How Do I Know If I'm Paying Too Much for My Cellphone Plan?

You can find out if you were paying too much for your cell phone service by reviewing your current plan and then comparing it to plans offered by your own provider, as well as competitors. In many cases, you may find that you are paying too much for services that you simply do not need. It may also be wise to visit a physical retail store to have a professional review your current phone and service.

Cell phone costs can make a huge dent in your budget if you aren't careful. If you are concerned that you are paying too much for your mobile phone plan, it's time to take action. You can't rely on your current provider to let you know if you are paying more than you should be for your service.

Understand Your Current Plan

When is the last time you had a look at your current cell phone plan? If you aren't exactly sure about what you were paying for, now is the time to examine your plan in detail. You can find this information on your most recent bill, or within your provider's mobile app, or on its website.

Make sure you understand the following:

Calls that are unlimited vs. calls that you have to pay for. For example, are you currently paying for international calls or are they included in your plan? What about text messages?

What are your data caps? How much data do you get with your plan each month and what is the cost if you have to purchase additional data?

What extras come with your plan, such as streaming music, premium games, streaming video, or loyalty perks?

What is your bill each month? How much are you actually paying for your service?

Assess Your Usage & Needs

It is not uncommon for cell phone users to pay for a level of service that they are not using. For example, people who travel a lot may indeed benefit from a provider that offers significant coverage as well as free or low-cost international calling and texting. However, most consumers do not fit in this category. Instead, they are paying a high price every month for services that they rarely, or never, need.

The same thing holds true for data. For those who are on the go and do a lot of filming, streaming or even rely on their phone as a hotspot, large data caps make sense. But for individuals who stay close to home and already have household Wi-Fi, paying for a lot of data doesn't make much sense.

As for the extras, again, it's important to be honest with yourself. Do you really make use of the "free" streaming services that come with your plan? If you do, great. You may well be saving some money by sticking with your current provider. But if you aren't, you are paying a premium for services that you just aren't using.

Another thing to consider is customer service. The premium cell phone companies that offer postpaid service usually do offer excellent customer service hours and offer different ways of getting in touch, such as chat or talking to a live operator. Discount services, on the other hand, may not offer four-star service, but what they do provide is adequate. Do you often have to call customer service or are you capable of handling most issues on your own? If a discount or has a nearby retail location that you can visit, for example, you may decide to forgo super high levels of service and save some money at the same time.

Accessories & Insurance

While accessories and insurance are not necessarily a part of your cell phone plan, they are additional expenses that you might want to consider when determining how much you can and want to pay for your phone and service. Some consumer experts have noted that you can buy phone accessories for a lot less at Amazon, Target or Walmart than you can through a major cell phone provider. It is also true that your credit card may provide you with insurance coverage that protects your phone. All you have to do is purchase the phone with that credit card.

If you don't have a credit card, you may still have coverage for your phone through your homeowners insurance or renters insurance. This coverage may extend even to when you were on the go, and protect you against theft or damage. Contact your insurance agent to determine whether you have this kind of coverage.

Compare Plans

Once you have developed an understanding of your needs and know what you are currently paying for service, its time to compare plans. Don't assume that what you are currently paying is what new customers are paying even with your own current provider. Unfortunately, some companies are not as good as they could be about notifying existing customers regarding current plans and costs.

Begin by checking out the website for your current provider to see what kind of offers are currently being made. If you notice that you are paying significantly more than these offers take screenshots of these rates and keep them on hand for when you contact your provider.

The next thing you to do is check out what the competition has to offer. You may be receiving offers in the mail, but you can also find out about competitor's plans online. Friends and family may also be very happy to let you know about their plan and whether it meets their needs.

Visit a Retail Store

Some consumers report having luck visiting an actual retail store and asking a store clerk to look into plan options. The clerk may have access to information that you do not, and may be able to get you into a plan that better meets your needs. In addition, he or she may be able to help with upgrading your current device, ensuring that you have a good phone and are paying no more than you need to for both the phone and your plan.

Learn About Employer & Membership Discounts

Some membership organizations and employers have negotiated lower rates for members and employees. Check out your benefits before making a decision about your current cell phone plan. It may be that you are entitled to a significant discount simply because of where you work or because you belong to a civic, social, or fraternal organization.

Consider a Household Plan

Household plans can save a lot of money. Even if your household consist of roommates, more modern phone plans, such as Google Fi make it easy for people to join and leave plans as needed. Since many of these virtual networks make use of one or more major cell phone networks, service is usually excellent and the costs quite low.

Consider Discount Plans

There are many discount cell phone providers that piggyback on the networks that are owned by players such as T- Mobile or Verizon. You probably know them as companies such as Cricket or Metro. These plans don't have a lot of bells and whistle's, and you have to pay upfront for service, but they do use the same networks that the big companies do, providing you with a decent amount of coverage. If you are primarily somebody who uses your Wi-Fi connections at home or work, and don't spend a lot of time traveling, working with a discounter can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

Contact Your Provider

Even if you think you are going to move to another provider to get a cheaper rate, it may be in your best interest to contact your current provider with the information that you have. Note that you can find a better deal elsewhere, and see if your current provider can match it. Even if your provider can't match it, if the lower number you have comes from a discount or, you may be able to negotiate a rate reduction from what you are currently paying. This could allow you to keep premium services while also paying less each month for your phone service.

Why Did GetHuman Write "How Do I Know If I'm Paying Too Much for My Cellphone Plan?"?

After thousands of T-Mobile customers came to GetHuman in search of an answer to this problem (and many others), we decided it was time to publish instructions. So we put together How Do I Know If I'm Paying Too Much for My Cellphone Plan? to try to help. It takes time to get through these steps according to other users, including time spent working through each step and contacting T-Mobile if necessary. Best of luck and please let us know if you successfully resolve your issue with guidance from this page.

Why does GetHuman Write How-to Guides for T-Mobile Problems?

GetHuman has been working for over 10 years on sourcing information about big organizations like T-Mobile in order to help customers resolve customer service issues faster. We started with contact information and fastest ways to reach a human at big companies. Particularly ones with slow or complicated IVR or phone menu systems. Or companies that have self-serve help forums instead of a customer service department. From there, we realized that consumers still needed more detailed help solving the most common problems, so we expanded to this set of guides, which grows every day. And if you spot any issues with our How Do I Know If I'm Paying Too Much for My Cellphone Plan? guide, please let us know by sending us feedback. We want to be as helpful as possible. If you appreciated this guide, please share it with your favorite people. Our free information and tools is powered by you, the customer. The more people that use it, the better it gets.


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