Looking for an alternative or backup to your cell phone? Consider a pager as a speedy and reliable adjunct to your cell phone to stay connected with the office and your clients.
Some reasons to consider pagers:
- They are relatively inexpensive. Costs range from about $5 a month for a basic, low-end subscription to up to $50 or more for a top-of-the-line, international plan with two-way service and features like voice mail and a toll-free phone number.
- They're reliable. Unlike with cell phones, there are no dropped calls or delays.
- They're less intrusive than cell phones. If you set them on vibrate, you can avoid the ringing and talking in public.
- Unlike cell phones, which need to be constantly recharged, pagers operate on batteries that last for months.
- Paging service coverage is fairly extensive today, particularly in remote areas where cell phones don't operate or work consistently.
Get acquainted with what's out thereToday's pagers are more sophisticated than you might remember, allowing users to send short text messages, perform two-way communication using a keypad, even deliver short voice messages. Picking the right pager unit and your service will depend on the needs of your business and your budget.
Save money with a low-end optionIf you're looking at pagers as a basic, backup communication device, one-way, numeric service might be enough. A variety of providers offer barebones service for less than $10 a month. Some even throw in a free pager with the service.
Look for bells and whistlesToday's top-of-the-line pagers offer interactive two-way messaging, roaming capabilities for international coverage, the ability to send messages to Internet addresses, custom news updates, and more.
Avoid pager scamsYou've heard about con artists using email and the telephone to perform identity theft or to rob unknowing recipients. Pagers are also common targets.
Consider adding text messaging services to your cell phone as an alternativeIf you're married to the idea of having a single communications device, invest in a cell phone that supports text-messaging capabilities as an alternative to investing in yet another piece of equipment and service.
- As with a cell phone, your choice of pager is highly dependent on the service plan that goes with it. Pay attention to all the options covered by the plan and make sure it's the best fit.
- Be sure your plan has options for international coverage if you're planning to travel abroad regularly.
- Consider renting a pager to test drive the model and the service.
- Familiarize yourself with proper pager etiquette. Set your unit on vibrate in public places, for example, and be judicious with how long it takes you to orchestrate a call back.