Getting the Right Cell Phone Plan

Shopping for a cell phone plan may seem like a daunting task, but there are actually dozens of ways to find the plan most suitable for you and your family.

Cell phone service providers offer numerous individual and family plans to meet the needs of every person’s social or business life, as well as provide the most cost-effective option available. Many, if not all, of the options can be found easily online, and cell phone companies offer personalized advice to individual customers as well. There are also websites that offer analyses of your personal cellphone use and suggest the most cost-effective plan.

Many companies, such as T-Mobile, offer classic individual plans which include unlimited minutes and texts, and a certain amount of data at a particular speed, for a regular monthly fee. These plans tend to include two-year contracts for phone discounts, unlimited calls within the same network, unlimited nights and weekends and free domestic long distance roaming throughout the United States.

Family plans are similar to individual plans, but they enable two or more cell phone users to access a shared pool of minutes, and receive a single bill. These plans go by slightly different names, depending on the provider, including Verizon’s Family Share, AT&T’s Family Talk, Sprint’s Power Pack Family Plans, T-Mobile’s Family Time and Nextel’s Team Share. These plans usually include the same benefits as the individual plans, such as unlimited nights and weekends.

Both tracks can be changed if one finds they are not the perfect match for their lifestyle. With some cell phone service providers, there is also an option to create your own, more flexible plan based on your particular cell phone use. The most confusing parts of your monthly bill are the data charges. Data is used when browsing the web, downloading updates, checking your Facebook, sending or receiving emails and so much more. Many plans used to come with unlimited data packages, but that practice was recently changed. Now, there is a monthly fee based on your data plan, and overage charges when more than the allotted amount of data is used.