There are lots of no-contract, prepaid cell plans out there but here is what we have found for our household.
We've had Verizon wireless service since before they were Verizon wireless. We're talking at least 11 years. And we've been extemely pleased with their service and rates, especially since we've been grandfathered in on a cheap calling plan, so we've been paying a whole lot less than their current rates for quite a while.
But I hate having a contract. Especially with the economy the way things are, having a cell phone contract just isn't that great of an idea. If I needed to cut down on my expenses really quickly because of an interruption in income, I wouldn't be able to cancel my cell service without paying an exorbitant early-termination fee. So for a very long time I've been waiting to get out from under our cell phone contract.
Thankfully our latest 2-year contract with Verizon is up on the 22nd of this month. (Yahoo!) So since we're determined to stay away from any future cell contracts, for the last 6 months or so my husband has been doing research on no-contract plans available in our area.
After quite a bit of online researching, he finally came to the conclusion that MetroPCS might be our best bet. Since we're also planning on canceling our home phone and switching to cable internet from DSL to save a little money, we really need a plan with a lot of minutes. And with Metro's unlimited minutes — plus the fact that we really don't travel to far from home — it really seemed like the perfect deal for us.
So tonight we visited a local Wireless Toyz store, spoke at length with the owner about various options, and ended up walking out with two phones and a family plan with pretty much unlimited everything for $70 a month. Our first month is free, and since there is no activation fee, we only had to pay for the phones tonight.
We decided to do this switch a couple weeks prior to our Verizon contract ending so we can make sure we like Metro's service well enough to keep it. If we end up not liking the service, we can return the phones to the store for a full refund within 30 days (as long as the phones have less than 100 minutes of use on them). That makes me feel a lot better about the whole deal. We haven't totally committed to Metro yet, but I really like being able to try them out like this.
Continue to watch for our report on how this no-contract prepaid cell plan really worked for us.