Wireless carriers aren’t known for being as open to negotiation as some other telecom firms--standard two-year contracts with steep early-termination fees may have something to do with that--but if you went to the right school or work for the right employer, you can save up to 15 percent by mentioning that fact. You can check at each carrier’s site by entering an e-mail address: AT&T invites both work and school addresses, while Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless only cite employee discounts on their eligibility-verification pages. To see if other discounts apply, check with your employer, school, alumni association or other professional organization for a list. (AT&T, for example, also offers a 15 percent discount to union members.) Or you can just call your carrier’s customer service line and ask if they have anything to reward you for your discriminating taste in schools and employers.
In other news...
* Sunday’s column criticized the publishing industry for repeating a mistake of the music industry by insisting on “digital rights management” controls on e-books that undermine their utility and erode their value.
* In Help File, I revisited an old subject--spam that appears to have been sent from your own e-mail address--and noted how that problem might get worse after the breach of Epsilon Data Management’s database of names and e-mail addresses.
* Finally, if you missed Thursday’s post on my personal blog: This is my last week in the newsroom. Thanks for reading--and for taking the time to share your feedback on story after story in comments, e-mails, tweets, phone calls and even paper letters.