Cheap Cell Phone Plan Could Cost You - NBC Connecticut

Cheap Cell Phone Plan Could Cost You

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    Cheap Cell Phone Plan Could Cost You
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    "Hey baby. I'd love to keep talking, but I'm in the 'roaming' zone on this new cell phone and it's costing me more than my car insurance."

    We're all looking to save a few bucks these days.  And one way may be by examining your cell phone plan.  We compared a few we've heard of recently to see if the good deals really are good deals.

    A new cell phone company is Pocket Wireless, which is promising a $30 per month cell phone plan.  And indeed it is $30.  That includes local calling in Hartford, Bloomfield, and Springfield, MA. It also includes unlimited text and picture messaging. Call anywhere else and it’s an additional $.05 per minute.
    But the most expensive plan appears to be the way to go for many people. It’s $45 per month and includes the same options as above, plus unlimited long distance, texting to Mexico and Puerto Rico, voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, 3-way calling, unlimited directory assistance, and the mobile web. 
    Considering plans with other major carriers often start in this price range, seems like a deal – right?  READ THE FINE PRINT. 
    Here is the coverage area for Connecticut.  It’s not that big.
    You can still use the phone beyond that, but be prepared to pay.  Step outside the coverage area and you’re now roaming. At the cost of $.59 per minute.  So 100 minutes of roaming can add up to $59.00.
    Oh yeah, and don’t forget to add on that $45 monthly charge. Plus, of course, applicable sales tax and other federal and state government surcharges and fees.
    As premium plans go, though, it seems to be the lowest price one around.
    Verizon Premium:
    The Verizon premium plan includes unlimited texting, picture, video, and instant message, mobile email, the VCAST Vpak, VZ Navigator, unlimited Mobile Web, unlimited Verizon to Verizon calling, unlimited night and weekend minutes, and no long distance or roaming charges:
    450 minutes-     $79.99
    900 minutes-     $99.99
    1350 minutes-   $119.99
    Unlimited-           $139.99
    Sprint Simply Everything:
    This includes unlimited web surfing, email, BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS), GPS Navigation, Music Premier, TV Premier, NFL Mobile Live, NASCAR Sprint Cup MobileSM, along with unlimited direct connect, unlimited text, pictures and video messaging, and unlimited talking – with no long distance or roaming charges.
    $99.99 per month.
    Keep in mind that Verizon and Sprint will both make you sign a two year contract and will hit you with a hefty fee if you try and break the contract early. 
    A Pocket Wireless spokesman points out they're not selling a cell phone meant for travelers. 
    “It’s kind of like the statistic that most people get into a car accident within a mile of their house,” said Chris Senecal, who works for the PR team marketing the company. “The reason for that statistic is because most people stay close to home.”
    He said most people stay close to home when they use their phone anyway.
    Especially with the cost of travel these days.