Dear Lifehacker, I see a lot of mobile plans that provide unlimited calls and text plus a (varying) chunk of data. They seem to be mostly around the $40 mark. All the ones I’ve looked at invariably say “Personal Use Only”. Are there similar plans for business? The usage (in our case) is not excessive but we’d like a fixed monthly cost. Thanks, Bargain Hunter
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There are plenty of fixed-price prepaid plans out there, and we’ve highlighted the best ones available recently in the past. You’re correct, however: all of these plans are specifically listed as for personal use only, and aren’t designed for businesses.
In practical terms, if you’re a sole trader and aren’t using your phone constantly, a prepaid provider is unlikely to notice or care if you’re using a phone for business purposes. However, it is against the conditions, and if your provider does notice (if you make a support call, for instance), you won’t have any grounds for complaint if they disconnect you or ask you to move to a different plan.
There are definitely business plans out there which offer unlimited calls, but they rarely fall at the $40 price point. You’re more likely to pay closer to three figures. (If readers know of specific exceptions, please share them in the comments!)
One theoretical upside of a business-specific plan is that you should receive better support if there’s a problem (though this isn’t always the case). The downside is that often you’re charged more for the same call inclusions and data, and that business plans are generally contract rather than prepaid.
Business plans also often include other features, such as free calls between people working in the same business or the ability to share a pool of data amongst multiple phones. We’re not going to single out and recommend a single plan for your needs, since so many variables are involved. Like any phone plan, it’s a matter of carefully identifying your usage patterns and matching what’s out there.
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