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Cell Phone Plans

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I know nothing about cell phone plans or even where to start. We are looking for a phone plan that would include 2 parents and one teenager --probably not too much time/minutes needed but some because of the teenager. We would probably like texting. I understand the I-phones are not great for texting--is that right? What companies are best? Can someone help me out or tell me where to start? I feel clueless. Generally, what would be a decent deal cost for 3 people? Are there deals/specials to be had and where can I find them, or generally do you just go with the price listed on phone sites? So many questions...Any info you can give me would be helpful! Thank you.
MHT962 posted Apr 12, 2011

First off, do you have HUGE fingers? if you do then yeah iPhones are not great for texting. Overall its not bad, people find auto-correct/fill annoying but I find it helpful.

As for the companies, it would depend on where you're located. Also, how much are you willing to pay? There are cheap carriers out there with bad service. Generally for a family of 3, I'd recommend a family plan, usually starts at $69.99 + $10 for each line. Texting is extra. I'd suggest providing more info so people here on can share their experience with you if they are in the same area as you are.

PLUSME (rep: 1.6k) posted Apr 12, 2011


Thanks; I am in St. Louis, MO. AT&T is big here and the prices you listed are like the prices on their site. Do the big companies offer specials periodically or have deals floating around anywhere? Thanks again for your help.

Oh, and I also wondered about internet service. Is T-mobile decent?

MHT962 (rep: 3.3k) posted Apr 12, 2011


Remember that when you are putting together a calling plan there will be a good number of monthly "fees" tacked onto what you think you are paying. You can't escape this, 'cause all the major carriers do it. Be sure and ask for the "final amount" you will be paying each month. $69.99 + $10 per line sounds like $99.00 per month but will probably be in the $120.00 range after taxes and fees.

I have been with Verizon for 14 years now. I stay with them because the coverage is outstanding and the service has always been good. I might be able to beat their charges by a few bucks, but then I must also accept a compromise in quality. I choose not to do that.

My current plan is for myself and my two teenage sons. I receive 700 minutes a month, unlimited texting and full internet on my phone alone. I'm not sure how the numbers break down, but my monthly bill is $143.00 every month. Oh, and I have no iphones which cost more monthly.

BigJJ (rep: 21.7k) posted Apr 12, 2011


I have AT&T and they seem to be pretty good here in northern California. The competition IMO is basically Verizon vs. AT&T. T-mobile around my area is pretty bad but I heard they use the same towers AT&T does? (not 100% sure about that). T-mobile should be slowly improving since AT&T bought them a month back.

The only real discounts on plans are either if you have a business or attending in higher education. While I was in college, I got a small tiny discount $5-$10 from my plan because I subscribed to AT&T Premier. They make you verify through .edu emails and stuff like that.

However, if you don't have a business or are not attending college, the only real discount you have is on phones. I highly recommend getting your phones online as opposed to in-store. I've seen numerous discounts from sites like Amazon, Wirefly, Dell and etc offering FREE phones (except the iPhone) while the very same phone cost $100-$200 in the AT&T store. Also keep in mind that there are activation fee which could be costly on the first month's bill. There are sites (the ones I mention above) that don't charge activation fee so definitely look out for that.

PLUSME (rep: 1.6k) posted Apr 12, 2011


If your looking at price among the heavy hitters like ATT, Verizon or Sprint then ATT will definately be the cheapest and give you the most minutes.

I pay $125 for 3 lines, unlimited data on 2, unlimited texting on all 3, and 550 minutes a month. Unless youre a chatterbox you dont need alot of minutes with ATT due to the rollover minutes. If you go for a bit higher plan like 700 minutes then I believe thats where the free mobile to mobile on any carrier starts for ATT. BUt the rollover minutes add up, you shouldnt need much more than 550. I think I have like 12000 rollover minutes right now. Any smartphone be it a Droid or Iphone is going to have an extra $25-35 fee per month for smartphone data packages. If you want basic service then the ATT family plan with 550, family unlimited messaging is the way to go, its the cheapest family plan there is right now.

Acidbaby (rep: 7k) posted Apr 12, 2011


Thanks guys... You've been very helpful!

MHT962 (rep: 3.3k) posted Apr 13, 2011