All companies seem to have the best phone plans. At least that’s what the companies themselves say. They all seem to claim to offer more for less, but why do their prices seem to keep increasing? The reality is that phone plans are intentionally confusing. They provide some obvious good stuff to mask questionable fees and overcharges that they seem to charge all the time.
If they make it seem difficult and confusing to compare plans, then people will just choose their plan to make things easier. However, this is just plain stupid. There are always ways around these kinds of cheap marketing ploys. Comparing phone plans really comes down to really knowing what you want from your phone experience.
What makes up a phone plan?
Phone plans come with all sorts of varied options. The services they offer will increase or decrease the price of the plan depending on which ones are used. The first option is whether you want to use a mobile plan, a residential plan, or both. Bundling multiple services can actually result in significant savings if you’re considering both a cell phone and a home phone.
Home phone options tend to be somewhat limited. They can’t do much. But simple things like call display and voicemail are important options. Home telephony is a safe and reliable way to connect with others. The home phone is especially useful in emergency situations such as power outages. They will continue to work even if cell towers and other electronic devices will not. Don’t forget about long distance charges. If you are someone calling your family overseas or in another city, they may have the wrong plan.
Mobile plans are more complicated. The basic mobile plan will allow you to call a bit like a home phone. Local calls will be free and long distance calls will be more expensive. Some basic plans will have minute restrictions, but almost all plans have now ditched this. As cell phones have become handy mini-computers, what most people care about is data packets. Data is the information that passes through your phone from the Internet or through apps you get from the App Store. There are still the typical services like voicemail and call display. However, these will be free in most cell phone plans. It’s data that matters most to businesses.
What do you do with your phone?
As mentioned earlier, if you want to compare phone plans, you need to decide what you want to do with them. Everyone has different priorities. Depending on these priorities, you will want different plans. So the question is: what do you like to do with your phone?
- Call your family anytime – If all you’re looking to do with your phone is talk to your family, you’ll probably want to choose a basic plan. Just look at what it will cost you for long distance charges. If your family prefers to talk via apps like Skype or Apple Talk, then data costs will be worth comparing.
- Text and Email Friends and Family – If you have reached the point where you prefer texting or emailing, then you need to compare rates for these. SMS messages are often free or unlimited on larger plans. Emailing photos will consume some data, but not much. Very small data packages will often be more than sufficient.
- Catch up around the world – For those who have lived adventurous lives, you have probably met a lot of different people over the years. They may have spread throughout the world. Checking international calling rates and comparing them can actually turn what might otherwise be a terrible plan into the best plan for you.
- Stay connected with the world – Many people have moved from consuming their news in newspapers to an online format. If you are one of those people, you can get live news and sports from around the world right on your phone. These plans will require solid data plans, but not high-end plans.
- Watching movies and TV or listening to music: phones are now versatile. If you want to enjoy your media anywhere, you’ll need a large data plan to go with it.
Comparison of phone plans – Questions and answers
- Q: Are all phone plans available?
A: Unfortunately, not all providers are available in all areas of the United States. Choices will have to be made at the regional level.
- Q: Am I limited to major phone companies?
A: Not at all. Regional businesses pop up all the time. These companies often purchase connectivity through the
- Q: Can I just use Wi-Fi instead of data?
A: It is certainly possible to use Wi-Fi instead of a data plan. You will be limited in how much you can use anything other than pure calls on your phone to locations that have wifi. But there are many.
- Q: Is there a better company or phone plan?
A: Currently, many of the larger companies offer the same level of phone plans. There are only minor differences. The best plan is subjective, but there should be one.