A couple of weeks ago, Americans took part in another Presidential Elections. Every minute of every day, prior to elections, we were “forced” to watch TV ads about Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. It felt like there were only 2 candidates running for the Presidency. As a matter of fact, when people would ask me who I'm voting for, I would tell them Gary Johnson and they would say: “No, wait, which guy are you voting for for President?” I would politely repeat, “Gary Johnson” and they would say: “there is another guy?”
The exact same thing happens when people ask me about what cell phone company I use. But, I will get to that in a little bit...
Again, like with politics, we are “forced” to watch TV ads of the biggest players in the world of cell phones, the ones who have unlimited funds to advertise. Their contracts lock you into a two year jail, in which you'd have to pay to get out of. Their plans never have enough data, text or voice, so at the end of each month you find yourself paying over your “set” payment. Talking to their customer service rep is like talking to my 4 year old daughter about the evolution of the human kind. Even worst, each month people pay as much for their cell phones is as they do for their cars.
So now it's time to talk about how much money you could save by choosing an alternative.
First, think of cell phone companies as the Presidential candidates. They sound great in the beginning, but when we get them, they end up costing us more money and we're stuck with them for a number of years.
Then, find an alternative. I did. My secret weapon against the status quo is Metro PCS. I call it a “secret weapon,” because no one seems to know what it is. They say: “Metro what?” “Who” or “What's that?”
Now take a look at a breakdown of my cell phone expenses while with Sprint (my old carrier).
2 year contract. My wife and I were the only two on that plan. We paid $120 per month for a limited amount of minutes and texts as well as data. Every month we would somehow go over the permitted minutes, text or data and we would pay $20 - $60 in penalties. So, the plan of $120 + $30 in penalties + $7 insurance + state fees, federal fees and taxes $10. That would turn our $120 plan into a $170.
Then one day, we were driving home from our daughter's soccer game and saw a billboard with Metro PCS advertisement. It said: Unlimited everything $40 per month. PERIOD. So, we decided to go to the local Metro PCS store. It wasn't your typical glamorous store with all the latest gadgets and accessories. It was just a plain 4 wall facility in the mall that had 1 employee and 6 phones to chose from (although, as of today they have all newest phones available).
We found out that if we were to get 2 phones, it would be considered a family plan and we would get a $10 monthly discount on our plan. That meant 2 phones, unlimited everything - $70 per month. BUT, THE BEST THING IS THAT $70 IS ALL WE PAY – TAXES AND FEES ARE INCLUDED IN THAT PRICE (hence “PERIOD” on that billboard).
Furthermore, my mom was on the same boat as we were with Sprint. I talked her out of Sprint and added her and our teenage daughter to our family plan. Metro PCS had their annual special where 4 lines cost us $120.00 per month. PERIOD.
When I tell people how much we pay for our all inclusive family plan, they pause for a second and look at me like, what's the catch? There is no catch. Signal strength is better than Sprint's but not as good as Verizon's. I have a smartphone but I chose not to upgrade my plan to a 4G data speed, because I either use wifi and the 3G is fast enough for reading and browsing the net.
Bottom line, If you're looking to save a lot of money on your cell phone, I suggest trying out Metro PCS, for 3 months. You have nothing to lose as you are not binded by a contract and/or cancellation fees. If for one reason or another you're unhappy, go back to your major provider, although my gut tells me you'd have a hard time leaving. Saving money is addictive.