How to Successfully Negotiate With your Cell Phone Company

    November 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Or how I successfully negotiated a six dollar credit from my cell phone company.  If you can negotiate with your cell phone company, you can negotiate with anybody.  Here are some life hacks to successfully negotiate with your cell phone company.

    Like clockwork, for me, every month it becomes necessary to negotiate with my cell phone company because I tend to go nominally over the preallotted amount of  text messages in my plan.  For six straight months, customer service representatives have explained to me that they would no longer issue credits and that the nominal credit they will issue will be the last.

    However, I have spent the last decade learning my cell phone’s company internal processes.  These are important to know, because they govern their employees rationality.  Here are things that will help you in your negotiation with your cell phone company.

    Use your lack of a contract to your advantage.  In life, when a girlfriend threatens to withhold sex, you have an option to walk away. When a wife witholds sex, you’re screwed, figuratively of course.  Like dating, cell phone companies spend obscene amounts of money courting you, and if you’ve been with them long enough, divorce is a costly expense.  Without a contract, you have the ability to tell the cell phone provider, “not tonight honey, I’m tired”.  Asserting a willingness to walk away is a worthwhile negotiating chip.

    When a cellular contract is signed, cell phone companies resemble a buxom 19 year old girl who just got engaged thinking she’ll live life happily ever after and you resemble her 20 year old fiance with his head in the sand thinking he’ll get wonderful sex every day.  In reality a cellular contract implies your cell phone company will take every opportunity they can to screw you on trivial overages.

    corporate image

    We stand united in our surreptitious charges

    Federal law mandates that cell phone providers keep logs of each call. Each time you call up customer service, the customer service provider will read your remarks.   So if the customer service representative is a cunt and quotes things like, “its our company’s policy” or ” sir, we have issued you credits for the last six months and we can longer do this”, here is where its important to unleash a vicious tirade aimed at personally degrading them and their lives.  Tell them that the Nazi’s were simply following instruction.  Do things like finish their sentences for them. Don’t ever listen to them or allow them to get a word in edgewise. They may say things like, “excuse me sir, if you keep screaming at me, I will have to release you from this call”.  The goal of this step is to make them hang up on you by the most belligerent means possible.  This is important as it demonstrates the temporal element of your willingness to successfully negotiate with your cell company.


    Its always good to point out your longevity with the company

    The next time you call, be sure to be very polite and respectful. While some people think its good to always be nice to customer service representatives, the better strategy is to be mercurial.  For future calls,  your record will be read like a looming taunt to the current customer service representative that says, “go ahead, make my day motherfucker”.  If you are nice and ask for a reasonable credit and express sincere gratitude, then the implicit message is you are willing to get off the phone pleasantly if they satisfy your reasonable request.  But if they deny your reasonable request, the objective of this call is to stay on as long as possible to drown out any of the financial gains the cell phone provider has made by nickel and diming you over nominal things like the 14 text messages you went over your plan last month.


    Argh, each extra text message is costing me 10 cents!

    Each customer service representative’s objective is to get you off the phone as quickly as possible to maintain their average customer handle time within acceptable limits, so be sure to keep asking questions and spin the conversation.  Whenever the customer service representative reiterates that you have gone over your plan, say things like, “I’m not a robot and I do my best to predict the future. It upsets me that executives in your company have access to years of aggregate data to pinpoint the distribution ratios where people fall under their text messaging threshold using a completely arbitrary number designed to enhance revenues”.   Then tell them things like you will complete the survey at the end of the call and give them a zero for their performance because they would not issue you the nominal credit you are asking for.  Highlight the fact that you have a data plan that you have not fully utilized and finally highlight the fact that you really didn’t go over on your text messages if they were averaged out over a larger time period.

    Go over in excruciating detail the average distribution of your text messages over the last 15 months

    Go over in excruciating detail the average distribution of your text messages over the last 15 months

    Once they agknowledge that the conversation is going in circles, now, it’s ok, to get a little more heated.  Mention how its frustrating that your cell phone provider texts you to let you know that you’re over your limit and this costs money and that you are upset about this and that you will put the company out of business by repeatedly requesting “free account alert text messages”.   The customer service provider will mention that this is free and laugh at the idea that this would put the company out of business.  Here is where you can make the conclusion that the cost of a text message is a fraction of a cent.  Then go on a rant that the systematic charges done on such a wide scale is a form of profiteering that is worthy of a class action suit brought on by you because you’re crazy and don’t give a shit and are looking out for the well being of millions of consumers.  Then tell the customer service representative that its their duty to look out for their company’s best interests and worth their best interest to issue you your nominal credit you are asking for, or otherwise, you will initiate a class action lawsuit out of principle and it will be the customer service representatives fault that the company lost millions of dollars due to your scorched earth policy.

    Give the customer service representative the option to issue you a nominal credit

    Give the customer service representative the option to issue you a nominal credit

    Whenever the representative says things like, “we cannot issue a credit, because we’ve done this the last six months”, ask them to tally up the credits they have issued to you, and then mention the amount of time you have been with the company and tally up the total amount you have paid for cell phone service and remind them that that the amounts of credits is a fractional comparison to the total revenue you have created for the company since you have been with the company.  Ask them if they are really that short sighted and money hungry, or if they are part of a system that limits their personal decision making and dehumanizes them as individuals.  Then rattle off each year you have been with the company.  If you have not been with the company long, you can rattle off each month.  This segues nicely into the next part of the strategy where you mention that you would like to stay with the company into a distant point in the future.  Then rattle off the years you plan on staying with the company up until this point.  When the customer service representative interrupts to you say they understand, speak over them and mention that you are superstitious and want to live a long life and don’t want to cut it short by not mentioning each year.

    Eventually, the customer service will capitulate to what you ask for

    Eventually, the customer service will capitulate to what you ask for

    There are multiple ways to successfully negotiate with your cell phone company.  Just be sure to stay on phone with customer service as long as possible and get your money’s worth.

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