Cell Phone Family Plans

Stay Close with a Cell Phone Family Plan

Now that cell numbers are portable, cell phone providers must come up with ever more ways to try and keep you as a loyal subscriber. The latest are the cellular phone family plans. All the major players in the wireless mobile world are hoping to entice you with an offer that their competitors won't match. Basically these plans mean that families rather than individuals purchase minutes, buy one phone and several more are provided for free or a nominal charge, and the family members divvy up the minutes. Approximately 40% of cell phone users are now on one of these shared plans.

How These Plans Work

Most cellular phone family plans allow each phone in the "tree" to have its own number and line. As with individual plans, the basic fee is usually based on how many minutes the group decides they'll use each month. The same rules used in other plans in that you'll be charged more for each minute you use that goes over your monthly minute allotment. Before you sign up with a provider you will want to add up the minutes each family member now uses and buy a plan with at least that many total minutes. It's always safer to over estimate than risk being charged a heavy fee for each additional minute. If you have teenagers in your household this is especially important. Most phones have a feature that tracks how many minutes you talk each month, so teach your kids how to use it.

These cellular phone family plans are generally more economical for the family. Most cell users tend to use less minutes than they pay for, but it's still better than finding yourself in an overage situation. If you use the same provider you currently have, they most likely won't charge you any additional fees for changing your plan. A new carrier might have a one- time service charge for signing on with them, or some other obscure costs. You will also want to decide before signing if anybody on your plan will use wireless data services such as text messaging, downloadable screensavers, ringtones, games, or wireless Internet access. As long as you can keep your children accountable you will most likely benefit from one of these plans...at least until the next great offer comes along.
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