College Students and No Commitment Cell Phones

College Students and No Commitment Cell Phones
  • Opening Intro -

    Heading off to college is one thing. Moving far away from home presents students with the chance to experience a level of freedom that they have never known previously.

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Living so far away from home can present some other challenges, including encountering technological issues your parents never faced. Such challenges include staying connected, especially by means of your cell phone service. Where reception may be perfect back home, at college you may have discovered that dropped calls are a common occurrence while the cell phone itself is not delivering the full Internet benefits you want.

Cell Phone Considerations

It is time to shop for a new cell phone carrier, but before you make that move you can save yourself money by buying your phone first. Yes, it can certainly make sense to buy the phone apart from the plan, or what is known as a “no commitment” purchase. Essentially, you are shopping for a phone first and will choose and add your carrier later.

Pricing for the phone is, of course, much higher when purchased apart from the contract. That $1 offer for a Samsung Galaxy SIII 4G through a national carrier is certainly enticing, but it comes with several strings attached including a 2-year contract. That’s a long time to commit to one company, especially if you live in an area where reception is not perfect. It would be better to buy the phone you want first and commit to a carrier second. And that commitment can be a month-to-month agreement, one that allows you to move on if your cell phone carrier isn’t up to the task.

Strings Attached

Of course, when you discover that the Samsung phone costs you $500 up front, you may decide that this a steep price to pay and be tempted to sign a long-term contract to get a phone that might cost you $99 through your carrier — with a 2-year commitment and a $20/per month data plan, of course. And this is where the cell phone carrier has you: in the seemingly low up front pricing that comes with the previously mentioned strings attached. Again, why commit to a service plan if you are unsure of that service?

This is where shopping for a phone separately from a cell phone plan needs to be approached and with care. On the surface, pricing may be the same through most retailers, but it may be in the fine print where the differences are noted. Some phones can be used with most any service provider while other phones are designed only to work with a certain service plan. The first choice gives you freedom to choose, the second choice ties you in…again.

Accessory Kits

You should also consider what else is offered with your purchase. The deciding point beyond the basic price for some buyers may be the accessory kit. When part of a cell phone package, you get a mobile bundle that you would usually buy separately, adding to your cost. Such bundles may include ear buds, a USB cable, a car charger, cleaning wipes and a screen protector.

Buying a cell phone without a monthly contract can give you the flexibility you need to get the service you want, when you want it. Once you identify the cell phone that is right for you, make your purchase and then shop for a carrier. Talk with other students at your college to learn about their own carriers. They will clue you in on cost as well as reception, giving you a clearer understanding of the choices that are available to you.

See AlsoHow to Compare Smart Phones

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Categories: Technology