Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cell Service to Flip For

There are many cell phone service carriers available, and more entering the market all the time. Not all mobile phone service providers are created equal. When deciding which provider to sign up with to provide cell service, it's a good idea to consider the factors that could affect your experience.

1. Reception and Coverage
Take a look at reception and coverage in your area by talking to people you know; which provider or providers are known for having great reception (no dropped calls) in your area? Look online to see how many cell towers are located in your area: where you live, where you work, and places you visit regularly. For each provider, there are maps with this information. For instance, you could look up "Sprint coverage map" to find out about Sprint's coverage. Then, do the same for each provider in turn: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.

2. Service
Customer service may not seem like a big deal to you now, but once you sign up and need help with your account or technical help, you'll want to be with a company that values its customers. Again, ask around to find out how others like their carrier's service. Also, look at online reviews.

3. Rates
It is always a good idea to shop around on rates, with prices coming down as competition in this area intensifies. It is customary for cell phone service providers to offer an introductory rate to new customers to win them over. Make sure you read the fine print before you decide to commit.

4. Contracts
A contract on cell phone service is often a minimum of one year and frequently a two-year contract. Before making this commitment, do your research. Also, ask about month to month plans and pre-paid plans; this might be a better option, depending on the offerings.

An informed consumer is a wise consumer. Shop wisely!


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