2023 Cell Phone Service Buying Guide 101

January 27, 2023
Brenda Eisenschenk
antenna with blue background

Cell Phone Service Buying Guide 101


Do you just wish all the small print would be eliminated and the mobile device carriers would tell you honestly what they have to offer? Me too!

No hidden terms or conditions! I mean, who really reads the small print?

The world of wireless for most consumers continues to be daunting and confusing. Remember the childhood game of “King of the Hill”, where you did everything you could to be at the top of the hill and knock everyone else off? I feel like the wireless carriers all say, “We are the King of the Hill, you should do business we us!”  Being in the wireless industry for over 2 decades, I’ve seen the “King of the Hill” change multiple times with different carriers being at the top. All carriers have their pros and cons. If you haven’t looked at your wireless services in a while, you may be paying a price for your loyalty. Some things to consider…

Confirm the Coverage
To confirm basic coverage in your area, especially if you’re looking for 5G, use the ZIP code maps and other resources provided on the carriers’ websites. Keep in mind, those references don’t consider small dead zones in your neighborhood, place of business, or home, so try to ask local friends how well their phones work in those spots.

You should also make sure you can cancel service and return any phone that you might have bought if a coverage problem crops up. Each carrier is different, for some the grace period is a brief 14 days. They also might charge a restocking fee for your returned device. Do your due diligence and make sure you understand the details of your carrier. We can assist to make sure you have all the answers before your make the final decision.

Do the Math
For smartphone users, the biggest decision is whether to sign up for a monthly allotment of data or an unlimited plan. The more lines you have, the more attractive the unlimited plan becomes. Remember that “unlimited” also may have some restrictions based on which carrier you choose. They won’t shut you down for too much data use, but they may “throttle or slow down” your speeds.

The Lowdown on Data

The amount of data you burn through each month depends on your WiFi access (the more you’re away from it, the more data you use), and how much you use a cellular connection to stream or download content. Knowing how many devices on your account are using cellular data, how often and for what purpose will help you to choose the right plan for you.

Cell Phone Carriers

Odds are you haven’t made changes to your cell service in years. That’s too bad. According to Consumer Reports’ most recent member survey, 55 percent of the people who had recently switched cell phone carriers said they saved money. But only 5 percent switched cell phone carriers in the past year—perhaps more should consider shopping around. That is where we come in, carriers love to incentivize business clients with large bill incentive credits. Often, you can get low, or no cost, phones and get anywhere between $100-$400 PER LINE to go with a new carrier. It is worth looking at your wireless bill, at a minimum, once per year.

In a nutshell, please let us peek at your telecom spend. It doesn’t cost you anything. If we can help, great! If not, we will tell you. We are open and honest with our clients, and we make unbiased recommendations to best fit your needs and your budget. NO ONE likes surprises. Especially when it is your money. We figure the big carriers have enough, let’s try to put it back where it belongs, in your pocket!

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