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How to Shop for Cell Phone Plans - Text Messaging Costs

By: Christine Peppler

Aside from calling, text messaging is the feature getting the greatest use on most cell phones and probably the primary reason for higher than expected bills. With the cost of sending a domestic message around $.15 and receiving one approximately $.10 with the typical cell phone plan, an avid user can rack up an exorbitant bill within days.

Customers have struggled to reign in the costs. Individuals and families have instituted "call, don't text" rules within their household, only to find that received text messages still send them over the edge. In some instances, users have been able to block texting from their service but then miss the privacy and the efficiency that texting offers. Many families have tried to quell an adolescent's texting excess by making teens responsible for their own texting costs while others provide only prepaid services to assure that usage is held in check.

However, an answer to the cost of the burgeoning use of text messaging which may create greater family harmony while allowing consumers to make full use of the feature may come from the cellular providers. Increasingly, the major players in the telecommunications industry are providing cell phone plans which offer options that will cap texting expenses. Cell phone plans which include unlimited texting features are increasingly common while adding on a more predictable $10 to $20 per month to the plan cost.

All "unlimited texting" cell phone plans however are not necessarily equal and consumers will need to shop to find the plan that fits their usage. The following items are some of the major things to consider when comparing plans:

How much texting is used?
If a consumer only sends/receives a few hundred messages per month, the cellular provider probably offers a texting feature with a cap at 200, 300, or 500 messages which will be less expensive than a cell phone plan that offers no limit on texting.

Does the unlimited plan include out of network messaging?
Many now do but some can be limited to messages only within the same network.

Does the unlimited plan include just texting?
Some of the newer unlimited texting cell phone plans include not only texting but also picture and video messaging which is an important distinction for those who use such features routinely.

Is there a data transfer cap?
Some "unlimited" plans actually cap the amount of data transferred and will charge additional for amounts that exceed the cap.

Will unlimited texting apply to all lines?
For those who have multiple lines within their cell phone plan, it is important to know if all lines are covered.

Is international text messaging included in the unlimited messaging?
In many cases it will not be, and the average $.35 cost per sent message can be a rude surprise if consumers are caught unaware.

Can you discontinue unlimited text messaging at any time?
In some cases, the unlimited messaging is an add-on feature and it can be dropped to reduce the expense at any time. In other instances, the unlimited messaging is part of the cell phone plan itself. Some carriers allow consumers to switch plans at will, while others to do not. Consumers just need to know what flexibility they will or will not have during the contract period.

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Author Bio
Christine Peppler is the owner of Home Media Store, a site dedicated to assisting consumers in evaluating and finding products and services which will best meet their needs. Visit her site when you are ready to shop for cell phone plans.

Article Source: - Free Website Content

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