Cellular Phone Providers

Written by Liza Hartung
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When it comes to cell phone providers, it's nice to have several choices. You get to compare and contrast, and find out which one is best suited to you. However, most companies require that you sign a contract so they only have to be slightly competitive with other providers. The contracts are usually one or two years and can require fees as high as $200 for early termination.

If you find a good provider, though, you probably won't need or want to terminate early. Before signing a contract, start by asking friends, family and co-workers about their plans. Notice if people complain or brag about price, minutes, features, reception and customer service. Getting people's reactions is one of the best ways to truly find out about a company.

Comparing Companies

There are several factors you'll want to look at when comparing providers. Obviously, price and minutes are important. In addition, check out which features are included and which are extra. Find out what happens if you go over your minutes. If you want a family plan, compare those. You'll also want to look for certain perks that set all the main providers apart.

For instance, a few companies offer rollover minutes. This is when you don't use all your allotted minutes for the month. With rollover, your extra minutes will be added to the following month. Without rollover, you lose those minutes. Some companies now are also allowing for free incoming calls, but the plan rates are usually a little bit higher. It can be a great deal if you can get everyone to call you all the time! No matter what, make sure your plan is relevant to your personal usage. Don't get a plan just because a friend likes it.

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