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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It all starts somewhere....

I have created this blog (which will officially be my first attempt at blogging) to detail and share my exploration of the prepaid wireless service world.  I hope folks will take this information and use it to consider where they are and how they are spending their money.  So if you are the type of person who wants to make their money work harder for them, while maintaining good service, please read on.

For too long have I been one to follow the major carriers, Verizon and AT&T, like a cow to slaughter.  I have allowed them to tell me what I wanted, by them offering "cheap and free" phones, and locking me into 2 year service contracts.  I went along happily thinking I have been getting the best deals available and that there are really no other options out there. Yes there have been options like Tracfone and maybe a few others, but I always thought that service was for retirees or folks who just didn't use their cellphone like I did.

$ taxes is what it would cost for a single line. Holy cow! I was lucky enough to get an work discount of a whopping 22%, which brought my monthly cost down to about $78 each month (my share). I was on a family plan of 700 shared minutes, unlimited texting and data......all between 4 lines.  I was constantly having to make sure we didn't go over the 700 minutes because if we bumped up to the 1400 minutes, it would cost $20 more per month. Since my family couldn't afford more per month I would would have had to fork over the extra $20 and I wasn't willing to do that.

When I took time and did some research, I realized how much that really is out of my monthly income.  My typical 2 week grocery bill can usually be under $50 if I am hardcore about coupons and specials.  I could feed another human being with the money I am spending on something I don't truly need to get me through my day.  A smartphone is a luxury plain and simple.  I feel some kind of cell phone service is becoming an important tool these days, so I will go along with those that would say they need their cell phones for emergency calls.

Last year is when my eyes were opened to the ever expanding prepaid market.  My girlfriend and her mother were on a legacy Verizon wireless (basic phones) plan that was starting to wear on them with cost.  Oh sure, Verizon offered to "help" them, but every option would cost too much out of pocket over the long and/or short term while locking them into another contract.  This simply wouldn't do.  So my girlfriend began her search for something better. I was skeptical, but I went along and offered what help I could.

She came across Boost mobile (prepaid carrier of Sprint), if my memory serves me correct, because of their JD Power and Associates awards for customer satisfaction.  What is amazing was their completely unlimited philosophy and their Shrinkage offered on their monthly plans.  Android smartphone plans started at $50 per month and would shrink by $5 every 6 months of on time payments.  This would lead to an amazingly low price of $35 a month after 18 months of loyalty and would stay there indefinitely.  This seemed to be the smartest option overall and would get them both into the smartphone world and offer so much more than what Verizon ever could.  The real beauty of it all being no more contracts! 

I have looked into several options and will post a little about each in following blog posts.  Hope folks will follow and learn a bit as I have about how to take charge of our phone bills and stop feeding these greedy corporations.

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