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The Ultimate Shopper’s Guide, Part 1: Cell Phones

This article was written by in Consumer, Shopping. 5 comments.


Motorola RAZRMoney Magazine is running a feature that provides tips for getting the best deal for several specific purchases. As I’m I planning to put down some cash for a new notebook computer, I first took a look at Money’s focus on tech within the series. They didn’t address computers, but I loved their advice on cell phones. Here’s what they have to say.

1. Do business online rather than in the store. Salespeople are stressed and you can get a better product selection by shopping over the internet. I’ve seen “web-only” prices advertised, as well.

2. Get a phone for free. If you’re a loyal customer of Sprint or Verizon, you can receive a credit of $150 or $100 after two years, if you sign a new two-year contract.

3. Samsung, not RAZR. My coworkers all love the Motorola RAZR. I have never used one so I have no opinion. Money Magazine says the Samsung A900 is similar, but better.

4. Threaten them. Threaten them to cancel, that is. The cancellation department (usually known in corporatespeak as the “retention department”) wants to keep your business, so they’re authorized to make deals that typical customer service representatives aren’t. Don’t be afraid to ask for various discounts. They wan’t your business.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published August 16, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Valerie

I’m surprised that when discussing best cell phone deals, no one talks about prepaid plans for people who are not huge time users. I wanted a cell phone to CALL, mostly for emergencies, and NOT for entertainment. I can use my digital camera and MP3 player for entertainment.

I shopped around and found the best deal at Costco for a prepaid plan with TMobile. For $30 I got a Nokia cell phone with great sound and good cell life and 60 minutes time for two months. At the end of the two months, I’d used only a few mintes. They were rolled over and doubled when I bought a 1-year 1000 minute prepaid plan. Now whenever I renew, any left over minutes will roll. We’ve had some emergency situations where I’ve been glad to have a cell phone, and I’ve come to use it to call home for quick information or to friends when I’m late. I think it might even still be a good deal if I were a more frequent user. For me, it sure beats $30 or more a month.

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avatar Julie

I have a pretty good cell phone deal that I’ll probably stick with for the near future. However, I’ll be moving soon, out of the dorm to a *real* apartment that doesn’t include the free local phone line that I’ve grown accustomed to. I’m thinking I’ll do something similar to Valerie- get a pay-as-you-go cell with a minimum of minutes on it and toss it in a drawer somewhere. That way, if anything happens to my regular cell (lost/broken), I can still make calls in the meantime.

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