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How do I Choose the Best Phone Service Plan?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Feb 13, 2024
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Whether investigating your options for mobile service or for a landline at home, there are several things to keep in mind if you want to get the best phone service plan. Many of these have to do with your personal preferences, the type of features you require, and the overall cost involved.

The first issue to address is how you intend to use the service. For example, if you are looking for a landline phone service plan, consider the features that will be of the most use. Is it your habit to make calls to relatives who live outside your local calling zone? If so, you want to include a flat long distance charge in the monthly rate. In the long run, a plan with this feature will save a great deal of money, while still allowing you to make all the calls you like without worrying about the charges.

There are other features to consider. Many people find that caller ID, voicemail, and call waiting are very helpful features. Again, if you will use these features on some sort of ongoing basis, focus your attention of phone service plan options that bundle these into the service, preferably at a discount. Many providers today offer the ability to customize plans, so you only get the features you want, and do not have to pay for extras that are never used.

Along with making sure any phone service plan you consider has the features you use regularly, there may also be some additional services that you would like. This is especially true with mobile services today. Perhaps you’ve never accessed the Internet via your cell phone, but would like to give it a try. Ask about plans that provide you with a limited amount of online time for browsing, checking email, or even sending text messages. Costs vary from one provider to another, so make sure you know exactly how the cost is calculated. Some will bill for services of this type on a per minute basis, while others will bill on smaller time increments, or even on the amount of bytes the transmission takes.

You may find that in order to get all the features you both need and want, it will be necessary to make a long-term commitment. Today, many providers like to lock in customers for a period of at least two years. This is especially true with cellular service plans. Before you sign anything, check out different pay-as-you-go cell providers. In recent years, they’ve expanded the features offered, and make them available at very competitive prices. Best of all, you do not have to commit to a long-term contract. If the service does not work as well as hoped, simply use your bank of minutes and don’t buy any more.

There is no perfect phone service plan that is ideal for everyone. Finding the right one for you depends on knowing what you need, which features you would like, and how much you are willing to pay. By keeping these factors in mind, you can avoid wasting time on plans that do not fit your situation, and focus on those that have a good chance of earning your business.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By Ocelot60 — On Jan 02, 2015

@heavanet- That is a long time to keep a cell phone service plan, especially since cell phone features and plans are constantly changing. I think that you definitely need to check into your options soon, because your current plan may not be meeting your needs. You also may be spending extra money on that plan that you could be saving.

As a rule of thumb, I think that it is a good idea to check into the new cellular phone plan features available each time your contract ends. In this two-year period, phones and plans change and so do your needs. If a contract plan is too much of a hassle for you, you might want to consider a pay-as-you-go plan like the one mentioned in the article.

By Heavanet — On Jan 01, 2015

I only have a cell phone, and have had the same plan for more than four years. I just hate the hassle of changing phones and plans, but I've been told that there are more features and money-saving options available with today's phone service plans, so I am seriously thinking about updating mine.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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