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Wireless Telephone Questions

By galahad04 ·
I don?t mean to sound dumb or anything, but since I was thinking of getting a cell phone but am currently completely clueless about how to go about obtaining one, I thought I?d ask several basic questions:

1. What are the fundamental features I should be looking for in any commercial-class cell phone? (i.e., stuff like caller id, etc.)

2. What would be considered as a "reasonable" monthly rate for use of the cell phone?

3. For the sake on convenience, is an annual billing rate an option (instead of a monthly rate)?

4. Are there any rules on choosing a cell phone vendor who mandates a contract, vs. a vendor who does not mandate a contract, any which would you recommend?

5. What is the credibility level of e-mail solicitations offering free cell phones in exchange for the potential member selecting a monthly rate plan?

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Wireless Telephone Questions

by Stillatit In reply to Wireless Telephone Questi ...

This is an area where "buyer beware" applies. Read the fine print.

1. If you want caller ID, look for it. In general, all phones will have everything a business user needs included.

2. What is reasonable depends on what you will do with the phone, and what your time is worth to your company. I have users spending $200 to $400 per month on national plans, burning over 2000 minutes per month. If you have an executive or salesperson generating sales, what is $400 in expenses compared to making them productive for an additional several hours per week? On the other hand, if you are looking for an "emergency phone" which will mostly live in your glove compartment, look for cheap.

3. I would stay monthly. If you really need convenience, many companies will automatically bill to your credit card or debit your bank account.

4. I would stay away from anyone requiring a contract over one year. Usually these are resellers, who will sell you services by some large provider, but in exchange for a cheap phone they force a two year contract and double the cancellation fee.

5. When you read the fine print, most of these are resellers for AT&T, Verizon, etc. They are generally credible, but may not offer you as good a deal as the actual provider (see point 4). The big guys often have promotions where they will give you a phone when you sign up.

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Wireless Telephone Questions

by Stillatit In reply to Wireless Telephone Questi ...

General comment --

You need to look at your personal requriements before choosing a company and a plan. Where will you use the phone? How good is <company>'s coverage there?. ASK people in that area who have that service -- different companies have better or worse coverage in different cities. Look at the plans offered -- do you need long distance included, or will most of your calls be local. Will you use the phone when travelling, and where? What does roaming cost, if you do travel? What does it cost to switch plans if in two months you find you made a mistake?

Remember that a cheaper base rate is NOT always better. I had one user who bought a $29/month plan, then started travelling and did not change the plan. They were running $300 bills for less then 300 minutes per month. Moving them to a national plan for $59/month brought the bills back down.

Good luck.

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Wireless Telephone Questions

by galahad04 In reply to Wireless Telephone Questi ...

Thanks for your helpful advice!

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Wireless Telephone Questions

by galahad04 In reply to Wireless Telephone Questi ...

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