Online is the best way to conduct your shopping. Do all of the shopping from the comfort of your home computer conducting fast cursory or indepth research of the differences between calling plans. Conducting Research upfront will save you frustration in the future and additional unforeseen costs. For example you must be familiar with how they specify different features available, their own nomenclature can be confusing. For instance some Wireless Companies that state that the monthly costs will include unlimited Messaging is different than unlimited Data.
You must know what your usage will be like to select the appropriate plan. Will this be for one or more persons, a family plan is ordinarily less expensive than individual plans for each household. Do you receive many calls, if so an unlimited calling plan maybe your best choice, however if you use the Internet from a Smartphone you will need more than the basic 2 Gigs of usage that many service providers provide with their basic plans. However if you sign a contract and get plan that incorporates both unlimited calls and data and you use text messaging, even with a plan that allows for unlimited calling and data, you can and will be charged for each text message. Therefore someone who uses their phone extensively, calling, Internet (data), and Texting (which for some carriers means the inclusion or exclusion of media messages (messages containing attached photos or videos) needs a full contract with a flat monthly rate and this full blown unlimited text messaging and data plans will come with a well priced cell phone.
Here is your check list to follow as you do your research:
1) Calling times offered in total minutes Nights or weekends free
2) Text messages, how many per month included or cost? Are multi media messages included, how many and cost?
3) Data plan included How many Gigabytes offered? Will you tether a computer to your cell?
4) Blue tooth enabled (most service providers do not charge for this)
5) Will there be a cost for a cell phone or smart phone.