This is a wild guess, but I bet your monthly cell phone bill is higher than you’d like it to be. If you use a Smartphone as Android or Apple iPhone, which particularly have a higher monthly payments, with data and text messaging plans. Even though you’re locked into a contract with your service provider, there are solutions to reduce your mobile phone bills and get it under control.
Clearly, one way to reduce monthly mobile phone bill is to switch to a cheaper plan with fewer minutes. However there are other options:
You do not have to pay to send and receive text messages (SMS). For example, a number of iPhone applications that allows people to text at no cost. Usually these programs, such as SMS Freedom (an application for $2.00), send texts to the recipient cell phone through your email account. Responses are received as an e-mail, as well. While not ideal, you can save $5.00 and up per month.
In addition, Gmail users can send and receive free text messages from their computers, using the Google Talk chat feature.
Forgo directory assistance:
Unless you are driving, it makes no sense to pay $1.50 to $2.00 to call 411 on your mobile phone. Instead, type the name of a company or person as well as the city and state to 466453 in the Google information service and you will receive a new text with the desired phone number. This service also provides weather updates, foreign language translations, currency conversions, flight changes, addresses, and more. Google’s service is free, however text messaging fees apply (unless you follow tip number one above). Also 800 466-4411 is another free directory assistance provided by Google.
Using VoIP whenever possible:
Did you ditch the landline for your cell? Then you are an ideal candidate for a Voice over IP (VoIP), which can help to switch to a cheaper voice plan with fewer minutes. You can use the VoIP service at home, in a hotel room, or office, saving the minutes of your mobile phone.
With a service like Skype or Vonage, you can make and receive calls over the Internet at deep discounts. Let’s consider for a second using a Skype account, you are able to call anyone with a Skype account free. As well as video chat with other Skype users.
Another advantage of Skype: You can use your mobile phone number as your caller ID for Skype. This way, when you call someone on Skype, they see your cell phone number and they know it’s you.
Skype has several different versions available for the iPhone, Windows Mobile and other phones. This provides flexibility so siting at your computer to use Skype to make free calls is not required. Any version of Skype enables the user to call landlines and cell phones at very low prices (from 2.1 cents per minute).
There are limitations for mobile Skype. For example, the Skype for iPhone has to be open in order to receive calls.
Google Voice can help you reduce your mobile phone bill, also. With this service, all incoming calls to your number of Google Voice while calling on your cell phone and other phones that you designate as a landline. Then you can answer the call on your landline, thus preserving the minutes of your mobile phone.
Ask for discounts or incentives:
Call your provider of mobile services to ask for discounts, you may be surprised by what they will offer.
For example, some wireless service providers will give you a monthly discount (e.g. 10 percent) if you are a member of an employees of credit union. In most cases, I do not mention this in advance, however.
Even if they are not able to offer monthly discounts, customer service representatives from your service provider may be able to offer a saving of some sort. Recently, when I called AT & T Wireless, a representative said he could not give me a break in my voice, or iPhone 3G data plan. But she gave me an extra 500 minutes accumulated per line (I’m on a family plan with two lines), and added about $6.00 in value to my most recent bill.
So here’s my advice: Give your most recent phone bills a good, long look-see, to identify whether there are ways to cut and get an idea of your usages. Then talk with your provider and ask if there are ways to reduce your monthly expenses, or if there are discounts or incentives they can offer.
Your turn: how do you reduce your cell phone bill?