Personal Finance

Negotiating with Rogers Wireless - Head to Head Battle!

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Negotiating with Rogers Wireless for a better cell phone contract. An example that persistence is key!

In an earlier post last week, I wrote about a general step-by-step guide on how to negotiate a cell phone contract. Today I’ll reveal the actual flow of the conversation I had when I called Rogers Wireless for my sister. I should note that it was much harder to get a good deal than it was in the past – even with our ninja negotiation skills. They really pushed the “share everything” plan pretty hard, but that didn’t really make sense for my sister. Apparently, when a few companies dominate a country’s industry it’s rough on consumers – who would have guessed?

Here’s the scoop on the conversation with Rogers: My sister was paying over $95 a month including tax for a mediocre package that she had signed up for years ago. Her needs had changed a lot since then, however, and I thought I could get her a better deal that fit her user profile. She also wanted a new phone. I tried to coax her into sticking with the old one (although it was looking pretty beat up) knowing that if we got one of the Rogers-subsidized phone plans it would add to her monthly bill substantially and take away some of our negotiating leverage. No dice though. I guess for most teens these days, cell phones are something they really want to splurge on.

Putting Our Canadian Cell Phone Script Into Action

When I called the Retentions Department for her, I spoke to Tristan (names have been changed) after a fairly brief delay. After filling him in on the conversation and casually noting that “my” (speaking on behalf of my sister) contract was due in a week, I was wondering if we could work out a new deal since I had talked to a couple of phone companies at the mall, and they had some “pretty good deals on”. I have no idea if they have deals on or not of course. Ain’t no one got time for that. I just repeated what I’d read online about current best deals and loyalty promotions being offered.

After asking if he could put me on hold for a while in order to speak to his supervisor (Tristan and I both knew that this was BS and that he was really talking to his buddy next to him about where they were watching the game that night – but it didn’t hurt me to be polite, and I didn’t mind since I was fully prepared) Tristan reported that since rates had gone up, he could get the unlimited texting, but since everyone was paying more now, the plan rate would have to go up as well. At this point, I calmly stated that I had been a loyal customer of Rogers now for several years and that I was really disappointed that I would have to cancel my contract and go with one of these other companies.

Who would have guessed that Tristan quickly decided that maybe he could speak to his supervisor again on my behalf. He came back with the following deal:

  • 2.5 GB of Data
  • Unlimited Canada-Wide Calling
  • Unlimited Text Messaging
  • Call Display
  • Enhanced Voicemail
  • Call Waiting

In other words a pretty basic plan for $95. When I inquired about all the extra add-on fees, of course, there was a boatload of those too.

Warm Transfers and Levelling Up

This just wasn’t going to cut it. The interesting thing is that during the break in the action, I talked to my sister about how much data she actually thought she needed. While she did spend an insane amount of time on her phone, we realized that she could save a lot of data if she simply made sure to use her Wi-Fi capability as often as possible. The vast majority of her time was spent in places with a Wi-Fi connection after all. She thought she could keep it under 2 GB of data pretty easily even though she’d been going over on her old plan of 1GB fairly consistently.

At this point I told Tristan, that there had to be a better deal for a young person that been with Rogers since her first cell phone and that would be buying a shiny new latest model along with the new plan. While Tristan was very reluctant to say much else, he finally agreed to let me talk to his supervisor after I repeated that if this was the best Rogers could do then I was going to go to the mall next week because I knew that I could sign with any company once my contract was up. When I kindly asked Tristan to “warm transfer” me with his supervisor he seemed a bit surprised, but quickly agreed.

When Supervisor Tom got on the line with me, I could tell right away he was the smooth-talking closer. I’ll spare the back-and-forth details, but needless to say, I think Tom was a bit surprised to be negotiating like this with a younger customer! When the dust settled, here is what I was able to nab for little sis:

  • 2.5 GB of Data
  • 150 day time local minutes (“who calls each other during the day anyway” my sister claimed)
  • Unlimited Canada-wide evening and weekends from 6pm
  • Call Display
  • Enhanced Voicemail
  • Call Waiting
  • Unlimited Texts
  • PLUS Spotify Premium (which she was pretty jacked about)
  • A $120 discount on top of the usual subsidization of her new phone.

For $85 per month with all fees included, but not taxes. Not unbelievable, but we were both pretty happy with the new package considering how uncompetitive the Canadian market appears to be. There were better deals available if you brought your own phone to the party, but the new phone was apparently a pretty big deal!

While I had frankly hoped to score a better deal, I wasn’t surprised by the hardball approach since I had read about this recent development online and we live in BC (MB, SK, and Quebec are known to get better deals due to local competition). All in all, it wasn’t a bad result in that for 90 minutes of my time, as I figure I probably saved a family member $20-$30 per month for the next two years. Once again, our cell phone negotiating script triumphs over the almost-evil phone empires and their weapons of boredom: “talking to supervisors”, endless holds, and fine print.

Hope that helps and good luck getting a better deal!

As always, it’s important to remember that everything in life is negotiable – and that a little patience and politeness go a long way. Whether you are trying to cut some costs from your satellite radio bill, your online bank fees, or your mortgage rate, simply picking up the phone and asking nicely can save you a boatload of money. Remember that every dollar in spending you save is like earning $1.40 for most people because it’s after-tax savings!

Have you had success with phoning in and negotiating with Rogers Wireless? If so, please share!


Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals.

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