How I got Rogers Wireless to cut my monthly payment in half (and give me an Iphone 4)
My wife is sick of hearing this story. So are my friends. So are the people in my carpool. So are my colleagues at work. But I will never, ever tire of telling and retelling it. Yes, dear readers. It is that awesome.
Rewind to 2008, the hero of this story (me) entered into a 3-yr cell phone contract with Rogers Wireless. At the time I thought that it was a pretty sweet deal. For a paltry $75 a month (+ the system access fee) I got:
- free evenings (starting at 6pm);
- free weekends
- My 5 Nation-wide (meaning I could call 5 friends and family on an unlimited basis)
- Voicemail & Caller ID
I got a Sony Ericcson slider phone in the deal too. Sweet.
Chapter 1 'In Which Our Hero Realizes His Phone and His Monthly Wireless Plan Suck'
A lot can change in two years. That sparkling, cool, and sophisticated slider cellphone that I acquired two years ago was now a source of embarrassment and shame. Once upon a time my phone was the subject of envy and admiration. Now an army of smug I-clones taunted me daily with their surfing and texting and twittering and... you get the idea.
At the same time I was coming to grips with the fact that my phone was completely obsolete, I started to realize that I was paying way, way too much on a monthly basis for my wireless plan. What was supposed to cost me $75 a month routinely ended up costing me in the neighborhood of $140. I was two years into a three year commitment but something had to change.
Chapter 2 'In Which Our Hero Discovers His Super Negotiating Powers!'
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was Christmas time. I was killing time in the mall while my significant other was shopping. On a whim I called my wireless provider (Rogers) and flat out asked them how much it would cost to buy out the final year of my contract. There was a pause on the end of the line.... followed by these golden words "we're going to transfer you to our customer retention department... please hold".
Chapter 3 'In Which Our Hero Saves the Day & Gets the Iphone 4'
The customer retention specialist had a mission. That mission was to retain me as a customer at practically any cost. The call went something like this:
Rogers: What can we do for you today?
Me: My wireless bill is too high.
Rogers: Ok. Let's see what we can do about reducing your payments.
Me: My phone is embarrassing too. I'm sick of teenagers and old ladies making fun of me.
Rogers: Ok. Let's talk about getting you a better phone.
Me: Ok. I want an Iphone 4.
Rogers: Ok. We can do that.
You get the idea. I asked. I received. I asked for more. I received more. It was amazing.
Chapter 4 'In Which Our Hero Gets the Keys to the City and a Ticker Tape Parade"
Ok. So what kind of plan did I end up with? Well before I share the details keep in mind that I live in Canada. Wireless services are way more expensive here than anywhere else in the world. Ok now that we've cleared up the fine print, here's what I got:
- Unlimited incoming/outgoing local calling;
- 1000 monthly nation-wide long distance minutes;
- 2500 txt messages a month;
- 3 GB data a month;
- Voice mail / Caller ID;
- A sweet Iphone 4 (guaranteed to remain relevant until this June when the Iphone 5 comes out *sigh*)
Total monthly cost - all in? $60.
The moral of this story? The wireless market is becoming hyper-competitive. Don't be afraid to exercise your consumer super-powers. Think your wireless bill is too high? Call your provider and renegotiate. The worst that can happen is that they'll say no. But I think that you'll be surprised by how much money you can save if you simply ask.