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How-To: Get a Nice Discount on Your Wireless Bill

June 21, 2007 in Nokia Phone Deals

Today’s lesson: how to get the largest possible discount through your wireless carrier when upgrading/signing up for a new plan.

Sure, you could go to an AT&T, Verizon Wireless, or T-mobile store. But you’ll have to deal with annoying sales reps, bargaining, and 2 year service agreements. So how do you get around this?

Save big on your wireless plan with this handy guide.

Save big on your wireless plan with student/employee discounts.

The answer is employee and student discounts. You may or may not know that the major carriers provide varying percentage discounts to different companies, schools, and government agencies. Depending on the company you work for or the school that you attend, you might get 10-20% off your monthly plan + handset discounts. I have yet to see any discounts over 20%, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

AT&T Premier

If you or someone you know works for a medium-to-large sized company or goes to college, you can use the email address to get access to the AT&T Premier site, and then order a phone/plan from there. Note that if you’re out of school BUT you have a school’s alumni email forwarding account, you can use that to take advantage of the discounts too – this only works for AT&T however.

Some of the benefits of going through the AT&T Premier site:

  • 1-Year Agreement – Jackpot! You don’t even have to sign up for a 2-year agreement to get these discounts. Probably the sweetest part of the deal.
  • Phone/Handset discounts – Varies depending on what company/school you signed up with. Not necessarily the same as the Plan discount.
  • Service Plan discounts – You get a percentage discount off every monthly bill. Again, this is specific to your school or company.
  • Phone Package discounts – Same as the previous, except there are some very attractive package deals here that give you a bigger discount on PDAs if you add a PDA connect plan. Not sure if you can cancel this afterwards, however.
  • Additional $25 random discount – Not sure if this varies, but I received another $25 bucks off for choosing a plan that was $39.99 or more.
  • Waived Activation Fee – Which is how it should be.
  • Valid on plan upgrades – This doesn’t have to be a new activation. You can also upgrade your current plan if you’re off-contract.

One last point – if you’re on contract, you can still get the percent discount off your monthly wireless bill just by clicking the “Discounts Registration” link.

Going through the Premier site, I was able to score a 25% discount off all phones, and a 20% off monthly service charges (Rutgers University discount). Again, you might get a larger or smaller discount depending on what company you’re signing up as.

I should also add that if you’re not satisfied with the phone selection on the site, just get the handset with the biggest value vs. cost ratio, sell it on ebay, and buy whatever phone you want to. Ah, the joys of GSM.

Link to AT&T Premier Site

Verizon Wireless

I haven’t tried the Verizon Employee Program, but I’ll update this space when I do. My college discount came out to a measly 10%.

Link to Verizon Employee Discount Program

T-Mobile

T-Mobile does not have the same discount program as AT&T and Verizon – but they have something similar – the Friends and Family program.

This is supposed to be for friends and family of actual T-Mobile employees. The funny thing is, I didn’t notice any significant discount to the rate plans (same price) or the phones (which were either the same price or slightly cheaper). Then again, T-Mobile plans are already pretty discounted.

Link to T-Mobile Friends and Family Program

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