I can’t decide what’s more painful, an emergency trip to the dentist or upgrading cell phones. I recently had the privilege of going phone shopping. The newest phone had just launched, and I was still rocking a phone that was nearly 4 years old. With non-existent battery life, scratches all over the screen and very slow performance, I really needed/wanted a new phone.

My friend recently upgraded to the latest phone for free at a competing cellular company. I thought if she could get a phone for free, I should be able to get one too. I had a goal and I was ready to make it happen. My cellular company didn’t have the same promo, but I was able to still get a pretty great deal.

Here are my top 4 tips from this experience:

  1. Never be afraid to ask.
    I had to ask a lot of questions and be persistent but in the end, it was worth it to save money. After several calls, I finally found someone willing to hear my needs.

  2. Do your research.
    Know what competitors are offering and compare that to your current provider. This research will allow you to explain what you are wanting and needing from your provider.

  3. Loyalty matters.
    After digging a little deeper, the representative realized that I had been a loyal customer since 2008 and was able to offer maximum savings.

  4. Be nice.
    These situations can be frustrating but always treat the representative with respect. It’s ok to express your concerns, but also realize they can only do so much.

Even though my phone wasn’t free like my friend’s, I walked away with a discount that was $200 better than what the company was offering simply by asking questions, being nice and being a loyal customer. Remember to do your research in advance and be willing to negotiate - if it comes to that. These simple tips saved me money, and I hope they'll do the same for you.