ORANGEBURG, NY — If you're planning to purchase a wireless phone for someone special this holiday season, the choices have never been greater. But if you're like most consumers, you'll welcome some help sorting through all the options, especially if you want to shop smart and get the best value for your money.
There are price plans that fit almost every budget, including local, regional and national plans. Some plans eliminate roaming and long distance charges, while others are specially designed for families or students. Phones, too, offer a variety of features, from voice dialing, which is especially popular in areas that restrict handheld wireless phone use while driving, to Internet access that lets you check e-mail, stock prices or sports scores from your phone. Some wireless phones double as radios and others offer calendar and phone book functions.
And, of course, you'll need to know what factors are important to consider when you select a wireless carrier. Hint: don't base your decision on price alone.
To help consumers make smart choices this holiday season, Verizon Wireless offers the following tips for selecting wireless gifts guaranteed to please the special people on your list. In fact, whether you're a first-time wireless buyer or a wireless veteran, you're sure to pick up some money-saving tips from the information below.
Choose a Wireless Company For Coverage and Performance
Wireless has changed dramatically since the industry's early days, but one basic principle still rings true: a wireless phone is only as good as the network it's on. That's why selecting a wireless company with an expansive network that provides service when and where you want it is so important. Be sure to ask about coverage to find out which geographic areas a company serves. Also, ask relatives and friends about their wireless service and how reliable it is. Can they make and receive calls wherever they are? Are the calls clear and uninterrupted?
Select a Price Plan Based on Where and How the Phone Will Be Used
Some of the best deals in wireless today are the new regional and national calling plans that offer a home area spanning several states or the entire country with no domestic long distance or roaming charges for calls made from the home area. Many Verizon Wireless customers choose SingleRate EastSM because the home calling area stretches from Maine to South Carolina and includes domestic long distance calls to anywhere in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands when placed from the home area. In fact, some customers find it more economical to use their wireless phones for all their domestic long distance calls. SingleRate East plans start at $35.00 per month for 300 minutes, but check newspaper ads for special offers during the holiday season.
What's more, now there's a Family SharePlanSM available with SingleRate East that lets you share your monthly home airtime allowance minutes with your spouse, teens or a grandparent. You can add up to three additional lines to your account for $20 each per month. That's a gift the whole family will enjoy.
Control Costs With Pre-paid Wireless
If you want to give a gift with no strings attached, you'll want to consider a prepaid wireless service package that includes a digital wireless phone and service. With pre-paid wireless, you pay in advance for wireless minutes and the gift recipient replenishes the account when the minutes run out. Verizon Wireless [FREEUP], now priced at $99.99 with a $30 mail-in rebate, makes a great gift for teenagers, college students and elderly parents who want to control their wireless spending. With [FREEUP], there are no contracts to sign, no credit checks and no monthly bills.
Opt for a Phone with Features You'll Use
With a huge variety of phones to choose from in all price ranges, you'll have your pick of phones that offer Internet access, text messaging, voice dialing and a host of other capabilities. Knowing if the phone will be used to check e-mail or simply to call home when running late, will help you decide what features you'll need.
Save More With A Longer Contract
Typically, you can save on a phone and certain fees when you sign a longer term contract. When purchasing a wireless phone at Verizon Wireless, you'll usually pay less with a two-year service agreement vs. a one-year, and the activation fee will be waived.
Another advantage for customers who sign a two-year agreement and remain on a digital calling plan of $35.00 per month or more is a new phone or $100 credit toward the purchase of a higher priced phone every two years at contract renewal. "New Every Two"SM allows customers to take advantage of new technology at little or no cost.
Know What Happens After the Sale
Nothing is more frustrating for consumers than finding out after the sale that the company they've chosen to do business with is not interested in their problems when something goes wrong. Be sure to ask about customer service. Verizon Wireless customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, all Verizon Wireless customers receive "The Worry Free Guarantee", a commitment that includes a 15-day return policy and the ability to change plans if a better promotional offer comes out after signing a contract. For more details about the company's guarantee to customers, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 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 and GTE Wireless. 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.