Wireless Phone Plans

Have you been looking at new wireless phone plans recently? If you have you probably already know just how complicated many of the wireless phone plans are from many of the carriers in the United States and in Canada. We recently were looking at changing our existing plan to try to save some money each month and at the same time add several features that we decided that we would want. What we found was so complicated and so difficult that we almost gave up. The telephone companies have purposely made it difficult for everyone to select economical wireless phone plans that make sense for each individual person. In this post we will discuss some of the issues that we ran into and look for your comments to help make this clearer for other readers.

I have recently decided that I am just buying my own unlocked phone so that I have the freedom to do what I want and not have to deal with the phone company locked in contract issues. I have 2 years to go on my existing contract which is pretty good, but now I have a phone that does not obligate me to continue with a new 36 month contract. Read on for more tips.

Voice

Our family does a lot of local and long-distance calling with our wireless phones. As a result, we thought that we should have a plan that includes airtime for local calling as well as long-distance calling for one simple rate per minute. In addition we receive a lot of incoming calls and we were looking for something that included an incoming call free rate plan. Since we have multiple phones we also wanted something that allowed for free calling between family members.

The telephone companies have features that meet all of our requirements however if you purchase them on an individual basis your monthly telephone bill will be quite high. As a result we were forced into taking prepackaged plans that include features that we want as well as features that we do not care about or need. We also wanted so-called smart phone features such as call display, calling number ID, called return and voicemail. Again these features are all available individually, however there is often a better package if you purchase them as a bundle.

Text Messages

Text messaging is very popular these days. Many more teenagers use text messaging than adults however even among young adults text messaging is becoming a common way of communicating. We have had more success in communicating with our teenagers by text messaging than we have by phoning them. There are family plans available for text messaging providing 100 200 and 500 text messages per month. Also if there is long-distance involved, sending a text message can be much more economical than actually making a long-distance phone call.

If you do not take a text message plan, the telephone companies will charge you for every text message you send as well as every text message that you receive. If your friends and family members send you a lot of text messages this can become quite expensive. A simple solution is to take the small text message plan of say 50 text messages per month, which allows you to send 50 text messages each month while at the same time receiving unlimited text messages. If you are the type of person who receives more text messages than sending text messages, then this is the plan for you.

Voice Mail

Voice mail is also important to have as part of your overall package. You cannot always answer the phone nor should you if you are in a restaurant, driving a car or otherwise busy at meetings. Having voicemail is a useful way for your callers to still leave a message. Voice mail is often integrated as a bundle with other voice features and you may want to take this into account when making a decision about purchasing voice mail.

There is a right way and a wrong way to leave a voice mail message. Many people will say that so and so is calling and leave the telephone number and nothing else. This is the wrong way to leave a voice message. The person you called has no idea of what you are calling about and whether they should prepare something prior to returning your call. Leaving a detailed message of what you are calling about along with your telephone number and name is the best method to use when leaving a voice message. This way, the person you called can prepare for the return phone call and have the information you are looking for at their fingertips.

Data Plans

Data plans are also very complicated and confusing. In order to know which data plan you should purchase, you should have some idea of the amount of data that you will download to your phone. If you have a smart phone and are planning to do a lot of Internet browsing, to do a lot of music downloading, and especially to view many music videos or video programs on your smart phone then you will need a large data plan. The telephone companies are charging a great deal for data, in fact more than they do for voice. They are trying to recoup some of their lost revenues due to the competition that voice has with all the different carriers providing service. We suggest that you be very careful in managing your data plan so that you do not go over your plan limits. This can become very expensive.

Summary

In summary the first step you should take is to figure out what services you require how many text messages you will send each month what call features you would like and how much data you will need before deciding on which plan you purchase from the wireless phone companies. Data is particularly tricky, due to the large amounts of data required by video. If you feel that you will never download music videos or video programs then you can safely go with a smaller data plan however if you plan to download video and watch programs etc. then you should probably opt for a larger data plan.

Your comments will be much appreciated on this post. For more information about smart phones and plans, click here.

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