Wednesday, December 26, 2012

You Already Paid for a New Phone

Are you closing in on the end of your wireless contract?  If you decide not to get a new phone on that 2 year anniversary, you're paying for it anyway!  Postpaid wireless subscribers pay a phone subsidy each month, in addition to paying for their network usage.  You might sit there and say 'Hah, I don't need a new phone, I'll show that wireless company and keep the old one.'  Yes, you no longer have a contract, but you're still paying for that old phone.

Recently, T-Mobile joined the ranks of wireless providers who charge for your phone and don't roll it into a monthly subsidy.  Prepaid phone services have charged for their new phones and users still save money with their lower monthly rates.  It seems hard to believe you can pay over $200 cash for a new smart phone and still save with a cheaper service from T-Mobile, Straight Talk or even TracFone.  Remember, switching doesn't mean you'll lose your phone number.

So, what about those of us who really don't want to get rid of our old phone but also don't want to keep paying for it month after month?  The best way is to switch to prepaid.  With an AT&T phone you can just replace the SIM.  With a Verizon Wireless phone you could switch to their own Prepaid Plans or one that uses Verizon phones, like Page Plus.  Or, you can just get the phone you're already paying for.  You won't save any money, but a 2-year-old phone is quite a relic.  If you didn't get one for Christmas, now the time, right?

The biggest gotcha is if you must also add a new, and much more expensive, data plan.  In that case, make the switch!

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