Blog – NextWorth

Carriers vs. Consumers

carriers-vs-consumersIn the early years of mobile contracts, carriers possessed the power. Back then, buyers were bound by the shackles of the fine print; committing to contracts that long outlived their actual phones.

But buyers, rejoice! Gone are the days of lengthy contracts and limited service options. Today, selecting a mobile service provider is a lot like searching for a car, and consumers are taking ownership of their mobile plans by exercising their right to shop around.

History Not Repeating

Since the beginning of business, lengthy contracts have been more or less the bane of the customer’s existence. Sure, they serve to protect, but two-year contracts provided more headaches than they did protection. Contracts were typically permeated with messy, unclear jargon that carried on for multiple pages – leaving the customer more often than not confused or in the dark. What’s more, due to the rapidity of technology advancing, many of the agreed-upon contracts became invalid at some point within the two years. But because cancelling or changing contracts was a major costly hassle, customers were often left to just ride it out. Today, however, consumers are finding more and more ways to outsmart contractual obligations, and carriers have no choice but to loosen the reins.

Options Galore

Nowadays, mobile call and data plans aren’t nearly as black and white. If you’ve got a problem, there’s undoubtedly a solution that won’t break the bank or negate agreements. For starters, the carrier options have expanded well beyond just AT&T — today, you can choose traditional carriers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint – or pay-as-you-go with month-to-month services like Cricket Wireless. The are now also “wifi first” service providers like Republic Wireless, that enable your calls and data to go over, as the name implies, wifi first, and only transitions to a cellular network when wifi is not available. Talk about being able to keep your bill low and in check!

But wait, there’s more: service providers aren’t the only companies selling phones or devices straight from their store anymore. There are many other places to shop that allow consumers to purchase direct, at wholesale or refurbished prices. And service-providing brands are getting smarter about their mobile offerings. You’ll find phones being sold at partnering spots where customers already are: Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Amazon, allowing the consumer to buy a phone outright — no contract necessary. Soon, you will be able to do the same at Stay tuned for more details on that!

Perhaps the most cringy thing about antiquated mobile contracts was the inability to upgrade until you were “due”. Two years would go by before manufacturers would access a major chunk of the market, as well as a two-year stretch before consumers would be introduced to new technologies. Now, consumers are able to trade-in their devices or signup for flexible phone programs, like our trade-in program, or T-Mobile’s JUMP program. These options are not only enabling customers to trade-in their unwanted devices for cash, but are maximizing the value of the service plans in the long haul.

Predicting the Future

Mobile phone features will continue to expand, as will mobile phone freedom. Unlocked devices are becoming more popular due to the flexible nature — making mobile users capable of pairing any service with an unlocked device.

In fact, FastCompany even predicts that soon everyone with unlocked phones will receive service through an app, letting people change their service/carrier based on their location each day. For example, maybe one day you have to take a work trip through a certain city; you know Verizon works better in this area than your typical, everyday AT&T service — so you choose a day-pass or a monthly program that allows for the best service in that particular location. Europe is already ahead of the United States on this front.

While the idea that phone service plans will be accessible with the swipe of an app may be a long way off, it goes to show that the demand for a multitude of mobile phone options and flexible carrier plans isn’t going away. To mobile phone freedom, and beyond!

Word to Your Mother Earth

We're looking at you!

We’re looking at you!

Who has two thumbs and a junk drawer full of dusty gadgets and miscellaneous electrical items?


You have those things.

Earth Day is Saturday, and while we are not the first brand to post a blog about how to responsibly recycle old electronics, it doesn’t make the matter any less important! Over the last handful of years, we’ve seen countless new consumer electronics emerge into market — bluetooth speakers, earphones, new generations of tablets, phones, computers, and the many wearables that have since been deserted out of disinterest.

And as new generations hit shelves, the existing products tend to have short life cycles — which leads to a massive spike in solid waste generation around the globe. So how can you responsibly rid your junk drawer of those once-useful gadgets and miscellaneous electrical items that are just collecting dust? We’ve got some ideas:

1. If you have old phones swimming around your junk drawer: Trade them in! Nowadays, mobile devices are fairly easy to find new homes for. If you wanted to score some cash while you clean out your drawer, we take a whole heap of devices. Here’s where you can determine if your devices are eligible for trade-in. Or, if you’re better off recycling, the EPA also has has a full list of places you can go to recycle a device.

Or! If your device is in working condition and you want to flex your humanitarian muscles, consider upcycling. Cell Phones for Soldiers and NCADV, are two great organizations that give donated mobile phones to soldiers and battered women and children who cannot afford such devices. To check other organizations that accept donated phones and devices, click here.

2. If you’ve got working laptops, tablets, or iPads laying around: Well, you can still trade them in, or you can donate them to Goodwill. Dell and Goodwill have partnered together to form Dell Reconnect, a recycling system that accepts almost any brand of computer or anything that can be connected to a computer. And with a Goodwill on every corner plus tax write-offs – what are you waiting for?

3. If you are letting your toddler pretend that iPod is a cell phone: Apple wants it back. Thanks to the likes of Spotify and Pandora, music streaming services have made music-playing devices like iPods, CD players, and auxiliary/headphone cords seem prehistoric. Fortunately, Apple’s among some of the brands who wants their products back – even if they’re obsolete. According to Apple, they were able to collect 2,200 pounds ($40 million) of resourced gold from recycled devices last year!

Happy Earth Day!

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