California is opening its phone plans to pay for the costs of calling home with a new plan, and some are saying they’re ready for the move.
The state announced a plan Thursday to provide phone plans at $30 a month, which would be $1 more than what’s been offered in the past.
But the move could be a boon for consumers who are worried about getting their bill paid, and could give them more choice about the phone plans they buy.
Consumers are already eligible for the new plan if they don’t already use the $5 phone plan they have now, but the new one will cost more.
It’s a good sign that consumers are getting more choices in their phone plans.
“I think it’s an important move, given the huge change that has been happening in the phone industry,” says Chris Glynn, a spokesman for the Communications Workers of America, which represents more than 1.3 million unionized phone and wireless workers.
“This is a step toward the people’s call to raise the prices that consumers pay for phone services.”
And the state is not alone.
Other states have also taken steps to lower their phone bills in recent years.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a guidance in October 2017 that called for the state to increase phone charges for low-income people, including the elderly, people with disabilities and those with preexisting conditions.
But that guidance did not mention phone plans and was vague about what those phone plans would be.
It also left it to the phone companies to determine what plans they should offer.
Consumers can also choose from several different carriers.
They could choose the carrier of their choice for phone plans in their area, such as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon or T-Mobile, but they could also pick from other carriers.
Some of the carriers have a lower upfront cost and are less expensive.
For example, Verizon offers a $5 plan that costs just $5.00.
But many carriers, including AT&E, have plans that are significantly more expensive, including a $10 monthly phone plan that has a monthly fee that averages $20.00 and a $20 monthly bill that averages more than $50.00, depending on the plan.
The higher the upfront cost, the higher the monthly bill.
For some, the upfront fee is more than the cost of the phone plan, but many others may find the monthly rate is too low.
The CFPB guidance also called for consumers to look for ways to reduce their phone costs.
It recommended that consumers “invest in smart phone apps, such that consumers can easily track their phone usage and the cost they’re paying each month.”
And it said consumers should “seek out lower monthly rates on the phone that are less restrictive, such so that they’re not paying more for the phone and more for other expenses.”
And consumers should not “be discouraged by the phone company’s ‘free’ phone plan because the company does not provide an upfront payment.”
Consumers who want a cheaper plan should not give up the choice to buy their own plan, Glynn said.
“There’s no magic number to what’s affordable for most people,” he says.
“But consumers should look at the options available and see what they’re willing to pay and be willing to make a decision based on that.
If you’re paying more, you’re going to get more phone service.
If not, you’ll pay less.”
Consumers can get the new phone plan from AT&G, Sprint or Verizon.
The new plan costs $30 per month.
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