February 7, 2019
Tips for Purchasing New Phones and Services
Choosing a device and plan that works for you
Remember you are shopping for two things when you begin your search: the wireless phone and wireless service. Use the tips below to find the best phone, carrier and pricing plan to fit your needs.
- Assess Abilities – The right phone bridges the gap between your abilities and your needs. To find the best fit, discuss your accessibility needs with your healthcare, rehabilitation or independent living professional, such as an audiologist. Visit our Resources for Consumers page to find phone features for your particular needs.
- Visit a Wireless Carrier’s Store –Wireless carriers try to steer each customer to their ideal phone and service plan. A representative can answer your questions and help you make the best choice.
- “Try Before You Buy” – It’s important to take a variety of cell phones for a “test drive” before making a final decision. Most wireless carrier’s stores have working phones that are ready for testing. Don’t be afraid to try several phones before deciding. Once you choose your phone, ask a store representative to help you program it for your specific needs before you leave so your phone is ready to use.
- Apps & Assistive Technology – If a wireless phone doesn’t come with the accessibility feature you need you may be able to download apps that can add that feature to your phone. Also, ask your healthcare, rehabilitation or independent living professional or wireless carrier representative about accessibility accessories and compatibility with Assistive Technology (AT) like TTYs, neckloops and Braille readers.
- Choose a Service Plan – You’ve picked a phone; now it’s time to choose a service plan. Ask yourself the following: Do you need voice, text or data services? Would you rather have a pre- or post-paid plan? How much are you willing to pay for service? Finally, ask if the wireless carrier offers service plans specifically for seniors or individuals with disabilities.
- Know Your Return Options – It’s important to understand the wireless carrier’s return and exchange policies before you leave in case you find another device that’s a better fit. If you do return a phone because of accessibility issues, make sure you let the store personnel know why you are bringing it back because they may be able to waive any “restocking fees.”