During our last 4 weeks of playing with every prepaid and post-paid carrier plan options, we took a look at the advantages of a small business plan verses an owner paying for their own phone and writing off the expenses. What we found was pretty scary financially, and pretty abusive by the carriers.
Normally, a small business discount ranges from 8-10% depending on the size of the company and the carrier that is used. Using Verizon Wireless in this example, a business with 5 lines receives an 8% discount off the primary line and any data packages. This means about $15 a month off the primary line with data and $2.50 for each additional data line (or about $25 a month total).While $25 a month sounds like great savings, especially for cash-strapped smaller companies, when you look at the options you lose, you might rethink things a bit.
At $25 a month, the savings would equal $600 over a 2 year contract term. What was pointed out to us though, was the fact that you are not eligible to upgrade through any 3rd party websites, such as Amazon Wireless, GetSmartphones.info or Wirefly. You are also unable to get upgrades at any non-corporate Verizon Wireless Stores. While this may not seem like a big deal, the costs you incur by having to upgrade through Verizon directly can be amazingly higher.
For example, recently, Amazon Wireless ran the new Droid MAXX for an amazing $149.99 on upgrade or new two-year pricing. GetSmartphones.info constantly has the $200 Droids for FREE on 2 year. Even Radio Shack and Best Buy have some amazing deals from time to time. The quick math shows that these discounts quickly add up to $500-1000 over the 2 year period. This equals or beats the 8% monthly savings on a regular basis. When you also add the fact that you lose the ‘basic’ Verizon Wireless site in favor of their clunky ‘business’ site, it might be enough for most business owners to reconsider how they are paying for their devices.