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  1. Choosing a wireless service provider Take a ‘cell assessment’ Making a commitment Avoid surprises in your wireless bill Prevent theft and fraud Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  2. Welcome • Why are you here? • To learn how to choose the best wireless plan and avoid potential pitfalls. Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  3. What you will learn: • Choosing the best plan • Cellular industry vocabulary • Prepaid vs. Monthly Wireless plans • Choosing the right phone for the plan • Reading wireless bills Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  4. What’s in your folder? • Brochure • Backgrounder guide • Slides in handout form • Activities • Sample billing statement • Quiz • Order form for free multilingual materials Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  5. Expectations Activity • Your name • Your agency & title • What you hope to get out of this seminar today Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  6. Available plans • Local • Roaming • Regional • National • International Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  7. Local Plans • Allow calls within a metropolitan area or portions of a state without long distance charges Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  8. Roaming • Making calls outside of the carrier’s network • Higher per minute charges with some plans Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  9. Regional plans • Users can make calls within a state or group of states without any long distance or roaming fees Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  10. National plans • Often called nationwide plans • Users can make calls within the U.S. • No long distance or roaming charges *Remember to clarify all plan details with your carrier in advance Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  11. International plans • May provide better deals to other countries • Prepaid plans also offer overseas calling options Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  12. What to ask? • What type of questions should you ask when comparing calling plans? Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  13. What to consider? • Basic monthly charge • Anytime minutes • Free nights & weekend minutes • Per minute rate if exceeded • Long distance charge • Roaming charges • Peak vs. off peak hours • Text messages / Internet access • Contract issues Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  14. Family plans • What is a family plan? • Does anyone have a family plan? Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  15. Family Plans • A less expensive way to add multiple phones and services to one account • Share minutes • Difficult to control shared minutes Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  16. Family plan features • Two or more cell phones share one bucket of minutes • Bucket of minutes is an industry term for an allotment, usually monthly • Plans offer buckets of 250, 500, 700 or 1000 minutes per month Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  17. Family plan features • With some plans, unused minutes roll over to the next month • Outgoing & incoming calls and toll free calls will use bucket minutes • Buy enough minutes to cover calling pattern • Going over minutes = 40 cents/min Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  18. Comparison sites • www.point.com • www.myrateplan.com • www.letstalk.com • www.wirefly.com • www.consumerreports.org (fee) Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  19. What do you think? • Are all cell phones the same? • What is free mobile to mobile? • Can you estimate your monthly usage? How? • Can you control incoming calls? • Do U.S. cell phones work overseas? Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  20. Break • See you in 15 minutes! Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  21. Activity - 15 minutes • Break into small groups • Choosing a wireless service activity (page 9 in training curriculum) • Choose a spokesperson • Choose a recorder • Be ready to share findings Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  22. Cost of service • First bill can be higher than normal due to activation fee • Pro-rating of charges can increase your bill when changing plans or adding new features • Request an estimate • Final charges include taxes/surcharges and will be higher than calling plan fee Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  23. Carriers may allow • Checking minutes • Checking balance Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  24. Data Service • What is data service? Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  25. Data Service • Downloading photos • Checking e-mail • Reading news headlines • Text messaging • Usually billed by kilobytes Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  26. Billing mistakes • Contact carrier immediately • Take notes on your conversation • Request an e-mail confirmation Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  27. Activity • Break into small groups • Review Laura Fish’s wireless bill • Answer the questions on page 12 • Choose a spokesperson • Choose a recorder • Be ready to share findings Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  28. Choosing a phone • How many people here have a cell phone? • Family members? • What kind of cell phone do you have & why? Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  29. Types of phones • Flip up & ‘candy bar’ phones • PDAs - Personal digital assistants • Smart phones • Retractable antenna • Ringer levels / vibrate settings • Separate volume controls Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  30. Making a choice • Accepting a free phone • Blocking the purchase of ring tones • Rebate offers • Phone replacement insurance Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  31. Thank you! • Did we meet your expectations? • If you were facilitating this workshop tomorrow or next week, what information would you need to be effective? • Other comments? Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership

  32. Contact us • Consumer Action - 1.800.999.7981 • www.consumer-action.org Consumer Action - AT&T Wireless Phone Education Partnership