Making the right change…Choosing a cell plan!

Choosing the Right Cell Phone Plan!

I recently had some changes to my wireless usage, and decided it was time to find a new plan.


But figuring out what voice plan is right called for some serious consideration.


I did not want a significant increase in my monthly charges, but knew my usage was about to increase, and most of the new usage would be long distance. What to do….


Calling your carrier for advice on mobile management is an obvious place to go…. and yes, calling, not just checking the web site is what needs to be done, as they frequently run promotional plans or can match you to the right plan if you are prepared. Keep in mind that carriers love to tell you all the benefits you could enjoy by signing up for options you may never use or need… but yes it is a great deal. Knowing the difference between what sounds like good advice and and advice that is actually good for you may be hard to figure out. 


Before making that call, there are a few simple things you can determine to make sure what they offer suits your needs. 


Minutes of Usage – know how many minutes you use, most people use roughly the same amount each month. Try to find a plan that offers enough minutes to encompass all your usage, also keep in mind that you can often get evening and weekend options which may reduce the actual number of minutes needed in your plan. 


Remember that some carriers charge as much as $.40 for each extra local usage minute (that means 50 extra minutes will cost an additional $20). Make sure your plan has enough minutes to prevent these extra charges, and be sure to find out the cost for each additional minute in the event that you do go over. This will help you decide when your usage has or will increase enough to justify a change to a higher plan. 


There are flex rate plans available with some carriers that will offer tiered pricing for users who are more inconsistent, and don’t want to get caught with extra charges for going over their plan. 


Long Distance – first, lets clear up some confusion about long distance charges on a cell phone and when long distance is charged….

  • Making a call to a number that is long distance from your current physical location will be charged long distance rates.
  • Receiving a call if you are out of the region associated with your phone number will be charged long distance rates. 


Will you be making and receiving long distance calls? On a cell phone, charges can again be as high as $.40 per minute for long distance within Canada and the US. There are plans available that will include long distance usage, sometimes these are listed as business plans, and you will need to ask the carrier to get information about them. There are also add-ons to reduce the long distance rate, or that offer a bucket of minutes for long distance calling at no additional charge.  


International Long Distance and Roaming can also be very expensive from a cell phone, be sure to look into the rates and options that each carrier has to offer. Check the locations that you anticipate calling or visiting to make sure you can get reduced rates when needed by adding savers and travel packs. 


Remember that once you change from an old plan, you may not be able to go back to it if the new plan is not what you thought it would be. So, do your homework before you decide – make calls to all the carriers, as relying on just their web-site may not show you all they really have to offer. Then call them again, and get clarification on anything the previous agent wasn’t 100% confident on, and anything that seemed too good to be true. 


As for me… I think I made out just fine with my mobile management, I doubled my usage, and my bill has only gone up about $10/month. 


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  1. Making the right change…Choosing a cell plan! | Telecom Expense Management – Mozilla Firefox

  2. Please suggest us some best plan, so I can compare it, thanks.

    • A one-size-fits-all solution simply does not exist in a world with thousands of providers, each with their own multitude of plans. Every carrier has plans to accommodate different types of usage.
      If you are locked in to a contract, you still have the flexibility to change your plan with that carrier when your usage changes. If you are looking for new service it means doing your homework to match your needs with a plan and carrier that meets your usage, coverage and service requirements, and offers the best price.
      If companies are trying to manage a fleet of users, each with unique requirements, a cellular audit can provide valuable insight.