5 Ways Wireless Carriers Gouge You–And How to Fight Back
Do you think that you are paying more than what you expect of your cell phone bills? Even though you may root to the minutes allotted or the number of messages in the plan, you may be paying extra.
The only alternative you have is to have a deep look at your bills, handset and your money. I offer five options where you can stop all the mess.
- Texting Fees: These services are a good alternative for calls. Then too, they are set out of your data plans. Some service providers seemed to have raised the texting fees. The reasons that can be are-either you are not aware of the allotted messages in your plan or you are an underestimated customer where you are hit by the number of times you would use this service.
The reasons can be very irritating but you have to self assessed as to what really are you sending. If you send a lot of “YES”, “NO” and “OK” ion your messages, that can be called as a lot of money wastage. Send only those messages which aim at saying something. This would lead to a finding that an unlimited plan is just a waste of money .Most of the users don’t cross the 200 monthly messages plan which has a subscription fees of $5.
If texting is the talk of your circle or you do a lot of TV, concert and movie promotion, move up to the unlimited texting plan. Besides, look into your voice minutes plan as after so much of texting, you might not need that much of voice minutes.
- The Two-Year Contract: This section is not for the iPhone users as you can’t use it without the contract. Others can assess as to how much are you getting after that deadly deal of your new phone with telco service providers, for more than a few hundred dollars, the money which you could have saved very comfortably. No one can be sure whether he will want to have the phone at the end of the first year, lets not talk about two. A gizmo freak will be very uncomfortable in using the set for two years and moreover, you will have to stick to the same service provider for two years…whose services you may not want to have.
The solution to this is that you either go for a smaller contract with the service providers. Better if you avoid the contract totally and pay some more for an unblocked cell. You can look into Staff Editor Ginny Mies’ guide to unlocked phones. Once free of the contract, you can check out for some other providers which offer some very good handsets. Check out the coverage area offered by the service provider before going to own ones service. It is very horrible to learn latter on that the service is not available in that particular area.
While in the process of getting out of a contract, let me tell you that the service providers do not charge a termination fees for the contract termination. Some carriers offer an early maturity policy before you sign up.
- Overseas Calling Charges: Companies such as AT&T and T-Mobile provide services in Europe and abroad, where GSM and GPRS services are available, but if you do not have a fore-sight, this can create havoc. AT&T has schemes to cut out your calling rates for voice calls by paying a monthly charge of $6 for AT&T World Traveler Service. Abroad call charges may vary from $1.29 a minute for calls to international areas such as France. The subscribers will have to pay 99 cent a minute.
Keep this in mind while on roaming that if you are not in a position to pick up the call, shut down your phone or put them in airplane mode for it not to show a service carrier. If the incoming call comes to your network, you will have to pay for that, even if you have the caller aims to get to your voicemail. Further, double the charge can be deducted if this happens in the USA. If your phone is not detected by the service provider, the call will directly be drawn to your voice mail which will not incur any charges.
You can, alternatively, call over Skype or Wi-Fi which can save a lot of money.
- Overseas Data Charges: The services offered by the providers do not apply to calling services abroad. AT&T’s charge for international access is $1.95 per Kilo byte of data exchanged. The adds up to $20 per MB of data…too much for even a single photograph of yours.
AT&T offers some international services that can cut down your expenses. Buy one to use on your iPhone, Blackberry or other phones for browsing web and surfing your mails. The package can range from $25 for 20 MB data and $200 for 200 MB data. Even if you go over your limit, the charges incurred on you are at the rate of 1.95 cents.
iPhone users can amend their settings under Settings/General/Usage and look into Cellular Network Data. Do this as soon as you get down at a foreign location and all your settings can be recent to state user from then. Try it out beforehand to know its actual usage.
Leaving your phone at home can lead to a deduction in your roaming charges. Sprint and Verizon Customers can do this freely as CDMA/EvDo networks can’t be used with GSM/GPRS networks. As the need be, a cheap phone can be bought over there. This can save a lot of your money, but keep in mind that you will not be rechargeable on this phone of yours.
- The Fine Print: The other thing you can look into is your phone usage. Keep a track of whether it is according to your plan or not. You may discover that you may not reach even closer to the number of free minutes you have paid for. Look into every small change that you can do to save money. Some time back, many people complained about the unsolicited options that road side service provider assistants provide. Look into this issue too. God knows about the new ways they would be looking forward to capture your money.