How to Haggle For the Best Phone Deal

Haggle For the Best Phone Deal

People haggle for clothes, grocery, medical bills, electronics and more, to try to get the best deal. After all, it never hurts to ask! But have you ever thought of haggling for a phone plan deal? Is it even possible to negotiate with your service provider?

The answer is that it’s absolutely worth a try!

Most of us often save money on mobile phone bill by switching to a cheaper plan or changing carriers. But people don’t often know that they can negotiate a better price with their current carrier. In fact, not only does it save the inconvenience of switching carriers, research shows that customers can often score a better deal by haggling with their current provider.

Men are more successful at haggling than women.

% of Male and Female successful at haggling


Most carriers frequently raise the rates of their phone plans, and don’t lower them unless someone pursues them about it.

Haggling works because of the amount of competition in the market. Companies don’t want to lose their customers. Take advantage of this competition, and you are very likely to land a better deal on your phone plan.

74% of customers received a fixed discount on payments by haggling over phone plan deals.

What do mobile plan providers offer to customers who haggle?


Plan Ahead and Know Your Limits

Don’t be fooled by the sales person who says the offer or price is “for one day only.” Before you call your service provider, ensure that you do some research and compare the prices and deals that various carriers are offering.

Also, determine how many minutes, texts and how much data you use per month. If you’re uncertain about this, you can find out this information from your previous phone bills.

Compare Prices and Deals

Compare deals with other carriers to know how much they are charging for the size of the bundle – paying special attention to customer feedback and reading reviews from technical journalists on phone plans. Note down the price deals and what you get in the bundle.

Network carriers offer monthly contracts or a much longer 12 to 24 month contract. Try to stick with the monthly contract wherever possible. Shortlist all the best phone deals so that you can quickly refer to these while talking to a customer service representative. You may not get a deal to match their competitor but may land on a deal close to the ones offered by the competitors. In that case, it’s up to you whether you want the hassle of scoring.

Call Your Service Provider

When you have gathered all of your data, call your network provider and present your case. Tell them that you are looking for a discount on your mobile phone contract. If they don’t offer an expectedly big discount, haggle for other deals with other carriers you found during your research online.

In most cases, you call the normal customer service line. But to haggle for phone plan deal, you have to reach the retention department of the company. Most big carriers have an entire department dedicated to handling customer retention, and they’re authorized to offer you deals so you stay on.

If you are not able to call the retention team, politely tell a customer service representative that you want to cancel your service, and you should be transferred to the retention department, if it exists. If your service provider doesn’t have a dedicated retention department, politely ask to speak to their supervisor.

If your provider comes with a good deal, don’t forget to check what the plan offers and whether it involves signing a new, longer contract. Providers often offer a discount if you sign up to a longer contract with them. Many companies will use every tactic to get you to sign a longer contract. It’s almost a wise idea to get into a new contract as it will lock you out from negotiating a better price. Try to be determined to stick to a rolling monthly contract, and it will allow you to enjoy greater flexibility.

The Next Step

If your provider is not ready to negotiate, say that you want to cancel and switch to another carrier. Ask the representative to transfer your call to the cancellation or retention team, who often gives better deals to customers to retain them. If this tactic also fails, tell them you’ll think about it and end the call. There is a high probability that they’ll get back to you with a better offer.

Don’t take the first discount offer – it’s unlikely to be the best deal they have to give. They may put you on hold, pretending that they’re starting the cancellation process, but they’ll almost always come back with a greater deal. An additional way to save money is to ask the representative to remove all unnecessary features from your account. If your carrier are unprepared to give you a better deal, it might be time to give them the flick – switch to another carrier that is prepared to look after you. You never know what’s available until you ask, and you absolutely can negotiate with your phone carrier.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.