You love your phone, but your service may cost more than you’d like. As it turns out, you have plenty of options to start a new relationship with a new carrier. Don’t be shy about cutting the ties with your existing cell phone company — just read the fine print before signing a new contract.
1. Read Up On Your Exit Terms
If you are in a two-year contract with an existing carrier, or have a 24-month agreement to pay off your phone, you may have to pay up when you cancel. A quick phone call to your cell phone company should tell you what your obligations are.
There may be termination fees and the outstanding amount due on your device. Keep this cost in mind when you are reviewing alternative plan. However, consider asking other companies whether they will cover the termination cost to get you on as a new customer.
2. Know Your Current Usage
Before you’re taken in by a flashy new plan, know what you are actually using. You may have more data than you need or a long distance plan that you never use. Have a look at your bills for the past couple of months; a new carrier may offer you a plan that’s more in line with what you actually need.
3. Confirm You Can Bring Your Own Phone
After you’ve gone to the trouble of paying off your phone, you want to make sure you can take it with you. If you can’t use your old handset, ask if they will accept it as a trade-in. You may also be able to sell your old phone privately if you plan to get a new one.
4. Consider Non-Traditional Carriers
You have the option of getting a plan with all the bells and whistles. But you also have the choice of a variety of smaller, non-traditional carriers that have stripped down packages. Mint SIM and Cricket Wireless, for example, offer low cost plans but make use of the parent company’s wide network (T-mobile and AT&T, respectively). So if you’re really ready to go basic, see if a simple plan works for you.
5. Make the Switch
When you know what it costs you to cancel your current plan and where you want to move, make the call. Keep an eye out for any other deals on the horizon. Knowing there’s competition out there, your new provider may be willing to cut you a deal.
You have more choices than ever before when it comes to cell phone plans. Take advantage of the competition between companies and find the best cell phone provider for your needs.