Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, even children and seniors. However, not all seniors need tons of high-tech features and capabilities. Many seniors prefer a simple cell phone plan with an easy-to-use phone.
Before choosing a new plan, it’s important to consider what matters. Do you primarily text? Or how about talking on the phone? Here are points to consider before choosing a phone plan as a senior.
Think About Data
Data is one of the most significant factors to consider on a phone plan. When you’re not using a wi-fi connection, you’ll use data to surf the web, connect to Facebook, and use applications. Many phone plans come with unlimited data. However, while this feature is very convenient, it can be expensive. Some cell phone providers will allow you to choose the amount of data in your plan, which is more cost-effective.
If you use a lot of data but want to cut back, use a wi-fi connection more often. Doing this doesn’t use any data at all. And remember, if you choose a phone plan with unlimited talk and text, you don’t have to get unlimited data.
Luckily, many providers have cell phone plans specifically designed for the senior community. Some even offer special discounts and monthly rates. Understanding how much data you need helps you avoid overspending your phone bill.
Cost of Total Bill
The total cost is critical when weighing your options between different phone plans. However, truly understanding this number can be challenging. Many providers will tack on extra fees or charges, making the total bill very expensive. Additionally, understanding where these fees come from can also be challenging. Don’t get discouraged if you’re struggling to understand all the charges on your phone bill — people of all ages have trouble deciphering extra fees.
If you’re in the market for a new phone plan, try to understand the total cost of your bill every month — after fees and everything. If you simply ask about the monthly expense, the salesperson will likely quote the price before all the fees and extra charges. Relying on a salesperson’s quote is why many people receive phone bills that are way higher than expected. Asking about the total bill can ensure everyone is on the same page regarding the phone plan price.
Pay Before or Pay Later
Another factor to consider in a phone plan is a prepaid plan or paying later. If you’re searching for a cheap, basic plan with nothing crazy, a prepaid plan may be the way to go. A prepaid plan means you pay in advance for a month of telecom phone service. Other plans require the user to pay after the month is over.
While a prepaid plan is usually the more cost-effective option, these plans are pretty limited and don’t usually come with many added features. Additionally, if you want to go over the data on your prepaid plan, it can be expensive. If you rarely use your phone or want something more affordable, a prepaid plan may be the answer. But if you’re after a more convenient plan where you don’t have to stress managing your data usage, you may want a more conventional plan.
Before choosing a plan, you should also think about the network quality. After all, you would hate to have no cell service when your car breaks down. On the other hand, the network reliability where you live is also an essential factor. Luckily, most cell phone providers have significant coverage areas. However, you should still do some research before deciding on a plan. While most carriers have solid coverage maps, you could be in a place where the service is limited. That said, be sure to speak with an expert about network reliability, especially where you live. While this is important for everyone, it’s even more vital if you live in a rural area. These places tend to have weaker cell service compared to cities.
Well-Known Carrier or MVNOs
Nowadays, there are tons of different carriers to consider. Of course, you have big names like Verizon, T-mobile, and AT&T, but smaller brands like Cricket Wireless and Metro are also options. MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) have recently grown in popularity. These providers tend to be more affordable than the big carriers, but their customer service is lacking. Also, MVNOs don’t have retail stores throughout the country, whereas significant carriers do.
As a senior, choosing a phone plan can feel like a steep mountain to climb. By doing your homework and considering the factors above, you can confidently select the best plan for your needs.