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Craig Bishop

28 Posts
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8/7/2007 11:30:59 PM

As SIMPLE as it may sound, prospective consumers should know ALL COSTS related to acquiring or activating a cellular service. The following information pertains to traditional post-pay (“billed” and opposite of pre-pay) service.

Major CELLULAR SERVICE PROVIDERS in the USA, in general, provide the best incentives for new customers and refer to such service as a NEW ACTIVATION. Current customers who choose to renew or extend their current or soon-to-expire service are referred to as UPGRADES. Unfortunately, and perhaps unfairly, current customers generally receive fewer incentives to renew than new customers receive.

A prospective consumer qualifies as a NEW CUSTOMER of a Service Provider when that consumer is both CREDIT worthy and meets one (1) of the following criteria; A) consumer is not a current customer of the Service Provider in question and has not been a customer for a specific period of time, (often six months) or B) consumer is a current customer and opts to add an ADDITIONAL LINE OF SERVICE. NEW CUSTOMERS are typically eligible to receive one (1) CELLULAR PHONE or other device for each LINE OF SERVICE at a price greatly reduced from the RETAIL PRICE as an element of the CONTRACT.

Consumers need to be aware that the TOTAL COST of acquisition and on-going service are represented by the following minimum cost components: A) MONTHLY SERVICE CHARGE or the minimum charge per month not including any taxes, B) CONTRACT VALUE or the MONTHLY SERVICE CHARGE times the number of CONTRACT MONTHS (term or duration), typically twenty-four (24), but sometimes twelve (12) or thirty-six (36), C) EARLY TERMINATION FEE or the penalty associated with canceling service prior to the full term of the contract, D) Line ACTIVATION FEE or a one-time charge per line, typically $20 to $40, appearing on your first monthly invoice (“your bill”), E) OVERAGE MINUTE CHARGES for excess voice usage, F) OVERAGE DATA CHARGES for excess messaging (text or picture) or other data, G) CELLULAR DEVICE (phone or modem) is often an out-of-pocket cost, H) INSTANT REBATE or a further price reduction of the CELLULAR PHONE affecting your out-of-pocket cost, I) MAIL-IN REBATE or a cash-back offer, typically available six to twelve (12) months after SERVICE ACTIVATION (date of contract).

We hope this information is helpful!

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