Once again, that magical time draws near. That mini-Christmas that comes around biannually. No, not some secret Holiday we Americans celebrate, and yes, we do have secret holidays. No, it is time to decide if I’m going to renew my cellphone contract, or go searching for greener pastures with another provider.
Now I might forgive you for thinking there might be a secret holiday surrounding our contractual obligations. For some reason, we Americans just can’t get enough of being roped into long and drawn out service contracts. Hell, if the saving habits of my fellow countrymen are any indication, we absolutely love throwing our money away. It’s a national pastime larger than baseball, and more addicting than cheeseburgers between doughnuts.
Research Time. I Know… But Do It Anyway
So then, off contract seems to be the way to go. Of course that leaves us wondering about providers and service. Luckily, most of the better known providers simply lease already existing infrastructure from the larger companies. Here stateside, the company Virgin mobile actually uses the same towers offered by Sprint, yet offer plans as low as $20 a month.
Other big name companies, like T-mobile, have opted to do away with a contract all together, offering the consumer a bit of flexibility when it comes to their cellphone plans. Of course this means a higher upfront cost of a phone, but over the long run can net you quite the savings. Remember, those phones you get for “free” at the start of a contract are actually subsidized, and you’re paying much more than they’re worth over 2 years of payments.
However, don’t be discouraged by those high, out the door price tags either. Whether you’re looking for T-mobile or AT&T deals, or a provider on the other side of the pond, there’s always something to save you a few extra bucks. So fret not about the upcoming change, and embrace your new found freedom… or don’t. I’ve decided it’s not healthy for me to care this much about cellphone plans.