How To Compare Wirelsss Phone Plans
Wireless phones and plans are changing constantly. To find and compare
the best combination of cost, quality, and capabality from wireless vendors
available in your area:
- Know your usage patterns : you need to know
how many minutes per month you talk, how many of those are at night
or on the weekend and whether or not you need to be able to roam.
- Find a carrier that provide best service.
- Compare plans. Find a service plan that matches
your needs with plans in your area
- Shop around for the best plan
and phone deals
Why you chould compare service plans: coverage and rates
Two most important reasons people switch carriers are poor coverage and
price. Reception is becoming even more important as more people make cell
phones their only phones.
Wireless rates are changing constantly due to stiff competion. Experts
agree that, if you haven't changed your plan in the last six months, you're
probably paying too much. Wireless companies are constantly offering new
plans and new deals. Often, these aren't widely publicized.
Like the airline industry cell phone service companies in stiff competition
with each other, and if one suddenly offers a great deal, the others are
likely to follow suit.
Know Your Usage Pattern
If you're swtiching from a current carrier, closely examine your phone
habits over the past six to 12 months.
- How much do you pay each month?
- How many "anytime minutes" do you have?
- How many weeknight, weekend and daytime minutes do you have?
- Most importantly, how many do you actually use?
Which carries are best rated in your area
You need to find out which carrier has a good service reputation in the
places where you expect to use your phone. J.D. Power and Associates and
Consumer Reports rank all the major carriers in each region.
The surveys indicate that Verizon Wireless consistently won the most
praise nationwide, with generally good service credited to the wireless
The recently merged AT&T and Cingular was rated lowest among the
top four big cell-phone companies, with apparent problems in making the
two systems compatible.
To see the survey results, go to service
Questions to ask when you compare wireless plans
Consumers Union recommends the following 15 key questions to ask when
shopping for wireless service:
- Exactly when are night, weekend, peak, off-peak and "anytime"
- Exactly where is "home," "region" and "nation"?
Also check out the coverage maps
- Who pays for incoming calls?
- What is the price per minute if I exceed the limit on my plan?
- How much are roaming charges?
- Is long distance included?
- What happens to unused minutes?
- What happens to fractions of minutes?
- Can I use my phone with another carrier?
- What exactly are the “Additional Charges”?
- Does this phone also work in the analog mode?
- Can you give me an estimate of the taxes, fees and surcharges with
typical usage of this phone?
- Is there a "test drive" period? How long?
Fo rcomparison shopping for service plans, go to comparison
After your purchase, review your bills carefully, especially the first
one to ensure you are charged as advertised.