Since the smartphones became a thing, visiting the wireless carrier store haven’t been the most pleasant experience for many. You either have to let the rep sell you things you may not want nor need and spend an arm and a leg, or you have to keep saying no to everything they say and spend a few exhausting hours at the store. Sometimes, dealing with wireless service providers could be considered as stressful as going to a used-car dealership – the salesman is telling you that you are getting a deal but deep inside you know that you are not getting the most for the money.

Before we dig in into why going to the cell shop may not be the best way to spend your afternoon you need to know why sales reps tend to make your life a living nightmare should you decide to not spend a lot of money with them. Well, they work on commission, and the biggest mobile wireless carriers in the US invest millions of dollars training their sales force “best practices.”

You might have noticed the fact that when you go for troubleshooting the retail sales reps are not as excited to see you as they usually are when you are there to make a purchase. Retail workers are pressured to meet aggressive sales targets every month, so sometimes what they recommend you is not what you really need, but what they have in stock in the store and what would help them maximize their commission infused monthly salaries.

So here are the top five ways for you to avoid getting slammed on your next visit.

Don’t give too much information about you

One of the biggest mistakes people do when going to a cell phone store is disclosing information about their life to the sales reps. Wireless carrier service providers train their sales force to profile their customers and discover things about people’s personal life – things that they may use to upsell you. So if you are a person in your mid-40s and you’ve mentioned you have two children aged 10 and 13 and you shared your parents live out of state – you most likely will be offered three tablets and a new phone “bundled” with a case, tempered glass, and a charger.

Buying all these might end up miraculously decreasing your bill! If you follow the instructions given by the retail worker, even though you’ve entered the store only to buy a phone, you may end up spending thousands of dollars for overpriced stuff you most likely won’t need. At the end of the day, you will realize none of these have been free.

Don’t fall for the “it will save you money” offer

If a sales rep offers you to save you money if you agree to purchase something, the rep is most likely not being genuine with you but just trying to upsell you. In most cases, if you do some research, you will realize that you will be able to decrease your bill without the need to purchase a whole bunch of overpriced accessories. Remember that if buying something can save you money according to a salesperson, you most likely will be able to decrease your bill without the need for additional purchases.

Keep a record of the numbers

If you are adjusting your plan, ask the sales rep to write the numbers down on a piece of paper that you can keep. Ask them for their business card too. They will most likely tell you that you will receive emails with the adjustments that they’ve performed, but those emails could be very misleading. Instead, ask them to write down all a full breakdown on a piece of paper, so it is clear what changes are being performed and what are the charges on your bill now. Do not leave the store until you fully understand every part of your bill. Sometimes you may be told that you qualify for a free tablet – well it is not free – look again, and you will see that there is a separate monthly charge for it on your bill. In most cases, you could save on your monthly fee and decrease your bill even more by just not accepting the ‘free tablet.’ Remember, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Don’t buy the accessories

Most of the times you can find the accessories for half the price online. The reps might want to convince you that the products you buy online might not be genuine or that they may get lost in the mail. This is them trying to make a commission – even they know that most of the accessories they sell could be purchased for a fraction of the cost online. Sometimes you are being told that it is not a good idea to leave the store without protection on your phone and you can damage your phone while you wait for the accessories you ordered online. They might be right, so if you do not feel confident handling your device without a cover until you receive your order, you can buy the accessories, keep the packaging and the receipt and then return them for a full refund when you receive the parcel with regularly priced accessories.

Be prepared

Research the type of phone you want to purchase or get a recommendation from a friend, then go and buy it – don’t let the salesperson distract you. The reason the retail workers sometimes want to set you in another direction on your buying journey is not that they want you to make a better decision, but most likely because they get more commission on selling certain types of phones. Or simply, they do not have the device you want in stock and don’t want to lose the sale.
Lastly, if you end up not being happy with the transaction give them the feedback they deserve when you receive an experience survey. Your comments will make it up in the hierarchy – company directors won’t know about the shady practices used in stores unless people like you voice their opinion.

Good luck and remember always to have antivirus software on your phone. Retail sales reps are not the only ones wanting your money!

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