent or friend, and you may be surprised at how much you can save.
When looking for a new plan, make sure to opt for one that offers rollover data and minutes instead of the usual use-it-or-lose-it plan. Also check if the plan offers regular device upgrades so you can have a new device every one to two years.
4. Consider other carriers
Switching to a different carrier is also a great way to save money. It is only by comparison that you will know which carrier offers more for the same price. But remember that some service providers offer special deals only for new customers. This means that the monthly cost can increase once the deal ends.
Furthermore, check if there are penalties if you cancel your contract with your current carrier and if this can be covered by your new carrier. Most importantly, make sure that your device works well with the new carrier.
5. Go prepaid
A postpaid plan is not your only option because you can also opt for a prepaid plan. So don’t forget to ask your carrier about it.
Prepaid plans don’t have data overage fees and won’t require credit checks. But before making the shift, you must check coverage maps and determine if this is a reliable option by asking people within your neighborhood or current users if they use the prepaid plan and are satisfied. Also, check what your carrier offers when it comes to prepaid plans. Most importantly, ask if you can use your current device for it.
You don’t have to suffer from expensive monthly phone bills. There are ways for you to prevent this, from reviewing your bills, to checking for lower-cost plans, to sharing your plan with others, to going prepaid when necessary. And by reducing your data usage or eliminating unlimited calls and SMS from your plan, you can even save money!
Al-moottil P Antony is a C-Suite Executive Support Professional for Zain, a leading mobile and data services operator with a commercial footprint in 8 Middle Eastern and African countries.