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.