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Which is the best phone plan available?

Mobile phone plans

Whenever you are in the market for a new cell phone and monthly plans or if you are just unhappy with your current service provider, you might be confronted with a challenging decision, namely trying to decide on the best wireless phone plans to go with. Recently Consumer Reports Magazine conducted an in-depth survey of a broad range of consumers who were all content with their current cell plans, the purpose of which was to determine which ones are the best plans that were available to the consumer.

Thousands of coast-to-coast consumers were surveyed and some of the more significant results that were posted online were as follows where the best cell plans were concerned:

• Best overall satisfaction and service – Verizon Wireless was rated as #1
• Best 4G network – AT&T was rated #1 (Ironically, they took the title from Verizon). Plus, ATT Customer Service ranked first place this summer over other providers.

Where Sprint and T-Mobile were concerned, these carriers were rated considerably lower than the two other wireless plans above.

What About Pre-Paid Plans?

Although there are some heavy hitters in the cell phone and wireless phone plans industry, the Consumer Reports survey (see above) revealed that many consumers have switched over to pre-paid plans. Surprisingly, seniors now play a significant role in the pre-paid phone plan industry. There is a misconception that most cell phone users who go with this type of plan do so either because they live in poverty conditions or because there they a have very poor credit history. However, there is more to it than that.

For instance, not every one of the different cell phone plans offer contract-free service. When comparing the basic flip phones and their functions (i.e. call, text, and web) that are offered by MetroPCS and Verizon, we learned the following:

• MetroPCS offers a choice between a Huawei Verge or a Kyocera Presto
• Verizon offers the Samsung Gusto 2
• Both companies charged $50 for the phone
• MetroPCS charged $40 per month for service
• Verizon charged $50 per month for service
• Verizon data fee plans cost $1,200 per year
• MetroPCS data fee plans charged $240 less

Considering the above, it is easy to figure out why so many consumers have been switching over to pre-paid wireless phone plans. Granted, the total number of pre-paid cell phone users may be the smaller audience of the two (pre-paid vs. non pre-paid plans). However, the popularity of going with a pre-paid plan is steadily increasing. It also stands to reason that the bigger name service providers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon would jump on the pay in advance wireless phone plans bandwagon.

After all, pre-paid service providers such as Consumer Cellular, Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, Straight Talk (voted the best pre-paid phone plan), and TracFone are becoming heavy hitters in the industry themselves. Where Straight Talk was concerned, they have wireless phone plans (available through WalMart starting around $45) which includes unlimited data, talk, and text. You can read more about this survey and the other results (posted this past November 29th) online at the Consumer Reports website.

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