Free Cell Phones All Around - Cashing in on Consumerism

 


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There’s no greater way to win the hearts of consumers than to give them something for nothing. In our society of advanced communications devices and state-of-the-art technology, one of the best commodities to target for these give-away tactics is the cell phone. From simple port-to-port communication to comprehensive electronic office features, these hand-held units have become a rather luxurious necessity in these “need-to-know" times in which we live.

Of course, no legitimate business can expect to thrive by giving away its merchandise. Since cell phone companies actually make their money through the purchase of calling plan contracts, the phones themselves aren’t really an issue. From the carriers’ perspective, then, the “free cell phone" strategy offers the best of both worlds: consumers are happy, thinking that they’re being given a substantial gift, and businesses are making money by selling phone service or specific calling contracts, which are necessary in order to use those shiny, new phones. In order to ensure their victory in the race to gain more customers, some cellular phone companies offer packages that even include a rebate. In other words, they’ll give you a free cell phone and then offer a substantial mail-in rebate (usually $25 or more) so that it appears as though they’re paying you to take the device. Kudos to the marketing people who conceptualized that strategy!

Verizon Wireless

As one of the leading cell phone carriers, Verizon offers free devices when consumers purchase one of a variety of calling plans. These cell phone deals include your choice of model (several of which are offered) and, in some cases, a mail-in rebate. Other perks may include:

  • Free Long Distance
  • Unlimited In-Network Calling
  • Unlimited Night and Weekend Minutes
  • Free Roaming
  • Up to $250 in Mail-In Rebates (allowing for free cell phones plus cash back)

Of the various calling plans which are offered, you may expect to find:

  • Discounts on personal plans
  • Discounts on family plans (shared minutes)
  • Free long distance
  • Unlimited nights and weekends (most plans)
  • Free long distance plus unlimited nights and weekends (some plans)

Cingular Wireless

Another strong competitor in the area of cellular phone systems, Cingular has also cashed in on the “free cell phones" marketing strategy, offering consumers a variety of perks and calling plan benefits, in addition to state-of-the-art devices and rebates. Among the many “extras" that this company offers are:

  • Roll-Over Minutes (i. e. , you don’t lose any unused “any time" minutes)
  • Free Nationwide Long Distance
  • Free Roaming
  • Largest Mobile Digital Network
  • Free Voice Mail
  • Free Call Waiting
  • Free Caller ID
  • Free Call Forwarding
  • Free 3-Way Calling
  • Up to $225 in Mail-In Rebates (allowing for free cell phones plus cash back)

Available calling plans may include:

  • Discounts on personal plans
  • Discounts on family plans (shared minutes)
  • Unlimited night and weekend minutes
  • Unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes
  • Unlimited night, weekend and mobile-to-mobile minutes (some plans)
  • Primary and secondary line deals
  • Multiple phones for family members

Sprint

While the plans that are offered by Sprint aren’t as lofty as those of more competitive cell phone carriers, they do offer some benefits to the consumer, including free cell phones and a small variety of perks in order to entice potential customers to commit to one of their calling plans. Some of the specials that may be included in their packages are:

  • Free Nationwide Long Distance
  • Free Roaming (only with phones that are also on the Sprint PCS Network)
  • Unlimited Night and Weekend Minutes

In addition, special calling plans are also provided, which may include:

  • Personal calling plans
  • Family (shared) calling plans
  • Wide-Area calling plans
  • Unlimited PC-to-PC calling
  • Multiple phones with family calling plan
  • Two lines of service on one bill
  • Up to $200 in Mail-In Rebates (allowing for free cell phones plus cash back)

T-Mobile

The benefits that are offered by this carrier are similar to those which are offered by Sprint although – when compared – T-Mobile seems to do a bit better in the area of the numbers of benefits that are offered, translating to more perks for the consumer. Of the standard benefits that are offered, you can expect to find:

  • No Roaming Charges
  • Free Long Distance
  • Free Voice Mail
  • Free Caller ID
  • Free Call Waiting

Their variety of calling packages may include:

  • Personal calling plans
  • Family calling plans
  • Unlimited weekend minutes
  • Unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes
  • Two lines of service on one bill
  • Unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes plus unlimited weekend minutes (for some plans)
  • Up to $250 in Mail-In Rebates (allowing for free cell phones plus cash back)

Nextel

Of the many cell phone carriers, Nextel doesn’t appear – at first – to have as much to offer as most of the others, but the options that they do offer are rather impressive in some areas, which would make up for the lack of some of the more standard benefits that their competitors offer to the consumer. Although they don’t actually list any specific “standard benefits, " they do offer special calling plan packages, which may include:

  • Personal calling plans
  • Family calling plans
  • Multiple phones for family plan packages
  • Unlimited night and weekend minutes
  • Free roaming (within their network)
  • Free long distance (within their network)
  • 250 direct connect minutes (most plans)
  • Unlimited direct connect minutes (certain plans only)
  • Up to 25 cell phones ($15 each additional line)
  • Up to $300 in Mail-In Rebates (allowing for free cell phones plus cash back)

While each of these carriers offers a specific amount of benefits to their consumers – some far more than others – the calling plans differ according to whether you’re opting for a personal or family package, and the number of minutes that are included in each package for a set fee each month will vary, as well. To see the latest special offers, simply log on to a major internet search engine and type the name of the carrier in the keyword area.

About the Author: Samantha Goode is a freelance technology writer who loves to provide tips to consumers shopping for free cell phones, prepaid cell phones, and cell phone service.

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