Saturday, June 28, 2008

Do the Math on Your Wireless Plan

It's a good idea to review your cellular plan from time to time to make sure your usage fits the plans available. In our case, it's belt-tightening time, and I "did the math" on our most expensive plans. I felt we could be dollars ahead by switching to a prepaid plan where we would only pay for minutes used.

Fortunately, most wireless carriers offer some kind of analysis for your account, so it was fairly easy to figure out how many Anytime, Off-Peak and Mobile to Mobile minutes we use. The 'extra' charges that are added to post-paid accounts, like taxes and "administrative" fees make them more expensive than the "$39.99" you signed up for, whereas the prepaid plans charge a flat amount, normally based on so many cents per minute. Prepaid (with a different carrier) was looking good.

In wireless, just a few dollars more buys you a lot more minutes. So if we were to have a month where calling increased 25% or so, the post paid plan looked a lot better. But more importantly, we found that a "Family" plan would actually save us some money each month and we would still have some breathing room. Also, paying for text, data and email use by the Mb has turned out to be cheaper than subscribing to a specific email plan, at least for our usage level.

I also work with more than one salesperson who is too busy to increase their wireless plan to the next tier, and with all their overages, they would do better with one of the new Unlimited plans. But they won't take the take the time to "do the math." Can you? Most Customer Service agents will guide you, and in many cases, you might be pleasantly surprised. Oh, BTW, we're not going prepaid, yet. We did the math.


Anonymous said...

Definitely a great point. People often don't take the time to consider their real usage, and often over pay for plans for which they don't get the benefit, or under pay and end up with huge overages. My recommendation is to take the first month or two to review your usage details and see if you really chose the right plan for you. Carriers will typically give you at least 30 days to switch plans without penalty. And with prepaid, you have a lot of flexibility.


Oz Andrews said...

Yes, it's sad to see so many wireless customers become so complacent, it makes prices higher for the rest of us because carriers have less reason to compete.

BTW, nice web site. Keep it up, we'd like to add it to our Links page.