How to find the cheapest phone service for someone who seems to be paying too much...
August 25, 2008 1:46 PM   Subscribe

What phone service would be best for me? All I use my Verizon Wireless account for is the phone itself: calling and messaging people. But I think I'm paying far too much. I live in NYC. Suggestions? (description of bill here)

Check this to see my regular charges. The total bill for that month was about eighty seven bucks. I'm on the 450 minute plan from Verizon, and it just seems like $87 is too much (if you're only getting phone service). Thanks,

posted by omnigut to Technology (11 answers total)
First off, if you don't use any of the mobile web features, cancel your data plan, which is costing you $15 a month! You may be able to lose the $6 a month from the Asurion insurance, although I have had to use that when I lost my phone.
posted by mkb at 1:55 PM on August 25, 2008

Best answer: Unnecessary charges: $15 for data service that you're probably not using if all you really are doing is calling and messaging people. $5.99 for equipment insurance. $0.99 for ringback tones. Looks like the $10 charge covers your text messages. Is there a lower tier for this? You're only using 123 of your 500 messages.
posted by zsazsa at 1:57 PM on August 25, 2008

agreed with the above. and drop the insurance. when you lose your phone or it breaks or whatever, they give you a $50 voucher for a phone. and i'm guessing they don't have any $50 phones now, just like they didn't a few years back when i needed it. so your insurance is costing you WAY more than the worth of the insurance.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 2:11 PM on August 25, 2008

$6.00 of insurance per month? There are companies that will insure the phone for a one-time charge of way less than $72 per year!

I agree to drop the data plan and insurance. The txt message plan looks like a pretty good deal, considering you send more than 100 text messages per month (to a blog/flickr or something?). Of course, if you refrained from doing that and just uploaded the pictures at the end of the day, you could save money on that, too.
posted by muddgirl at 2:26 PM on August 25, 2008

Verizon has a 200 text messages for $5 that's not advertised but definitely offered. Switch to that.
posted by suedehead at 2:37 PM on August 25, 2008

Seconding everyone else. Also, if you work for a large company, they might have negotiated discounts with a cell carrier, see if this applies to your place of work. (I work for a large faceless corp and I get discounts on all sorts of things for working there, Cingluar, Verizon, Ford cards, Hertz, Apple computers, etc, etc.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 4:38 PM on August 25, 2008

Another thing you can attempt... do you have a relative that you could 'change' your local plan to? First switch to paperless statements.

Ideally right out of NYC? That can reduce the gigantic taxes you're paying on your plan.


It's a national plan, so having too many minutes in an area probably wouldn't get you cancelled, especially if you're in NJ/NY/CONN.

Alternatively, you can port it all the way to Vegas, which has the lowest cell phone taxes.

I have the $5.00 msg plan, I sometimes go over, but never up to $5.00 over (the next). My phone plan works to be $48/month in Chicago with same specs (but I have a 15% reduction due to my last job).
posted by sandmanwv at 4:39 PM on August 25, 2008

If you're only using 120 minutes a month and are limited to texting and calling, I suggest going with a Tracfone or other prepaid phone. 120 minutes will cost you $40 a month and there are no additional expenses. I've never had signal problems with my prepaid, either.
posted by greenland at 5:26 PM on August 25, 2008

Seconding prepaid. Net10 is a rebranded tracfone, 10c anywhere in the U.S., international +5c/min, text msg 5c in AND 5c out. Combine with grandcentral and you can juggle your cell providers without the hassles of giving out a new number.
posted by acro at 8:05 PM on August 25, 2008

Also check HowardForums and slickdeals.
If 'unlimited' sounds good, net10 has"unlimited talk time nationwide and texts $79.98"
posted by acro at 8:20 PM on August 25, 2008

Best answer: Dude, this is what BillShrink is all about. You can either enter in your usage, or even have it download your bill from your Verizon login, and it will tell you what the cheapest plan is.

I just saw this last week on the PC Mag Top 100 undiscovered websites.
posted by stovenator at 11:51 PM on August 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

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