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How to Squeeze the Best Phone Deal from AT&T

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Up until now, I’ve used calling cards to try to get the most for my money when it comes to making long distance calls. But due to work, I need to get an unlimited long distance plan on my phone line. I want the best deal for my money, and I called AT&T the other day to get that deal. It was almost like pulling the sales rep’s teeth to get the best deal, but I got it out of her. Here’s what I did.

I started off the call with asking for the best deal for the features that I want. That broke the ice and I got a feeling for the mood that my customer service rep was in (upselling or upselling). The best deal my rep gave me included a multitude of special features (caller ID, call waiting, etc). They were in an upselling mood.

I asked about the deal I was just offered, but without the special features. My customer service rep almost groaned when I asked that, but she did tell me of a better unlimited long distance offer of $30/month. That would bring my monthly phone bill to $55 ($25 for local and $30 for long distance). I decided to not settle there, I had a feeling there was something better.

I asked if there are any bundled deals. I do have DSL through AT&T, so I thought I would ask about a special deal with my internet service. No, nothing there at the moment but it was worth a shot.

I asked if there are any limited deals. BINGO! It turns out there is a special internet only deal where you can get your local phone and unlimited long distance for $40/month. It took a few more questions, but I can save $15/month by going online and signing up for this deal and not settling for the previous “deal.”

I checked their website and clicked all over looking for other deals I couldn’t squeeze out of my customer service rep. AT&T’s website is a bit cluttered because they offer more than phone service. A good place to start looking is the “View Promotional Offers” button near the bottom of the page.

A little bit later, I called again and repeated the above questions with a new sales rep. I thought there would be some variation, and to my delight there was. The new rep went straight to the $30/month deal. This time, knowing what I know I asked if there are any better deals and they straight out said no. So I went through the rest of the questions and finally I was told about the $40 deal.

Lesson learned: Don’t settle for what they first tell you is the best deal. Keep prodding. Although it may start feeling like you are playing 20 questions to get to that great deal, your checkbook may thank you for the few extra minutes you spend.


9 Comments

  • Reply yd |

    Have you considered using Skype or the like? Or one of the VOIP solutions that lets you use a “real” phone handset? It depends on how reliable you need the connection to be – Skype can cut in and out at times, but it always works well enough for me.

    I think it’d work well price wise for you – $30/year for unlimited outgoing calls. For $38/year more you can get an incoming number if you need that. Suddenly your phone works in hotels and coffee shops, too – and nobody’s the wiser. 🙂

  • Reply Tricia |

    The unlimited long distance is a new requirement of my employment, and per my employer I cannot have VOIP. I will be getting reimbursed a set amount for a portion of the money I spend to have the unlimited long distance.

    With the call I made to AT&T, and with asking 20 questions with the customer service rep, I saved myself from having to pay an unnecessary $15 more a month.

    For those of you out there who can do it, I would suggest looking into VOIP plans because they are cheaper. In my case, I couldn’t do that. But if you must deal with AT&T like I did, hopefully the tips I gave will help you find the best deal.

  • Reply Chicky |

    I just did this today…it isn’t a huge savings in relation to my previous packages, but still worth the switch. It is a good idea to call AT&T twice (or more), because I was given different information on each call. For the same package, I was also given two different prices. I hope the transition between my packages goes smoother than the phone calls! Thanks for the heads up, Tricia!

  • Reply steve |

    An appropriate quote from Mr. Micawber, a friend of David Copperfield: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

  • Reply MOMM |

    Great tips! It definitely pays to call back and talk to more people. I didn’t even think to question them telling me I was getting a great deal with a bundle, it’s about time for me to call about my internet/tv service so I’ll be sure to try that.

  • Reply Kellie |

    For anyone who has Qwest telephone service and is interested in getting cheaper long distance their unlimited long distance plan is $20 per month.

  • Reply mapgirl |

    Working at a telco, I really don’t like VOIP calls. I’ve used Skype, Big Zoo, and talked to friends with Comcast or COX VOIP. I’ve never liked the call quality very much.

    I’ll stick to my cellphone and wireline phone instead.

  • Reply Cheap Jeremy Scott |

    This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally
    I’ve found something which helped me. Thanks!

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