For some reason there is a stigma over cellular providers. It’s as if we are slaves and they are an evil empire. This is not the case.

Years ago I sold cell phones with a company called Public Service Cellular. I was there when analog phones where still being used. No camera phones (I sold a ton of Nokia 3360’s),

touch screen, Iphones, etc. Text messaging was something you paid for. Bag phones for your vehicle were being sold then. T-mobile was Voicestream, Verizon was Cellular One, AT&T was Cingular.

Did anybody force the people who came into my store to buy a phone? No.

Why is that? Because times change. It’s not 1975. Technology changes, things become more convenient. The way we communicate with people are among those changes. Would you rather write a letter, put it in the mail, wait 3-5 days to arrive to its destination, then wait for the person to write you back, put it in the mail, wait 3-5 days for it to come back to you?

Or would you rather take 8 seconds and say “wats up?”.

As I mentioned in the previous article, unless you have a few million dollars and wanted to start your own cellular company, you have the option to secure service with a company or get a pager. So what should you do before you buy a phone?

Really easy, research. Everything is available online. Specs on phones, trials on phones, information on services offered, contracts, coverage, everything. So to go into a situation saying “you didn’t know” is really bad. You get scammed only when you do no research and ask no questions. Many purchase a phone simply on looks or because it can do that “one thing”. That’s not enough.

With the cellular age comes multiple carriers offering various services and products. There are two kinds of customers, phone people and service people. The phone people are concerned with the gadgets or appearance of the phone. How “cool” it makes them to say they have it (as our commercials today push hard). You have the service people who are concerned only with will it ring when it needs to and functionality.

If you’re the first person, you’re not really concerned with price. Admit it or not, the expensive phones are actually expensive. Otherwise, everybody would manufacture their own phones. You pay for convenience. You pay for style. You pay for everything your phone can do.

If you’re the second person, you want to make sure that you have service in the places you frequent the most, that the services you request (internet, international calling, etc) works in order to save you money. You pay to condense other bills you might have. You pay to use your cellular service for business purposes, etc.

In either case, you have a decision to make. Do you want to pay full price of the phone to avoid being in a contract, or do you select a contract to get a discounted price on the phone. A cellular provider is in the business of providing service and making money, not losing it. They are not going to give you a phone for almost nothing and then have no commitment you’re going to use their service for a period of time. If you don’t want to be in a contract, pay the $600 for the phone.

If you don’t have $600, get the contract or get a prepaid phone. If you get a contract, look at the plan that you are selecting. Make sure it includes everything that you have to have. Systems now allows a salesperson to tell you exactly what you will pay, even the first bill (prorated based on the day you purchase phone going into the first bill cycle). So there is no confusion. For people who say they get “tricked” or “got got” either are using functions that they didn’t include in their plan and thus are extra or they got the wrong plan. If you don’t think your salesperson knows what they’re talking about, get somebody else. It’s your money you’re spending not theirs, protect it.

Bottom line, cell phone companies are not tyrants, socialists, or using the dark side of the force. You pay for internet, satellite tv, you can pay for your cell phone too. If you drop your phone in the toilet and didn’t get insurance, that’s your fault. If you talk 10,000 minutes but didn’t get an unlimited plan, that’s your fault. If you didn’t consider your travel habits, usage of phone, text messaging, taking pictures and video, applications and you get the wrong phone, that’s your fault. Most salespeople are really there to help them if you let them. They’re asking you questions to get you the phone that suits your needs. If you let them do their job, your life would be much simpler. And in the end, you’ll save some money.

If you are in the market for a new phone or you’re eligible to upgrade your plan or you are needing a quick prepaid phone, copy/paste this link below, make a decision that is best for you!
T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon are available as well as MetroPCS, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.


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