Thinking of getting a cell phone? Considering switching to another carrier or another cell plan?

Sometimes it can be hard to remember what to ask when you’re talking with a salesperson.

We know: How to Compare Cell Phone Plans

Here’s a list of things to remember when considering a new plan, suggested by the Government Services Administration (GSA):

  • Whether your minutes can be used any time, including "peak times" (usually weekdays), or if there is a certain number of minutes that are restricted to "off-peak times" (nights and weekends), and what the cutoff times are.
  • At what times ‘off peak’ minute begin on weeknights and on weekends.
  • How much it costs if you use more than your allotted number of minutes.
  • If your unused minutes can rollover to the next month.
  • The charges, if any, for roaming and/or long-distance.
  • Whether you can call people with the same cell phone plan for free, and if so, is there a month charge?
  • The cancellation policy. Many carriers charge more than $100 to end your contract early.
  • Whether you can increase or decrease the number of minutes or make other changes to your contract after you’ve activated your phone and started using it, and what the terms would be.
  • If features such as voicemail and Caller ID are included, or if they are extra.
  • The cost for 800-number or directory assistance calls.
  • What happens when your contract ends — do the terms of service and charges change?

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