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The cell phone plan contract term–or simply contract term–is the minimum duration of the contract between you and the wireless carrier. In most cases, this is 24 months (2 years). If you terminate the contract before the specified term, you almost always incur early termination fees. This, however, does not prevent you from upgrading your plan, as long as you stay with the same cell phone carrier.
So, before signing up for a plan, it is always better to be quite sure that the cell phone carrier you choose will fit your particular needs.
Each time you purchase a new cell phone line, you incur an activation fee. This applies equally whether you are buying your first cell phone plan or whether you add a phone to your existing plan.
When you sign up with a cell phone carrier, you agree to maintain your service in good standing for a given contract term–generally of 24 months (two years). The early termination fee is the penalty you have to pay if you decide to terminate your services before the expiration of the term.
An average early termination fee for an individual cell phone plan is around $175.
Detail billing refers to the amount of detail you get each time you receive your cell phone bill. The more detailed your bill, the more you can see exactly how your cell phone usage affects your wallet.
For instance, do you normally go over your plan’s minutes? Or, conversely, do you leave a lot of unused minutes? Do you send and receive a huge amount of text messages? Do you tend to use your cell phone before or after your free evenings kick in?
All this information helps you make an informed decision about how to use your cell phone more economically or about whether it may be better to upgrade your plan if your carrier allows.