Cell Phones: Options When Cheaper Alternatives are Needed

By: Christine Peppler

Most cellular providers give, or deeply discount, cell phones which they provide to customers at the time they commit to a two year contract. Without the cell phone plan however, the cost of a cell phone can be a few hundred dollars. Although getting a cell phone which is offered by the service provider is generally the most affordable option, there are a number of situations in which it really isn't feasible. Whether a cell phone is lost or damaged and requires replacement before the start of a new contract period, the user has a need which is more temporary, or if an additional phone is needed beyond that which was provided, consumers sometimes find themselves looking for less expensive alternatives.

For those interested in finding a cell phone for short term purposes there are of course alternatives out there.

Renting a cell phone is an option that could be worth the attention of those who wish to make use of a cell phone without committing to a cell phone plan for a couple of years. For Ray and Connie McCord, this option was the right fit a year ago when Ray had to go out of state for business for an extended stint. In their case, cellular services weren't even part of their lives and they didn't want to commit to the expense of the service for an ongoing two year period. The convenience of having a cell phone while Ray was away however was invaluable, allowing Connie to easily reach him even during hours when he wouldn't be in his hotel room. Luckily, by renting a cell phone during this time, they avoided the lengthy commitment but were able to take advantage of the convenience of continuous accessibility that cell phones offer.

Finding the right service requires a bit of shopping online. A search on "rent cell phone" will result in a number of options. As an example rentcell.com can provide users with the use of a cell phone for any period of time, from one day to one year. Those considering such a route need to examine the cell phone plan that is offered just as they would if committing to a plan from a major carrier. In most instances, free long distance, no roaming, and a low per minute charge are key points to consider.

For those who travel internationally, renting an unlocked phone with a global roaming SIM card can be the perfect solution. In an online search, consumers will find services such as IntouchUSA which is available here in the US and allows travelers a hassle-free way to stay in touch.

For consumers who are simply looking for a less expensive cell phone minus a cell phone plan, used cell phones can be had through the numerous sites online that will buy, recycle, and sell old cell phones. One example is cellularcountry.com where users can pick up a used locked or unlocked cell phone with a 30 day guarantee. Phones can be selected to match up with a user's current service or unlocked phones can be used internationally or with a variety of providers. The phones come with a battery and charger. Returns are allowed but refunds are minus a 20% restocking fee unless they arrived damaged. There are of course many other sites to select from, including of course, e-bay.

Although the commitment of a cell phone plan offers consumers the best savings when purchasing a cell phone as well as some of the highest quality equipment, there are certainly times when users need other options. Renting cell phones for short term needs and picking up inexpensive used cell phones to replace non-functioning devices are two possible options to consider.

Cell Phones
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