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Cell Phone Plans

Updated on September 6, 2012

Who has the Best Cell Phone Plan?

Fewer companies offer cell phone plans these days. Those who do seem to buy each other out over and over again. In my local area, Modesto, California, I have seen the signs of the Cingular and AT&T retail spaces change back and forth a few times.

I held a two year contract with Cingular during one of their switches to AT&T. After the change, the service was worse. Both calling the help line and the actual experience were inferior under AT&T management. However, it did not matter. The companies sold, and the contracts include a standard clause saying the contract can be sold. (Even home mortgages have such a contract clause.)

My personal research and experience led me to choose Metro PCS.

Metro PCS

Metro PCS is truly an all-included plan. I stopped into one of their franchisee's offices. She was busy helping another customer. So, my wife and I waited inside the store.

While waiting, four youth entered the store. The only girl among them was upgrading her phone. I took the opportunity to ask one of them (he had Metro PCS), "How much do you pay each month? Is it the advertised rate, or is your bill increased by hidden fees?"

He assured me that he pays only the agreed rate each month.

I bought a cell phone for my wife. We had just been at the AT&T and Verizon offices. Those offices were much busier, had more expensive furnishings, displays, and phone selections; and also had much more expensive plans.

The Metro PCS plan into which we enrolled costs us $60 per month. And, that is the only price we pay. Each and every month the price is exactly the same.

One note of caution with Metro PCS: if you want insurance for the phone, you must enroll when you purchase the phone new. You cannot cancel it and reinstate it later, either. The reason for this is obvious: people would break their phone, buy the insurance, wait a reasonable time, and then file a claim.

Wal-Mart Cell Phone Plans

Yep. Sam Walton's empire sells cell phone plans. And, as you might have anticipated, there are some very good deals. But, read the fine print!

The deal advertised on radio is a $30 per month unlimited plan. However, a visit to the company site reveals that "unlimited" applies to text and web access. However, only 100 minutes of talking are including. The deal is also advertised as a 4G plan. However, only the first 5 GB are promised at 4G quality.

So, read the fine print! This is a must for every cell phone plan you will examine.


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    • Man from Modesto profile image

      Man from Modesto 5 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

      Business risk is very different than what you are talking about. For me to take a "risk" with finances, I must be able to assess the risk. I should know something about the market in which I invest.

      I don't know much about the cell phone contract selling business. So, it is not somewhere I will go.

      What will happen to the people who pay $250 for a phone, and sign a contract... and then the company fails? They lose their number, cell phones are proprietary in the U.S., too. They will lose money and it will be inconvenient.

      You seem to have a few marketing factoids. You don't really know anything about the actual service or quality of the product. From the site, no one actually owns a phone or makes calls over their network.

    • profile image

      Cacey Taylor 5 years ago

      Not a bad motto to live by at all. Taking risks is not a bad philosophy either. It has helped to grow many successful businesses around the world.

      It has partnered with T-Mobile which is an already successful phone business and the upgrades that they are doing to their network tells me that they are rolling out something special for years to come.

    • Man from Modesto profile image

      Man from Modesto 5 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

      MLM is a legitimate business model. The problem is exactly as I stated: the majority of them operate for a few years, then fail.

      Additionally, I keep the Marine Corps philosophy which says to stay away from investing in unproven things. Let others take the risk.

    • Man from Modesto profile image

      Man from Modesto 5 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

      The vast majority of MLM product marketing businesses fail within a few years. The cost to enter the cell phone market is prohibitive. And, the current market controllers can cancel anyone out at anytime. Solavei, which is not open for business until Sept. 21, 2012 (according the site you linked), is questionable. I lost a few hundred dollars on Sunrocket, a VOIP startup, which failed.