1. Coverage: If you live in Alaska, it may be hard to find good cell phone service. Moreover, you donít want to be roaming where you use your phone most of the time. If you have family or friends, in other words, places where you may be visiting or spending a lot of cell phone time, itís important to make sure that your service provider covers those areas.
2. Geographical coverage: Most plans are divided into a local, regional, or national plan. If you want to move from your local area to another part of your state or even to another state altogether, and youíre on a local plan, be prepared to pay big charges. These plans are good if youíre looking for a low cost option, or if you have a kid who you want to be able to keep in contact with. If you spend most of your phone time talking with family who live across the country, or business clients in another state, a national plan is probably your best bet. With this plan, roaming and long distance charges are no longer concerns.
3. Usage: How often and how do you plan to use your cell phone? Is it replacing your land line? Is it for business only? Maybe itís just for emergencies? If you have an idea of how much you want to use your phone, ballpark that figure, and try to stick to it. Going over your allotted minutes can cost you, and if you wind up not using it as much, it may be better to switch to a less expensive usage plan. Medium usage ranges from about 250-500 minutes monthly. Although this may seem like a lot, if you call family members, you can easily have a 20 minute conversation. 10 of those a month would put you into this category, and donít forget that short conversations add up quickly. If youíre a big cell user, you may want a plan that has unlimited minutes, or up to 2000 minutes per month, which will probably cost you around $70-$90 monthly. Those replacing land lines often follow this route.
4. Contract: Usually you will sign a one or two year contract to stick with a service provider. Before you do so, make sure that they donít charge you extra for changing your plan, or at least find out how many times you are allowed to do so.
5. Text: Especially among the younger generation, texting is replacing calling. A text plan can be much like a talk plan in determining frequency and price. Take this into account before deciding how many minutes you want.
When your contract expires, services usually offer a new phone. If you think this may be better than switching, ask about it at the store.
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Article Added on Wednesday, August 18, 2010
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