Having many telephone service providers actually benefits you as a consumer. The competition among the service providers not only gives you better and improved services but also offers a lot of service options to choose from. Therein lies the challenge. Because of the numerous options to choose from, you would often find yourself somewhat confused whether to subscribe to this provider or to that. As a wise consumer, you should always compare products or services - telephone services not excluded - before buying them or subscribing. This article offers you some tips and advice to help you compare telephone service providers.
- What are your needs? This is the basic question you need to answer before you start comparing the different telephone service providers in your area. All telephone service providers provide you with basic calling services. If you are going to use your telephone only for such basic functions as making and receiving calls, then proceed to comparing the providers. List all of the non-basic or extra services that you need from your telephone company. Examples of non-basic services (often called value-added services) are caller ID, call forwarding, call waiting, call barring, domestic direct dialing, international direct dialing, conference calls, etc. Some companies include them in a plan at no extra charge. Other companies may charge a minimal fee for activating such services, or may charge you per use of the service.
- Landline or mobile? Consider whether you need purely landline service, purely mobile service, or a package that combines both landline and mobile. If you have a landline used only for Internet connectivity and a mobile phone plan that you use almost all of the time to make or receive calls, you might want to consider giving up your landline plan and subscribe to a wireless telephone service bundled with Internet access. Another option is for you to subscribe to cable Internet service through your cable TV company. Many telecommunication companies bundle several services into inexpensive packages that you can choose from. For example, an all-in-one package or plan may include basic landline services (including long-distance calling), Internet connectivity, and mobile telephone services. Such bundled packages often let you save on your bills. Subscribing to them is a better idea than subscribing to each service individually.
- What telephone service providers are operating in your area? Identify the various telecommunication companies serving your area. Contact each one and inquire about their service packages and rates. You can also try looking for information through the companies’ official websites.
- How good is the customer service and technical support? For each of the prospect telephone service providers in your area that you listed, try to research on customer feedback about customer service and technical support. Never rely on customer feedback posted on the company websites, as it will usually be positive and favorable towards the company. Instead, search various websites, online forums, and discussion groups for actual non-biased feedback about the company's service.
- Are there online comparison sites? Yes, there are many. WhiteFence is an example of an online facility that can assist you in comparing various companies. The site also allows you to bundle different services and utilities into one bill. Another site you can check is BuyerZone.
As a consumer, it is always a good idea to do comparison shopping so that you can get the best value for your money. With the tips given in this article, shopping for the best telephone service provider for you will be easier.