Are you angry every time you look at your phone? Are you frustrated that you pay a high price and you don't even know what you are paying for? Does your phone bill shoot way up every time you get a new phone? Sometimes you get a salesman that will warn you the next bill will be higher, but did they tell you that your stuck paying $40 plus more every month? If any of these scenarios describe how you feel about your phone plan, you are not alone. Cellphone companies like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T have broken away from traditional 2-year contracts and now have you lease or finance your upgrade with installments. Normally that is a benefit for you, but it makes it easier to bundle additional fees and products into their pricing. Before you know it your phone bill is sky high and you are not even sure what all you are paying for.
Some people have broken away from the traditional Postpaid phone plans or what is commonly referred to as a family plan. Prepaid plans offer a lot of flexibility to jump from one phone carrier to another. You are not tied down by installments or locked phones, and you can take advantage of what promotions someone else is offering.
Prepaid plans are usually only great for a single individual. Most postpaid plans are cheaper when 4 or more people are together. The trick is knowing how to shop and who to trust. Walking into a retail store gives you the comfort of working with someone face to face, but do they really have your best interest in mind? You must remember; their paycheck is dependent on what they sell you. So, you skip the retail store and shop online, but all the flashy ads and small print makes everything more complicated. How can you win?
If you take away the salesman and flashy website and just look at what is necessary. You can end up with a cellphone plan that does not make you cringe every time you look at it.
First, think about what you need. Is it just you, do you have a wife or husband, do you have children or is mom and dad on your plan? Figure out how many phone lines you will have on one phone plan.
Second, what type of plan would you like? Do you only need basic unlimited data for web browsing and listening to music? How about high-speed unlimited data, to stream quality videos on YouTube or Netflix while you are at work? Do the kids need hotspot on their phones for eLearning? Not all unlimited plans are the same. Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T each offer three different unlimited plans to fit different needs.
Third, think about what phones you want and how it will effect the bill. Cellphones are so expensive and phone companies know you will finance them on your phone bill if you can. But is that the best choice for you? A family of four getting new phones can hike the bill up $120 a month, overnight. Make sure you fully understand the payment plans. Verizon has their Upgrade Program, AT&T has Next Up, and T-Mobile has Jump. All of them allow you trade-in your device once you have paid 50% of it, but some of the programs come with a fee. Are you paying extra for installments, or are there zero additional fees? Consider browsing an Unlocked Phone option. It may cost more upfront, but there are ZERO hidden fees, and you are not tied to a phone carrier.
Fourth, what about insurance? Are you or your family prone to breaking your phones? All of the phone carries use the same insurance company, Asurion. You can find them at www.phoneclaim.com Insurance comes with a price tag of $8.99 to $40 a month depending on the type of insurance you need. Did you know that a lot of banks and homeowner’s insurance come with coverage for your cellphones? You may already have protection for your cellphones and not even realize it.
Fifth, the extras. Cellphone companies offer several extra features you may be unaware of. Things like roadside assistance, family tracking, international packages, and detailed billing. All these things are great options if they are something you need. My family personally uses roadside assistance with our cellphone plan because it is a cheaper option than others.
Follow these five steps and you will have a cellphone plan that you have complete control of. If you do not need an installment plan, insurance, or extras, do not get them. If you are only shopping for one line, maybe check out cheaper alternatives with Prepaid Plans.
There are multiple reasons why someone’s cellphone bill gets out of control. When you go into a retail store and sit down with a salesman to discuss a new phone or plan. They are in control of telling you the prices. If they give you a price that you are okay with, you will not question anything. What you do not see, is all the bundled extra features in that price. You might agree to pay $150 a month, but for the things you actually need you should only pay $120 a month. Another challenge is flashy and complexed websites. You go to a website to try and get a quote, maybe check the price of a new phone. But because of the way the website is set up, you have to be completely signed up and ready to buy before you have the answer you were looking for.
Another reason a lot of people overpay, is not updating your cellphone plan. We have all heard the term, “grandfathered into”. Well, that is not always a good thing. Cellphone companies change their plans every year to remain competitive with the changing market. They will not notify you that there is a new plan that gives you everything you have now, but cost $40 less. You have to stay on top of your phone plan and check every 6 months to see if there are cheaper alternatives. And do not worry, changing your cellphone plan does not lock you into a contract. You can change as often as you would like, as long as its with plans your phone carrier offers.
We recommend taking a moment and researching new plans and new promotions before getting into a new agreement. Mobile Advisor offers an easy-to-understand quoting tool. We help you compare unlimited plans with Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T side by side. From there you are on your way to taking back control of your cellphone bill.
- Mobile Advisor