ORANGEBURG, NY — For many students and their parents, choosing a wireless phone and service package for college can be as challenging as choosing a major. Different rate plans, phone features and accessories now available make the selection process more difficult than ever. Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless service provider, offers the following advice for those heading back to the hallowed halls this fall along with special offers that make going back to school wirelessly cost effective.
- Understand the true cost of your service. It is not uncommon for young adults to be attracted to a service that offers low monthly fees only to find out later that the cost of calling home has blown their budget. Verizon Wireless offers a nationwide SingleRateSM plan with free long distance and no roaming charges that could mean significant savings for the student attending school out of state.
- Pick the right handset. Given rapidly changing technology, a student doesn't need to purchase the most expensive handset to be equipped for the latest services. Verizon Wireless offers a variety of affordable digital phones that are equipped for web access and short text messaging so even if they don't subscribe to the services now, they're prepared for the future.
- Select the service that fits a student budget. Most students live on a limited budget, yet for many, wireless technology has graduated from a luxury item to a necessity for safety, staying in touch with friends and family and eliminating the hassles associated with sharing a phone. Verizon Wireless offers a variety of affordable packages, including a new digital plan designed with students' needs in mind. Called [FREEUP], the new service is a prepaid option that offers nationwide voice service with no long distance or roaming charges, two-way text messaging and voice mail. There are no contracts to sign and no monthly bills because you purchase wireless minutes cards as you need them. Starter kits are priced at $124.99 and include a Nokia wireless handset, service activation and a $50 prepaid card.
- All wireless carriers are not created equal. A student who acquires a wireless phone in his or her hometown may learn that the phone is less reliable in and around campus. Ask about a company's coverage near your school. Without a high-quality network to put the call through, even the most advanced handsets will not perform. Verizon Wireless has invested more than $4 billion in 2001 in its coast- to-coast network that is tested daily to make sure calls go through and are not dropped.
- A guarantee is important -- With Verizon Wireless' Worry Free Guarantee, students get a guarantee that they will get the plan that meets their needs. Customers may change to any qualifying price plan or airtime promotion at any time with no additional fees. In addition, equipment can be returned for any reason within 15 days of purchase.
"Buying wireless for the first time can be overwhelming, but if students and their parents follow these guidelines, they will find a wireless plan that best meets their needs and budget," said Charles Hand, president of the company's New York Metro Region.
For more information on wireless plans, service, and accessories, visit Verizon Wireless' Online Store at http://www.verizonwireless.com.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.