How to snag the best deals on home and cell phone plans

It seems you can't get along these days without a cell phone nearby: from buying airline tickets to checking out movie reviews, almost everyone has (and uses) one. The problem? Buying a cell phone and data package can be a costly business, especially if you still have an old-fashioned landline. But there are ways to control these costs and get the most out of your phones. Here are a few simple tips.

How to snag the best deals on home and cell phone plans

Finding the right cell phone plan

Before signing any cell phone contract, make sure you're getting exactly what you want for the lowest price possible. The process should begin with a bit of self-reflection and some online research.

Assess your phone habits
First, draw up a list of your phone habits and write them down. It will help you to choose the right network plan and enable you to see what functions and features you really need in a phone.

Look around online
Next, go online and visit prospective telephone service providers' websites. A quick visit to each company's website allows you to see the full range of prices.

Seek out extras
Then, while browsing the website, see what "extras" the company is willing to offer or if there are special limited-time discounts on prices.

  • Many contracts offer perks, such as free phones, if you stay with the company for a fixed period of time. This is worthwhile if you're satisfied with your choice of network.

Ask for incentives
Lastly, see if your current service provider can offer an incentive for you to stay aboard once your contract is up; otherwise, hunt for a better deal.

  • Incentives could include maintaining the same price as before, upping your allowed data usage without hiking the price and even upgrading your phone at no cost to you. What's more, if you already use a company for Internet service, they may reduce your overall bill if you add cell phone service to it.

Whatever you do, remember that it usually isn't worthwhile to cancel your contract early because cancellation fees can be high. That's why before you commit to a long-term contract, be sure of the service plan you need.

Still need a landline?

For some people, the convenience of a cell phone outweighs the need to maintain a landline. While others prefer to have two separate phone numbers. Fortunately, the deregulation of landline phone service means that there are now money-saving local and long-distance services available. What's more, you needn't change your phone number to switch to a new company.

  • There are various independent phone service providers that buy up capacity in the global phone networks and offer discounted long-distance rates within Canada and internationally.
  • If you like to chat for hours, wait until the weekend. Some services offer free weekend calls in addition to cut-price weekday calls.

Many service providers don't charge for calls made to people who subscribe to the same service.

  • Family plans can be advantageous as well: one person holds the account while others are added on, paying additional monthly access fees that are less than separate account fees.
  • In addition, if you have teenagers who love talking all the time and surfing the web on their cell phones, some providers allow you (as the account holder) to monitor their data usage and restrict their access.

At the end of the day, having both a cell phone and landline is your decision. However, because phone services, plans and rates change constantly, you should always check with the phone companies first to make sure you're getting the best deal possible.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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