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A hard-cell approach to high bills

Here’s one way to try to get your carrier to lower your rates.

Daily News personal finance columnist Harry Gross
Daily News personal finance columnist Harry GrossRead more

DEAR HARRY: We've had mobile phones for more than 20 years. A few years ago, we switched to a family plan with five phones. We added features each time our children's "needs" increased. Until last week, our monthly bills were consistently about $260. The recent competitive ads finally got me to rethink our situation. Carriers were cutting prices and offering other inducements to switch. I thought about asking my carrier to match some of its own advertising in order to retain a good customer. One telephone call did it. AT&T reduced my monthly bill to just under $190 including taxes and miscellaneous charges! That's a saving of more than $70 a month. To put icing on the cake, they gave me an immediate credit of $100. That won't buy me a Rolls, but it sure will buy my three kids a helluva lot of Philly cheesesteaks. No matter how much a change in carriers can save you, it pays to try your own carrier's efforts to retain customers. I hope your readers will be able to save money on their cells.

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Competition is one of the most powerful benefits of a capitalist system. Introduce it and prices go down, service goes up. Too often the reverse is true in monopolistic situations. Moreover, competition draws customers. When a clothing store opens near another of a similar nature, each will benefit from the customers drawn to the other. Thanks for your input.