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Key Buying Points Checklist

The Purchase Transaction »

  • A carrier's rate plans don't vary by where you buy; phone prices can (and do) vary widely.
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  • Finding the best wireless service is done by optimizing three things: Coverage, phone, and plan.
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  • Coverage maps don't tell the whole story.
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  • All national carriers offer a minimum two-week trial period for you to test their service.
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  • A more expensive phone doesn't necessarily mean better reception.
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  • Phone choice is limited both by a carrier's network technology and wireless industry economics.
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  • When buying a cell phone, look at theout-the-door price, as well as the final price (after rebates).
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  • To save money, consider a family plan for two to five members of a household.
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  • For light or emergency-only users, prepaid may save money - but watch those expiration dates.
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  • Choose a plan with more airtime than you will need; extra minutes can quickly double your bill.
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  • Plan benefits can significantly reduce the anytime minutes you will need.
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  • 'Free' long distance can, in some cases, actually be quite expensive.
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  • Buy bundled packages if you plan to use any significant amount of data services with your phone.
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  • Taxes are unavoidable, but can usually be minimized just by staying with the right rate plan.
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  • Unless you go prepaid, it is getting harder to avoid a two-year contract.
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  • Cell phone insurance might be a good idea, but there are many factors to consider.
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  • Need a phone that will also work outside the U.S? It is a balance of convenience and cost.
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  • Your old cell phone may have some value.
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  • Lots of people are 'cutting the cord' and going totally wireless. It isn't right for everyone.
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  • If transferring (porting) your phone number, sign up for new service before canceling the old.
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