Problems with telecommunications (phone, internet, and TV) are some of the most common consumer complaints in Oregon. Complaints often involve misleading advertisements, paying more than the consumer expected, difficult cancellation policies, and poor reception or service quality.
Many headaches can be avoided by comparing available plans and matching them with your usage habits before you sign a contract. Some things to consider when choosing a wireless plan:
Do you text more than you talk? For many people, the convenience of sending a quick text message to a friend or associate has lead to fewer phone calls. If you find that you are texting more often than you are talking consider a plan with less call time.
When do you make calls? If you make most of your calls during the day, be careful to choose a plan with enough minutes or unlimited minutes to avoid expensive overage charges. If most of your phones calls occur in the evenings or on weekends you may be able to get by with a plan that has fewer minutes during business hours but unlimited minutes during nights and weekends.
Who do you call? Many carriers offer free calls between their customers. This is called mobile to mobile calling. If the people you talk to most often are on the same carrier, the calls you make to them may not be counting toward your minutes.
Are you comfortable signing-up to be with one carrier for several years? If you prefer less commitment and more flexibility, pay as you go phones are available almost everywhere and do not require long-term contracts. If you break your contract early, you will likely have to pay expensive termination fees.
Do you need a data plan? If you watch video, play games, use maps, check email or load apps onto your phone the answer is yes, you will need a data plan. Be very conscious of how much data you generally consume – it can add up fast and become very expensive if you aren’t careful. Track your data usage on your wireless phone bill. If you find that you are using more data than your current plan provides for, upgrading to a plan with more data (or using less) will likely be cheaper than paying overage fees.
A typical cell phone early termination fee can cost around $175.00 to $250.00 if you choose to end your relationship with a carrier before the terms of your contract end, so choose your carrier carefully! www.cubconnects.org is a handy tool provided by the Citizens Utility Board that allows you to comparison shop home phone, mobile and internet services available in your area.
Applicable State Law: