Tuesday, 7 June 2011

How to get the best upgrade deals

When it comes to mobile phones we all want the best deal we can get. When it comes to the end of a contract and we are being hassled by our provider to upgrade with them calling a few times a day we often don't quite know what to do. Do we snatch and take the first offer they provide and think that we've got a good deal with a network that have done well for us? Do we say no and wait for them to come back to us with an improved second offer? Do we we shop around and see the best offers available and take the best that's on offer through the general channels? Do we call the cancellation line and threaten to take our custom elsewhere?

Well the actual answer is none of them. What we need to do is look at the options that are available but don't try to jump the gun, don't take any offer until you've weighed all the options that are available. What you need to find is a deal that you like the look of, whether it's with your current network or not, you need to find a deal that is open to all customers. When you have found a deal like this you should wait for the sales team to contact you from your current provider and see if they can match it, usually they can unless you've seen a genuinely amazing deal. From here you can choose to take it, though if the company can match the deal you've seen then decline it, they can certainly under-cut themselves.

The following day you need to call up the cancellation line of the company you are with and request your “PAC” number. The PAC number is your Porting Authorisation Code, or the number you need to transfer your number to another network. When you request this you are generally passed to the “retentions” department, this is the section of the company that will be more flexible than the people calling you. The people that call you are the “Sales team” and are trying to sell you a deal, they aren't given a lot of flexibility the retentions team are trying to keep you and will often bend over a bit more. If when you talk to the retentions team they fail to offer a much better deal then just leave them with something along the lines of “I've seen a better deal”.

Over the following few days the company will generally call back again and now you will see the company offer some of their best deals. The company will beat the offers made by the original sales team though may not manage to match the retention offers, this is effectively them trying their hardest to keep you and will often be the most flexible that the company will offer.

Sometimes the company may also have a web relations team (most notably Vodafone who's team is really excellent and deserve all the praise they get). These are often worth contacting (before you request your “PAC” number) as they can often offer deals that are actually better than the retentions team. The team aren't on any sort of commission and aren't taking a cut for themselves so won't “hike” up the price to cover themselves so are worth a try. Again if you want to go this way you really must know what the competition are offering (and you may need to provide them with a link so make sure you're online whilst talking to them) to get the best deals.

Whatever you do, do not take the first offer from the sales team, they are often unable to, or unwilling to match the best offers available from some of the other companies. This is because they ARE on commission and will be trying to pocket some money themselves and won't be flexible with you. Just remember this when you try to upgrade and you will almost certainly save money via the retentions teams.

Some quick tips:
-See what the competition can offer
-Aim high
-Don't take the first offer
-See if the company has a web team
-Request you PAC number (but don't use it straight away)
-Check online, in store and in as many places as possible
-Only accept an offer YOU are happy with

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