Considerations Before Committing To A Cell Phone Contract
By: Anita Bern
Are you commitment-phobic? When it comes to signing a cell phone contract - you have every right to be! You will be committing to paying a chosen company hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, over a long period of time. After all, you don't want to get stuck with a bad cell phone contract - everyone wants a good deal!
It is, however, surprising how many of us skip over actually reading the small print. It pays to consider some facts before you put your signature on a cell phone contract. After you sign on the dotted line, it will be too late to ask questions and change your mind! You should at the very least fully read the cell phone contract.
Could you get out of your new cell phone contract should you decide to do so? Check out all the terms and conditions of your contract. You may find that your plan is month-to-month, especially if signing with a local or regional carrier. If you have subscribed to a large carrier, they are required by law to offer a grace period within you can change your mind and get out of your contract without paying a fee. If you are within the grace period, you can return your cell phone and get out of the contract; you may still have to pay some smaller fee. At least you are not paying a hefty early termination fee!
If your phone has some serious defect, or if there is a poor network connection in your area, you may be able to get out of the deal. If a carrier does not respond to your (valid) claims, contact BBB (Better Business Bureau) or FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Some customers have succeeded in - if not getting out of the contract without paying early termination fees - then getting awarded some significant benefits, by pointing to pricing changes and claiming that this renders their contracts void.
Decided to sign up for a special offer, upgrade, or a bundle? Do you know what is actually included in the offer? Watch out for hidden fees! Ask yourself if you actually need all that is included in the offer. Make sure that you select the plan that meets your needs. Familiarize yourself with the amount of taxes and fees that you will have to pay, which can significantly increase your bill. How much are overage fees?
Before getting yourself locked in a long-term contract that could cost you from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, consider asking yourself, and your cell phone company, some important questions. You are probably right to be a little bit suspicious! Reading your cell phone contract and making sure that you understand the terms will make you a wiser customer, and save you more than a couple of dollars.
It is true that not all contracts are written in plain English, but you have the right to get an explanation of any causes that you don't understand. A cell phone contract is a legal document and you will have responsibilities, so make sure that you know your rights as well. If you don't agree with the terms and conditions - then don't sign!