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Best Cell Phone Plans

Be Certain You Read The Fine Print!

Shopping for a cell phone plan can quickly become an exercise in boredom and confusion. Weighing the facts about which plan is best can feel like it requires a degree in rocket science.

Fortunately, there are some key elements that enable anyone to find the plan that ensures they get the best one there is to meet their needs. Here are some things to watch for:

  • Price Structure: This is where things tend to get a little confused. Price structures tend to be modulated. This means some plans offer a certain amount of free minutes included or without call times, peak cool, cool off and more. Let's start with the basic monthly charge and check what was included and what is not.
  • Some plans come with unlimited minutes included on days, nights and weekends. Which fits the best personal needs to be determined on an individual basis. It is important to understand the pricing structure and financial requirements. To not do this can result in bills that are much higher that customers could have expected.
  • Arrangements for long distance: Not everyone is concerned about this feature, but some people need long distance included in their cell phone plan. Many companies offer long distance to be included at no extra cost with anytime minutes, but additional charges can apply when you go beyond the contracted monthly maximum. The area that is covered with the long distance should also be considered.
  • International long distance: Most plans offer this to some extent. Get unlimited or at least reduced rates, it could be considered as an addition on or optional feature. If calls to other countries are a concern, it is worth asking about this. Some plans offer limited international long distance that might work well for individual needs.
  • Local calling: It is very important to ensure that the local calling area for a plan meet your personal needs. Some plans offer very limited calling areas, others go to another state or region.
  • Roaming: Discovering the risks when traveling outside the local calling areas is always useful to know. For some people, it will be a major concern.
  • Contract Period: Since the characteristics of cellular phone plans change all the time from company to company, understanding the contract is also wise. It is possible an agreement will be signed and another company will come at a better plan for your personal needs six months down the road.
  • Inclusion of the phone: Not all plan options come with free or reduced prices for the cell phone itself. Find out what does come with it. Not everyone can afford or even wants to pay more money for a cell phone, when there are free options included with some plans.

Shopping for a cell phone plan may not be much fun, but it can net great savings. Pay special attention to the characteristics necessary for personal use and read the fine print to ensure the best contractual conditions.

Last Update: 7/21/2011
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