Keep an eye out for opportunities to break your contract without a penalty
If you’ve ever attempted to break your two-year phone contract early, you know how stupidly expensive it can be. But of course there are loopholes, and you should do everything you can to exploit them. That’s where the site CellBreaker comes in. This startup analyzes your contract and points out any breaches on the part of the carrier that might open up an opportunity for you to legally break free without a pricey penalty.
Don't be duped by shady promises to "cut your bill in half"
It’s true that many carriers now offer to pay early termination fees on your existing contract to get you to switch, but those deals can be problematic in their own right, according to Todd Kelley, WireSeek.com’s sales director, who previously worked for both AT&T and Sprint. “[Sprint’s] current 'cut your bill in half' promotion is merely a carrot causing sheep to flock to their stores. Once [the customer is in] the arena of the salesperson, the battle-hardened sales warrior will carefully, and tactfully, disarm and persuade them to abandon the poorly named ‘cut your bill in half’ benefits for a different plan.
"Even after you sign up, you will receive a bill for your first month's service within a few days, but you will not receive the promised gift card to buyout your previous provider for almost eight to 10 weeks after you turn in your old devices."
Consider going with a prepaid plan
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint (and most discount carriers) offer a variety of ridiculously inexpensive prepaid plans worth exploring when you’re eligible to re-up. They don’t come with as many perks as the two-year contracts (sorry, no free or discounted iPhone), but most feature unlimited talk and text. If you already have a device or don’t mind shelling out $100 for a lesser smartphone, this is an easy way to cut your bill way down without signing up for an annual contract.
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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. His favorite negotiation tactic is crying.