Jan 4, 2016

You are paying too much for your phone bill!

You are paying too much for your phone bill! photo
I first arrived in Japan 6 years ago, the first thing I did was to get my prepaid phone, I recharge my prepaid phone card every 3 months. Back then I was using a feature phone, so it is about 1000 yen per month for text message and phone call.

Nowadays with all those smartphones and data plans, those cell phone carriers can easily slap you with a ten thousand yen phone bill in the face each month. At first, I thought there are nothing you can do except take it with a bitter smile, but I was wrong you can actually save at least 50% if you look for it.

Follow the follow rules to cut down on your phone bill:

1. Do not go to the official cell phone carriers' store, they will sell you those overpriced data plans.
2. Remember to change your carrier when the current contract end, your new carrier will give you a new phone for free plus special discount and cash back. 
3. For some extra saving, search "一括" and "MNP" on twitter to get those store limited campaigns.
4. March is the best month for changing phone carriers because it is the end of the fiscal year for most of the cell phone shops, they will push out all the campaigns to match the sales quota they needed.
5. Having multiple phone line is cheaper than having one phone line because you can share your data plan at the same time use the family discount.

Here is the English translation for one of the deals I found:
40000 yen for 2 iPhone 6s 64Gb if you trade in your old iPhone 5 or 5s and use MNP discount (change from another carrier).
I will skip the detail and give you an overview about this deal, 1-year total cost is about 10 thousand yen and 2-years cost is about 22 thousand yen. Without this discount, cell phone carrier will charge you 24 thousand yen for each 2-years contract with one phone, with this discount you get two phones and 10GB data usage per month.

Family Plan with 2 iPhone 6s

1 Phone
    Basic unlimited phone call 2,916円
    Landline Broadband discount + change carrier discount -2,916円
    broadband fee 324円
    Family share data pack 10,260円
    Broadband set discount -1,296円
    Phone monthly discount -3,456円
    Second phone monthly discount -2,592円
    Total included tax 3,240円

2 Phone
    Basic unlimited phone call 2,916円
    Landline Broadband discount + change carrier discount -2,916円
    broadband fee 324円
    Family share data pack add-on 540円
    Phone monthly discount -3,456円

Total monthly charge is 3240 Yen



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  • DaveJpn

    on Jan 4

    I've alway found it insanely annoying that if you show loyalty to your carrier you just end up getting charged more. My two-year phone contract is up next month so I'm going to hit Yodobashi Camera to see what deals I can get from a new carrier. That said, I heard the government was going to bring in some new regulations that will affect the kind of discounts you can get by switching carriers (I think a lot of people we signing on to new contracts, getting free phones, leaving the country and then selling them). Anyway, I'm not sure of the details, maybe someone on here might know more. Really helpful post this! Thx.

  • KevinC

    on Jan 4

    Yes, staying with the same carrier will end up paying more. I stayed with my last carrier for 4 years and they are charging me 11 thousand a year and I have to use the same old phone for 2 years. It cost about the same for me to change my cell phone carrier each year, plus I can have 2 new phones each year along with more data per month to use.