Prepaid home phone service is a service that allows the customer to pay for phone service in advance. For example, when a customer pays his bill in April, the charges are for continued service through May. Traditionally billed phone service is just the opposite: When a postpaid customer pays his bill in June, it is for the charges that occurred in May.
Nearly all prepaid services saw an explosion of growth in the late 1990s. That includes prepaid phone cards, prepaid mobile phones, and prepaid home phone service. The increase in sales can be directly related to the increase in companies willing to work with individuals who didn’t have the sufficient credit rating for traditionally postpaid services. Companies like HomeFone®, Ezichat®, and Mexiphone® all offer prepaid home phone service to their customers.
The term “prepaid” is most often used when referring to mobile service and so prepaid wireless and prepaid landlines are sometimes confused. Both usually waive a deposit and instead ask for an upfront payment for the first month’s charges. Then, the customer is required to pay for each succeeding month before charges are made as well. Obviously, a prepaid mobile phone can be taken from location to location while a prepaid landline will only work at one location.
Another difference is that most prepaid wireless companies require that their customers buy a mobile phone from the company. On the other hand, prepaid home phone services rarely require company-specific equipment. In most cases, any ordinary home telephone will be adequate.
There are many benefits to prepaid home phone service. Many people make poor financial choices in their late teens and early twenties, resulting in poor credit later in life. Many companies use consumer credit reports to determine whether to provide services to their customers. Often, with postpaid telephone services, the customer may find surprise charges on the monthly bill. When the customer pre-pays a telephone bill, they know exactly how much service will cost for each month. Prepaid telephone services don’t do credit checks as a rule. Some prepaid companies even offer their services with no contract, meaning that service can be canceled at any time without any penalty.
There are a few downsides of prepaid home phone service, too. Most don’t provide long distance services and restrict the customer to making only local calls. Receiving collect calls are also prohibited. In addition, some phone features that are usually included in postpaid services will cost extra, including call waiting and call forwarding.