It is necessary to sign a contract with a mobile carrier so you can get the cellphone and the level of cellular service you want. This may seem like an easy task, but it’s good practice to take this commitment seriously.
Besides, you will be paying a significant amount of money on a regular basis for the next year or more to this company, so it’s only appropriate to give the matter careful thought. And once you have signed the phone plan contract, there is no going back.
As such, you must perform in-depth research to find out which of the best mobile phone plans available suit your individual situation the most. To help you, here are six key considerations to think about before signing on the dotted line.
1. Trial Period
A trial period is important because this is the best way for you to figure out if a certain phone plan meets your needs. This refers to a period wherein you can cancel your contract without paying any penalty charges. Remember, however, that not all cellular carriers offer this, so make sure to ask if the carrier you are planning to work with provides such.
During the trial period, you must use the given time wisely. For instance, you have to use your phone in various locations, including in your home, workplace, and to places you often travel to. Check if the service works well in these areas. If not, move on to the next carrier.
2. Messaging, call minutes and data services
Different people use their phones for different purposes. There are those who require more call minutes or data allowance than the others, for example, while for others, the opposite is true.
Thus, it is crucial for you to determine how you will be using your phone. If, for instance, you will be using it often for surfing the Internet, then choose a plan with a higher data allowance and fewer call minutes and SMS texts. Otherwise, you will be charged for the extra mobile data you consume. The same is true if you use more than the allowable call minutes and SMS texts.
3. Overage fees
As mentioned earlier, using more than your allowable mobile data, SMS texts, and call minutes can cost you a lot. You will be charged a per-minute or per-megabyte rate, which is often sky high, and the fees are called overage fees. Determine what the rate is, and avoid paying it.
If you think you’re going to need a higher cell phone plan for the coming months, upgrading your current plan to the next level is highly recommended. This is more affordable than paying overage fees.
4. Roaming charges
You can incur roaming charges if you go outside the regular service area of your carrier. If you are a frequent traveler, this is a crucial consideration. You must know what constitutes your calling area. Also, ask how much you will be charged if you go outside it. From here, decide if getting a national phone plan is a better option than obtaining a regional one.
Furthermore, ask if your phone can work in other countries should you need to travel internationally. Remember that not all carriers offer a cellular service that matches the technologies used by other nations. Even if they do, making or receiving international calls and SMS texts and using your mobile data can be pricey. So if you often travel overseas, consider signing up for a roaming service or an international phone plan instead.
5. Fine print and hidden fees
Phone plan contracts usually come with comprehensive terms and conditions. So before signing your contract, you must familiarize yourself with the fine print. Just because they are written in tiny letters does not mean that you should not read them. It’s important to go through everything that is cited on the contract, regardless of how they are printed, so you can avoid nasty surprises.
Reading through the contract will inform you of any hidden fees. Be aware that not all fees included in your phone bill are obligatory. Cellular service carriers usually include services you didn’t authorize; some examples are a music service or phone insurance that you don’t need. So make sure that your contract contains only the services that you have authorized.
6. Cancellation options
It is easy to sign a phone plan contract, but it is difficult to cancel it. This is why you must ask about the company’s cancellation options. Find out how you can properly get out of the contract if you need to.
Note that most service providers will ask a fee for terminating the contract early, which can be hefty if requested within the first year. So make sure that you fully understand the fines associated with early contract termination before signing the dotted line.
Getting a phone plan is a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Take your time in finding the carrier that will offer you the best phone plan. Do your own research, compare all possible options, read the contract thoroughly, and feel free to ask any of your concerns before signing the contract. By doing so, you can obtain the phone plan that truly meets your needs and budget.