24 June 2012

Who said…


Choosing a cellular service was easy…
Yesterday, I needed to reach my bank by phone to change something I couldn't do on line and I couldn't get a signal to make the call… off to the store where the service and phones are sold. Apparently, my phone needed to be 'refreshed'. That done, I had an extra bar of signal 'in store' and when I walked outside to my car, it went away…

I was soooooo frustrated… I went shopping! I need a phone and service that is going to work at my desk inside my house, will not drop calls if I'm talking with a friend, and a service that will work pretty much anywhere I go during the course of my work (including nationwide). I'd already  been shopping alternative services and cost comparisons the last couple of weeks.

I've got this thing with ‘contract’ services… There's no way I want to commit to a two year plan right off the bat when I don't know if I’m even going to like the chosen(?) service to begin with. There's no turning back once you've jumped in with both feet. Early termination fees are ridiculous.

 A year ago, I chose a service and a smartphone (though, not the phone I wanted) which I thought would provide me with unlimited use; voice, text and data (included) for around $60.00 a month and no contract (no contract being the key, here)… The service worked well in some areas, but not well at home where I use it most. The phone and signal strength wouldn't cooperate!

Apparently, the area I live in has limited in signal strength (poor at best) for this particular company even though they have partnered with another 'bigger' company for services… 'Nuf said about a phone that doesn't cooperate and a service that works intermittently. I wasn't a happy camper.

I'd used 'pay as you go' and 'prepaid' too, with some success. But years ago, those 'prepaid and pay as you go' services were limited… what I want an need has changed over the years and finally I'm able to do the 'no contract thing' and prepay for service in advance on line with my debit or credit card, and have a month of unlimited service without worrying about '½ or ¼ minute' charges, roaming charges, different priced day or night calling … all that good stuff. Yay! Woohoo! Oh, and yes, the new phone (actually, a newer version of the phone I'd originally wanted a year ago) has better signal service where I live compared to what I had with the other service.

Long story short, I bought the phone I'd originally wanted a year ago, and found a prepaid monthly plan that will do what I need it to do, basically voice and text, and data when it's needed. So far so good, signal is better than the other, and I have an unlimited plan for $10.00 less a month and no contract.

I like that I have 14 days to return the phone if the service doesn't perform to my expectations and since there's no contract, there's no early termination fee if I decide the service doesn't perform.  There is this little niggling thing ... though the cost of the phone can be refunded under this 14 day return policy, the money I've put toward the service can not be refunded. Changing services is not cheap, the cost of a smartphone is relative, if that's what you really need. Upgrading can be frustrating especially, if you aren't sure exactly what you want or need…

So my recommendation .. do you're homework before you buy. Know what you want and what you will need. Compare plans, shop different services, and choose the one which will fit your needs.