Cell Phone Company Secrets

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Cell Phone Company Secrets

I’m certain that God detests ignorance and I do too.

I’m reminded of a current TV ad which shows a father ignoring the joy of his daughter’s voice as she tells him she made an “A” in Physics. This dude is supposed to be so upset over a cell phone bill that he totally ignores his daughter’s excitement.

What troubles me is that advertisers expect this type of approach to appeal to a large demographic.

But I want you to know the Lord would not have you ignorant especially when it comes to cell phones. Here are “Six Things Cell Phone Companies Don’t Want You To Know.”

1. Regularly monitor available plans.In the highly competitive cell phone business companies are changing their plans on a regular basis.

I suggest that you contact your carrier at least once a quarter to determine what new rate plans are available. The companies are happy to switch you to a new plan as long as your renew your contract for at least one year.

Prior to renewing your contract, you might contact other companies to determine if they have a plan that meet your needs more economically. There may be a less expensive plan available but it’s not likely that your company will volunteer the information unless they feel you’re about to switch to a different carrier.

2. Clearly understand all the fees and taxes. There’s a lot more to a cell phone bill than the advertised amount. As an informed consumer you should determine the charges for roaming. . .text messaging. . .web access, in short, find out the full extent of charges. . .i.e., what your company covers and doesn’t cover.

Several of the phone companies boast of free calls between users in their cell phone network. If you include a family member on your program who lives in another part of the country. . .make sure they don’t live in an area where roaming charges apply. The calls are free unless roaming charges apply. . .then you will be paying twenty-five to forty cents a minute.

3. Understand that some coverage areas have more dead zones than a cemetery.Even though you may be placing your call in the designated calling area. . .you could still experience call drop off (i.e., you lose your call during a conversation), busy signals, static or network busy notices. This is particularly true in some metropolitan areas where the number of cell phones has proliferated over the past few years. For instance, New York City which boasts the largest cell phone market in the country has nearly 200 “dead zones” with frequently dropped calls, failed connections and interference according to the office of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

4. Overseas phone calls are expensive.Years ago I was excited about being able to use my new cell phone during a trip to England. . .that is, until the bill came in. The calls were $1.29 per minute and I had used just over 400 minutes during my twelve day business trip. You can imagine my surprise when I saw the bill for $516 when my plan has unlimited minutes for only $100 a month. Make sure you fully examine all charges before traveling abroad.

Additionally, you should know that even though your cell phone utilizes the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network, it might not operate world-wide. Don’t assume anything. . .read the small print and make the appropriate calls before traveling abroad.

5. Carefully monitor cell phone usage by family members.There is an old saying that you need to inspect what you expect. Many families have multiple cell phones. It’s important to set limits in specific dollar amounts when your children use cell phones. The children need to know that if they exceed the amount of time you’ve given them. . .they will be responsible for all additional charges and loss the privilege of the phone until it’s paid off. The teaching of accountability is equally important to controlling the cost of your cell phone plan.

Many parents now only give their young children cell phones for emergency use while they’re away from home.

6. Pay-as-you-use cell phone plans can cost you big money.Be careful in selecting a pay-as-you-go cell phone. Yes, you can buy time as you need it; however, be very careful of hidden charges, especially roaming fees. The cost per minute for roaming is much higher than your regular calls so it will “eat up” the amount of time purchased much more rapidly.

Finally, set up your cell phone bill so that it can be reviewed online. You can monitor the activity and charges during the month so you don’t get any surprises that make you want to scream as some commercials indicate. Those ads may come closer to the truth.