We have a budget at our house that allows for living comfortably and yet saving money for our Disney vacations. So when I went to purchase a new cell phone I was surprised that there was a $30 activation fee. Very surprised!
Our cell phone carrier allows a certain amount of time between phone upgrades. Based on our multiple line family plan, it was time for me to upgrade my phone. I had stopped at the carrier’s local store twice, just checking prices, specials, etc. The whole thing gives me anxiety as I never know which phone price is mine—in the list of 3-4 prices of each phone. So, on my second visit, I decided on a phone. The clerk assured me that contacts in my phone could be transferred and microSD card removed and put in the new phone etc. This was after I knew for sure which price of the phone I would be paying on the list with various prices.
After the clerk had my phone and we were sitting down, that anxiety tang was in my stomach. I asked if there were any other costs for the phone. Yes, a $30 activation fee. What? I asked where that was written, displayed, etc. I was told it wasn’t written anywhere, it just is and as of July 1. . . I had stopped listening. I hadn’t planned on spending an addition $30. It wasn’t in the budget. I asked for my phone back. Grateful that the transaction hadn’t gone any farther and wondering when I was going to be told of the unwritten, unpublicized activation fee I left the store.
A few days later, I phoned the customer service department for our cell phone carrier and inquired about the $30 activation fee. I asked if it could be waived. I was told it could under certain circumstances. I asked which circumstances. I was told that years with the carrier could be considered. I suggested that my account be considered as I had been with the company over a decade. I was put on hold.
After a couple of minutes the customer service representative returned on the line and informed me that the activation fee would be waived for my line only and not our other line. Fine. I asked how this would be known when I went to shop for a phone. She told me that the waived fee would be noted in my account. Good. I thanked her.
Now what? Well, I still don’t have a new phone. I’m waiting a bit. . . for more of a selection and better prices and trying to make peace with my current phone. So for those of you who I have talked to over my phone and had the buzzing and ringing during our conversations, I apologize. And, it may be a while before I get a new phone that doesn’t do that anymore. But at least the transaction will be just for the cost of the phone.
NOTE: We take advantage of all the discounts offered by our cell phone carrier for a significant monthly savings. Check your carrier for all available discounts that may apply for you.
It can be worth it to contact your “monthly subscription” providers about discounts or specials that are available. We locked in a lower fee with our cable/internet/phone provider for agreeing to a two year commitment including a penalty if we disconnect services prior to the two years. Consider gym memberships and video rental subscriptions and ask about discounts that might be available.