Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

February 7, 2013

Reading the fine print

TAHLEQUAH — Scoring a good deal on telephone service these days requires understanding the variety of plans offered by different carriers.

A customer could opt for a basic landline service with local calling capability – the standard home phone service – for under $25 a month with AT&T, or go with a two-year contract plan from Verizon Wireless for 4G service starting at $100, with a free smartphone that otherwise would cost $449.99 minus the two-year activation.

According to Walmart Connection Center employee Nolan Chojnacki, a pre-paid plan can help control the monthly expense of phone service.

“If you really want a cheap plan and [already own] smartphone, prepaid would be the way to go,” he said. “It’s really hard to get [monthly service for] under $100 with a contract. With AT&T, a $50 a month prepaid plan will get you everything unlimited [voice, text and Internet service] for a smartphone or a basic phone. Verizon and TMobile do it, too.”

With Verizon’s prepaid plan, though, the customer will pay $80 a month for smartphone service, said Chojnacki. As prepaid plans offer cheaper monthly rates, first-time buyers may pay full price for a device with no warranty protection.

“It does seem like an obvious choice to go with a prepaid phone. The only downside is if your phone breaks, you would have to buy a new phone,” he said. “Some of the smartphones can be pretty expensive. When you buy a prepaid Samsung Galaxy S-2, you pay $300, but if you get a contract, it could cost you only 97 cents.”

Those who want to activate service on more than one device, or need multiple services, can buy bundled, or combined service, plans, said AT&T Price Lang Consultant and Co-Founding Partner Emily Lang.

“I don’t have specific tips [on how to save money and avoid extra charges], but I would recommend customers call the company to discuss available discounts on services and plans,” she said. “There can be a discount for customers who combine services, and if you’re already using multiple services, it can be helpful to combine those accounts to receive the discount.”

Lang said a bill can vary, based on service plan and usage.

“Each bill lists state and federal taxes and fees as required by law. Sample bills and an explanation of terms and charges are available at att.com, and we encourage customers with questions to contact customer support at (800) 288-2020,” she said. “We welcome feedback, and we appreciate the opportunity to enhance and improve the customer experience.”

Lange explained the “Federal Subscriber Line Charge” and the “Federal Universal Service Charge” seen on bills. The FUSC charge is a part of a national policy to promote phone service to all households since inception in the 1930s. It’s a policy charge because telephones offer a link to emergency and government services, while keeping surrounding communities connected, according to the AT&T website. The FUSC helps make service affordable and available to consumers with low incomes, those living in areas where the costs of providing service is high, schools and libraries, and rural health care providers.

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • jn-WEB-truck-fire.jpg Up in flames

    Truck fire could impact city’s trash services

    Operations at Tahlequah’s solid waste transfer station will be impacted by the loss of a 2008 Freightliner destroyed by fire Wednesday night.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-gasoline.jpg Ethanol or regular gasoline? Dealers, mechanics disagree over what’s best

    Oklahoma is one of the few states with refineries producing pure gasoline and E10.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fountain.jpg University heads in Oklahoma average $216,000 per year

    First in a three-part series about higher education compensation and how it compares with pay for rest of the state

    For years, area legislators, administrators of state agencies and state employees have been critical of cuts to programs and flat budgets. But while programs may be shaved and salaries for higher education professors may be stagnant, administrative costs seem to be exploding on many campuses.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ishcomer-elizabeth.jpg Woman picked up for child endangerment

    A 41-year-old woman was released from jail this week after Tahlequah officers arrested her on child endangerment and drug charges.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • mcgregor-michael.jpg Two jailed after false 911 report made

    Two people were jailed Wednesday after a woman allegedly made a false report to 911 dispatchers.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • TPS looking to fill several positions before school starts

    The Tahlequah I-35 Board of Education held a special meeting last night, to bring more certified personnel and support staff on board before school starts.

    August 1, 2014

  • svw-beagles-MAIN.jpg Going to the dogs

    Hounds at center stage for more than just Red Fern Festival

    Larry Blackman and Titus Blanket have always loved dogs, especially beagles. In their respective roles as president and vice president of the Cherokee County Beagle Club, they’ve turned that love into a passion.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • sanders-jeri.jpg Murder charge against mother of dead boy, 3, dismissed

    A first-degree murder charge has been dropped against a 37-year-old mother accused in the death of her 3-year-old son.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • supersalary.jpg Okla. superintendents paid comparatively well; teachers 46th lowest

    Administrators say they work year-round, have other duties

    As public education in Oklahoma continues to feel the pinch of a shrinking state budget, watchdog groups and district patrons across the state are asking whether superintendents are getting a disproportionate piece of the financial pie.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Boards keep city, county afloat

    City and county officials rely on a variety of boards to oversee diverse and complex issues, and many of their members work behind the scenes to keep the wheels of government oiled and turning.
    The city of Tahlequah currently has 10 boards and three trust authorities. Cherokee County has two county-specific boards.

    July 31, 2014

Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Stocks