Does Prepaid Wireless Have the Same Features?
Companies that offer expensive, long-term cellular contracts will attempt to woo you with offers of value-added services such as text messaging, ring tones, and voicemail. These sorts of services are indeed wonderful and convenient, but the fact of the matter is, you can get the exact same services with your prepaid plan. Things like caller ID and call waiting are common on any type of cell phone, whether it is prepaid or contract.
Text messaging, regardless of whether you are using a phone with a long-term contract or a prepaid phone, is the same, and you can enjoy this feature with most prepaid cell phones. You just type your message into the telephone keypad, put in the mobile phone number of your friend, and hit the send key.
Depending on your provider, you will probably be charged a low per-message fee. Besides sending text messages between cell phones, some carriers will also provide you with the ability to send text messages to email addresses or IM addresses, and may allow you to send the same messages to a group of recipients at the same time.
Typing messages into a telephone keypad does take some getting used to, but some providers include "predictive" technology that makes it a little easier. This handy technology predicts what you are trying to type based on the first few characters that are input, and can save you time and keystrokes.
Be aware that once you've gotten accustomed to it, text messaging can become very addictive and fun! And even though the per-message fee is low, text messaging all day can quickly rack up an unmanageable bill at the end of the month.
That's the beauty of prepaid service. You can still use text messaging with prepaid, but you won't get stuck with an unexpected big bill for messaging at the end of the month. Like regular phone calls, you pay as you go.
Voicemail is another common feature offered by both contact and prepaid cell phone providers. Typically provided as a free value-add, this is also something to be cautious about. When you call your voicemail box to retrieve messages, you will still be charged for the call, like any other call. If your service allows you to do so, it is less expensive to retrieve your calls from a landline phone.
About the Author: Tom Spelling is a contributing editor to Prepaid Reviews – a website that reviews providers of prepaid cell phones and rates them according to service factors and customer feedback. The site offers reviews on Metro PCS, Cingular Go Phone and many more brands of prepaid cell service. http://www.prepaidreviews.com/