It is the age of the Cell Phone and everyones got one. From 10 year old girls to 90 year old men choosing a wireless provider can be a painful and time consuming experience for everyone. Who to go with? What commercial or bilboard to belive? What company is best for YOU?
Before going to the stores, ask your self the following questions:
What providers do your friends and other family member use? most plans have mobile to mobile calling, if im your cousin and i have Verizon and you get Verizon we can call each other and not be using our peak daytime minutes… if 90% of the people you call all have the same service provider you can save lots of money buy going with that provider also.
Do you get an employee discount ? many companies get discounts with Verizon, Cingular and Sprint… these discounts can range from 10-40% so make sure to check… this discount could save you $100’s a year
How many phones will you need? Verizon usually has a buy one get one or actually up to 3 others for free… Nextel and Cingular phones are usually higher priced… but Cingular tends to have the most options for phones…
What kind of phone features are you going to use? text messaging? video messaging? web browsing? different providers have different data and text messaging plans and different prices. Verizon charges $10 for 500 text and video messages but you get unlimited messing to all other verizon people. Cingular charges $10 for 500 text messages only, video or picture messages are .25c per message. Web Browsing plans vairy for $40 to $75 a month.
Ask around... ask your family, friends, coworkers, random people talking on their phones… Ask them how do they like their provider and try to find out why or why not? Also ask them what kind of signal strength they normally have? Ask if they have dealt with customer service and if customer service helpful? Also its important to now if will they renew their contract and why or why not?
How many minutes will you need? this will vary depending on number of phones, amount of calls and amount of calls that are mobile to mobile… most companies have similar priced plans for similar minutes… but be carfeul because it is costly to pay the overages, estimate a little high on the ammount of talk time you will need.
A Family plan with Verizon and Cingular are the same prices, $90 a month plus taxes with both gets you a family plan with 1400 shared minutes, free mobile to mobile and unlimited nights and weekends. With Cingular you get “rollover minutes” meaning if you only use 1300 minutes in June you have an extra 100 minutes that roll over for July or August or Even October.
Cingular and Verizon also both have comparable service and signal strengths. In some areas of the county cingular is slightly stronger in other areas verizon wins.
Picking a plan comes down to what your friends and family are using and what you want out of a plan… do you just want to talk? or do you want to talk, message, play games, browse the net and watch tv? I have used both Verizon and Cingular and I can say that in my area they are virtually the same, the messaging plan ad ons are slightly different but the service is very similar so i would suggest going with the company that your friends and family use and the company that has the phones that you like more, since you will have the phone for at least a year if not two.
Check out the companies websites, it is common to see offers that are “Online Only” and they typically range from free phones to free activiation. A lot of the time the same offers are not available in the stores.
As a final note, Cingular has a 30 trial period where you can try it out and cancel within the 30 days and not have the cancelation fees, Verizon’s trial is 14 days. After using the phones and the service for 48 hours you will know if you like it and its compatible or not.