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Switching Cellphone Providers



Today's day and age, everyone has a phone. Selecting the right cell phone plan can be a real pain. It seems that you can never compare the plans apples-to-apples. There are always perks that some companies offer that others won't. Restrictive calling circles, free nights and weekends, rollover minutes, mobile-to-mobile, texting, web, coverage, payment plans are all different from company to company. Here are a few steps for selecting the right plan for you:
  • Coverage: Personally, I use my cell phone as my house phone, so I spend most of the minutes in my office or at my home. You need to make sure that you are going to get reception in the areas you use most. The coverage maps aren't perfect, so see what phones your friends have and see where they work and don't.
  • Minutes: You want to make sure you are getting enough minutes. Try and estimate your cell phone usage to get an idea of how many you will need. Going over your allotted minutes can cost you an extra few hundred on your bill, so try to get more minutes than you think you will use.
  • Features: Text and web are typically more expensive. If you will use them all the time, they might be worth it to include. Just remember that some phones are better for those features than others.
  • Phones: If you really want a certain phone, you might be limited to certain networks. Play around with the phones in the store. See how they will fit in your pocket and make sure you won't be pocket-dialing anyone.
  • Contract: Most companies require you to enter a 2-year contract. If you are paying $100/month for your phone, and you enter a 2-year contract, thats $2,400 you are signing away right there. You better make sure you will be happy with your decision since you are likely to be locked in for 2 years. Check out a pre-paid plan if you don't want a contract.
Look at all your options. Some include: Sprint/Nextel/Boost, AT&T, Verizon, Virgin, etc. Take your time to select your next plan because cell phones are often a large portion of your budget!

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