Whoever it was who first coined the phrase, "Good guys always finish last" was surely referring to the Wireless Industry. What other industry rewards new customers with better deals than long time older subscribers who regularly pay their bills on time without complaining. Ironically, it's the folks who call in unhappy that get offered the newer, better deals.
The problem is, unless you are an unhappy camper and make a stink, you are totally ignored. All of the Carriers energies are focused on stealing subscribers from the other carriers they are competing against. In order to get these folks to move their numbers over, they must offer incentives like port-in credits and more competitive plans. One of the best kept secrets in the wireless industry is current subscribers can get these new, more generous plans, just by asking for them. There is a problem with this though. You have to know when these better deals become available because most carriers won't tell you. If you are content with overpaying for your wireless services, so are they.
How to level the playing field with your wireless carrier
Okay. In a perfect world, you could contact your carrier and asked to be transferred to the customer retention department. The problem is, if you ask to be transferred there, you will never get there. You'd have to go through a regular customer service rep and then possibly a supervisor or two who will likely not be very helpful. I'm going to divulge a sure-fire way to get immediately transferred to the retention department for a better deal, almost every time. This technique is foolproof for one reason - The way the actual porting process works.
Normally, when you decide to move your number from your current carrier, it is done by the new carrier, or an independent dealer like me. Your old carrier never even knows you were unhappy until the new carrier tells them that you are gone, and to send a final closing bill. There are two pieces of information that the new carrier must provide before this happens, in order for the current carrier to have to release your mobile number(s). to the new provider. That information is your Personal ID Number (PIN), and your BAN (Billing Account Number). Normally, since this information is provided by the customer to the new carrier directly, the customer is gone before the retention department can do anything.
Call your wireless carrier and tell whoever answers the phone that you need to find out what your PIN number is. Usually, customer care will put 2 and 2 together and assume you are getting ready to bust a move. If you have a totally clueless representative, also tell them that you need to get your billing account number. This is your account number on the phone bill. Even the dumbest of care reps will know that these two pieces of information are all that is needed for you to pull the plug. At this point, they will usually pull up your account, check your average revenue per month, how long you've been with them, and ask if there are any problems. Now, you tell them that another carrier is offering you a much better deal and they asked you for this information. The carriers may be greedy, but they are not stupid. All realize that a percentage of something beats 100% of nothing. If you can sell them that you are leaving for a better deal, I guarantee they will offer you a better deal to stay with them.
This technique has worked for our clients for over five years. If you have any questions about the carriers and need unbiased answers, contact me.
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.