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How to save big bucks on mobile phone bill February 14, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Enterprise, Finance, Mobile.
Tags: , , , , , ,

I recently spent a great deal of time with our company’s account representatives for our mobile phone cariers, AT&T and T-Mobile. I learned some eye-opening, jaw-dropping yet simple tricks that will reduce our company’s monthly mobile phone bill by hundreds of dollars. The changes to make are simple little things that truly add up to a great deal of savings. Here are some ways that you can help your company reduce their monthly mobile phone bills by a significant amount by simply making a couple of minor changes in the way you use your company provided cell phone.


Directory Assistance (411)
Companies can save substantially if every employee uses Google directory assistance from their cell phone instead of calling 411 which charges for every call made that way. It’s approximately $1.79 plus airtime per 411 call made from a mobile device which adds up quickly if a company has many employees on their plan. It’s free to use Google directory assistance via text messaging for addresses and numbers. Simply save Google’s directory assistance number (466453) under contacts as Google. When sending a text to GOOGLE just enter the name of the business and city and state or zipcode. For example, Pizza Hut Atlanta, GA. Google will then immediately start sending you the contact information that matches your request.


Google also offers 1-800-Goog-411 (1-800-466-4411) as well for free information calling.

There are several other similar free services, such as:
Microsoft’s TellMe 1-800-555-TELL (8355)
1-800-Free 411 
Try each one to see which one you like best.

Change your voicemail number
You can also save a great deal when it comes to checking voicemail on mobile devices. By default, you are charged whenever you check your voicemail because you are dialing a special phone number. In order to be able to check voicemail for free, all you have to do is change that voicemail number to your own cell phone number. Here are the instructions for Blackberry and non-blackberry cell phone users.

Blackberry Users

1. Open the phone application.
2. Click the wheel and go to Options.
3. Click on Voicemail and it will display your Access Number.
Change it to your own number.
4. Go into your Address Book and add an entry for ‘Voice Mail’ and put in the access number from step 3 as one of the phone numbers for that contact (it doesn’t matter which phone number slot you put it in).
5. Go back into your phone app. Click the wheel and select ‘View Speed Dial List’.
6. Select the [1] spot (or wherever you want the speed dial for voicemail to go).
7. Click the wheel and select ‘New Speed Dial’ (or ‘Edit’ if there is already something in that slot).
8. Select the Voice Mail contact you created in step 4.
9. Save your changes to the speed dial list and go delete the Voice Mail contact. The phone number will be left in the speed dial list.


Non BB users

1. Save your own number in contacts under yourself such as voicemail or “name” Jane voicemail.

2. Call the saved contact name and do not push 1 or 123 to call voicemail.

3. Depending on device:

a. Find phone options in device

b. Go to voicemail number

c. Select menu – edit voicemail number from default +8####### to your own seven digit mobile number.


WiFi Whenever Possible
Thanks to exciting new devices like the iPhone and the Skype Phone, mobile phone cariers such as AT&T and T-Mobile are offering models with WiFi capabilities such as the Blackberry Curve.
This is a significant move because it now enables mobile users to save airtime minutes by using “free” WiFi hotspot connections instead! There’s even a way to setup the phone to automatically switch to WiFi mode whenever one is available without user intervention. Look for mobile devices with WiFi features to become extremely popular.

Every Minute Counts!

This tip is just a matter of changing a habit and just common sense. Whenever possible, do your best to make and return phone calls from an office landline instead of your mobile phone. This will save a great deal of minutes and thus reduce your phone bill.


Final Thoughts
These are just some tips and ideas that can help you and your company save substantially every month. There are other things you can do to save hordes of cash such as adding your users to a pool of minutes instead of letting them each expense their monthly phone bills individually. Mobile cariers are much more flexible these days when it comes to porting phone numbers from personal accounts to corporate accounts and back out to personal accounts again so there isn’t a valid reason why an employee couldn’t join the company plan anymore. It also allows you to phone usages and control any financial bleeding that is taking place in your monthly phone expenditures. Each mobile carier provides powerful online account systems that allow you to examine how you are using your phones and minutes.





1. Merlene Paynter - February 15, 2008

Great list of tips, Pai.

2. حلال المشاكل - February 15, 2008

nice blog
hope u come and visit mine 2
c u

3. nightrider - February 15, 2008

Great tips!

The GOOG service though doesn’t offer residential listings so far, while the 800free411 one does. Also, GOOG seems to record calls, which I think they might be using to upgrade their voice recognition, which in some cases is pretty spotty.

4. pinetrees - February 23, 2008

Besides the GOOG411 and 800-FREE411, there are a bunch of other free phone-based directory assistance services out there. My current favorite is 1-800-YellowPages (800-935-5697) for a couple of key reasons:
1.The automation works pretty well for me, but when it doesn’t, there’s ALWAYS an operator available – no matter where I’m calling from or what time of day it is.

2.I can ask for PEOPLE, in addition to businesses. And for businesses, I can look them up by specific business name, or by category (like looking up a business in your yellow pages phone book).

3.So far, I like the speed and accuracy of the service I get. I think a bunch of the growing pains have been worked out of some of the other services, but they were really difficult for me to use, originally. My time is important to me, too!

Also, there are a bunch of others out there, too. Maybe it would be fun to do a comparison. I’m going to keep trying all of the ones I know about, because with such big names behind a bunch of them, there are sure to be some cool new features showing up as they all try to compete for our calls! 🙂

5. Larry - March 9, 2008

I found a great free Directory Assistance service, 1-800-411-SAVE. You can call it from any phone and get free directory assistance (Business, Government, or Residential). The best part………you actually get to speak with a real person immediatly, instead of some silly machine. The other great thing I like about the service is that they also connect the call for free so I don’t have to write the number down.

6. pinetrees - March 10, 2008

Thx for the heads-up, Larry. I’ll add this one back to my list to try every so often. This one was around a long time ago, but then for some reason, I took it off my list. I did some quick searching online. Any idea who’s providing the service? Is it the original company or someone else now? The website, referenced in some older articles, doesn’t seem to be in existence anymore.

7. Phil - July 23, 2008

I used 800-411-SAVE, a free service, last Friday to get the number of a pizza restaurant that was recommended to me. The operator quickly located the listing. Great first experience…I’d definitely use it again.

8. deanna shea - September 8, 2008

There’s another number to call for free directory assistance service. It’s 1-800-411-SAVE. They have friendly live operators and the numbers that Ive been getting from them are more accurate and updated than the ones that I had from the previous 411 that I was using. Its like only few seconds of listening to a short advertisement, and right after you’ll get the listing that you are looking for. You can try it as well and see the difference!

9. deannashea - October 16, 2008

One way of saving money is using 1-800-411-SAVE as your provider for directory assistance. Its an amazing experience to dial them and look for residential or business listings. They have live agents who are very friendly and generous. They give out phone numbers in a fast manner. Aside from these, the listings are very accurate that youd think that they are even better with other directory that charges us more than a dollar per call. Its absolutely free, so why not try it now?

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