I was a pillar of the “not-going-to-upgrade-my-phone” community. I laughed in the face of petty materialism as people continually traded in their phones every 8 months for costlier devices and extended contracts. “What a waste,” I would think.
I wouldn’t have it.
I enjoyed the feeling of eyes staring and mouths gasping at my ancient relic of technology. “How does that still work,” people must have wondered.
Then, like so many who have come before me . . . I caved.
Tricks of the Trade
A Motorola RAZR MAXX is $800 outside of a contract. Add in a 2-year stranglehold agreement, and the price drops to a tempting $199. Yowzah!! $600 discount for a measily 2-year contract. How could anyone pass that up?
When you walk into a cell phone retail outlet, know that everything you are about to experience is intended to trap you as a customer for life – some might even categorize it as becoming a victim.
After spending a couple of hours inside Best Buy, a Verizon store, and an AT&T store fixing my own problems and helping some family members, I realized the employees are overwhelmingly trained to GET YOU TO UPGRADE.
No matter what your problem, issue, or question might be, their first question to you seems to always be, “When is your contract up.” It’s like, “I don’t want to waste my time unless I can get you thinking about an extension or an upgrade.”
I wonder what’s more addictive, cigarettes or that newer cell phone? Everyone is chasing that newer cell phone, and the cell phone companies know it. These days, the cell phone store offers a higher pressure sales atmosphere than a car dealership.
Cell Phone Financial Wisdom – Avoiding the Traps
Let’s face it, there are people out there who have no care in the world if they are tied to a ever-extending 2-year contract with their cell-hone company. For me . . . I can’t handle being suckered in.
Here’s a few tips to be aware of if you’d like to remain frugal, even when it comes to the technology of cell phones.
First, know that you can never really own the best cell phone. You might think you can, but in reality, you can’t. Besides everyone having their own opinion about which cell phone is king, companies release newer, bigger, faster, and smarter phones about every 3-6 months.
Yes, they stagger their release to get you to want a new phone. It’s not coincidence that the next “iPhone killer” comes out 4 months after the latest iPhone.
Your best weapon is your mind. If you know companies are trying to dupe you into spending more money, you’re ahead of the game. Research the phones that fit your needs and make the purchase knowing that you will be bombarded in the next 2 years with “bigger, better, faster” devices.
Second, if you find yourself tempted to enter a retail outlet before your current contract is up, make sure you question every offer the employee makes with, “Will that extend my contract.” Don’t be a pushover inside the store. Stand firm and make sure you understand all of their slick talk.
Lastly, know when your current contract is up and know how much the early termination fee is if you would ever decide to cancel your current agreement.
Look, I’m not going to lie to you. Everyone out there is trying to convince you to spend your money on their stuff. Stay informed and stay guarded against seemingly innocent upgrades, extensions, and add-ons.
Photo By thisisbossi