Cell Phone Conundrum

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Topic Author
5Cent
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:12 am

Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by 5Cent »

Situation:
For the past 10 years, I have not had to pay a phone bill because my ex-employer paid for it. Back when I joined my ex-employer, they said they can give me a company phone and if I used it for personal stuff (not in excess), it would be fine. Being fresh out of graduate school and given my salary back then, I jumped at this offer. It was a great arrangement. Got a new phone automatically every 2 years, any problems they would send a replacement, my international travel was fully covered, I even had them switch carriers (AT&T -> Verizon) due to poor network coverage at home.

Now, I just joined a new employer. My ex-employer gave me my phone number and I transferred the line to my name. Went from unlimited everything to a 5GB shared data plan. Cost $78/month. And I can't break my employer's contract till 2022 Jan (although I have a "free" Iphone SE gen 2).

My new employer is offering a work phone plan. They are happy to take over my contract and my cell phone number. They say the same things as my ex-employer i.e. Feel free to use it for personal, and we will give you your number when you leave employment. Alternatively, they are offering me $50/month towards my phone plan.

I very much prefer just transferring the line to my current employer, and avoid having to deal with phone companies or the ~$30 fee ($78-employer discount of $50). But my friends and fam are calling me cheap, and worry about employer having access to my personal phone and are advising me having two phones - one for personal that I pay for and another from work that the company pays for. While I abhor having two numbers and lugging two phones around, I might be convinced if my personal phone was a basic flip phone and had a very cheap plan.

Questions:
1. Do I switch my current line to my employer and save $78 per month?
or
Do I keep my current line and get the $50 discount?

2. If I switch my line to the employer, do the bogleheads advise getting a "personal" cellphone number?
and
If so, any advice on getting a cheap flip phone and cheaper plan for some calls/text/car use?

3. For folks who have a company phone and personal phone, how do you keep the contacts from not comingling? Do you carry both with you? Are they both smartphones?

Thanks
rage_phish
Posts: 431
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:27 pm

Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by rage_phish »

My company doesn’t offer a phone, just a phone stipend
I now pay for two lines & 2 phones
I have absolutely zero interest in my work and personal phones being the same
I vary both while working (though I work from home)
And I leave my work phone on my desk and completely ignore outside my working hours
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StevieG72
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by StevieG72 »

I would switch my phone over to the new employer vs. carrying two phones. It is a good benefit, why not take advantage of it? Who wants to keep up with two phones?

Maybe review the policies regarding a company owned phone at your new employer and decide if it works for you or is to intrusive?

I am a small business owner and my work phone and personal phone are one and the same.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
Topic Author
5Cent
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:12 am

Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by 5Cent »

And I leave my work phone on my desk and completely ignore outside my working hours
Being the devil's advocate, wouldn't it be simpler to just have one phone and ignore whatever calls/texts that come after hours. Maybe the nuisance factor?
KlangFool
Posts: 22800
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by KlangFool »

5Cent wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 10:00 pm
And I leave my work phone on my desk and completely ignore outside my working hours
Being the devil's advocate, wouldn't it be simpler to just have one phone and ignore whatever calls/texts that come after hours. Maybe the nuisance factor?
5Cent,

1) How would you know whether that calls/texts are from your personal contacts or business contacts?

2) How much does your time worth in differentiating those calls/texts between personal and business calls?

3) How much does your time worth? Aka, in not handling any business calls/texts outside office hours?

For some of us, it is worth more than $50/$70 per month.

KlangFool
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by jabberwockOG »

Always had all PC's/laptops, and communication devices (pagers, phones, internet connection at home, etc) paid for by employer. There was absolutely no need to carry or use two phones.

We never tracked anyone's personal versus business phone usage in any way - other than to flag unusual overages - like $150/month avg bill suddenly goes to $400 - usually result of some international travel (at least years a go when it was a lot more expensive).

Retirement was a little bit of a shock, I wasn't used to purchasing my own laptops and phones and paying for services :shock:
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Sun Nov 21, 2021 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
5Cent
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:12 am

Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by 5Cent »

For some of us, it is worth more than $50/$70 per month.
Noted, for each their own. Guess I am cheap after all :sharebeer
Topic Author
5Cent
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:12 am

Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by 5Cent »

KlangFool wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 10:05 pm
1) How would you know whether that calls/texts are from your personal contacts or business contacts?
Actually KlangFool, genuine question: How successful were you in not cross-mixing contacts between personal and business. For example, my ex-boss was also one of my best friends, if I had two phones, I'm sure he would be on both. How did you manage this?

In the alternative, when you have a friend/colleague and you know their work and personal number, do you make sure you use the right one based on your communication?
Topic Author
5Cent
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:12 am

Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by 5Cent »

jabberwockOG wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 10:07 pm
We never tracked anyone's personal versus business phone usage in any way
Thanks, this is great to know.
neilpilot
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Location: Memphis area

Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by neilpilot »

Use a dual sim phone
KlangFool
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by KlangFool »

5Cent wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 10:17 pm
KlangFool wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 10:05 pm
1) How would you know whether that calls/texts are from your personal contacts or business contacts?
Actually KlangFool, genuine question: How successful were you in not cross-mixing contacts between personal and business. For example, my ex-boss was also one of my best friends, if I had two phones, I'm sure he would be on both. How did you manage this?

In the alternative, when you have a friend/colleague and you know their work and personal number, do you make sure you use the right one based on your communication?
5Cent,

<<For example, my ex-boss was also one of my best friends, >>

A good friend respects your boundary. Aka, do not call you during non-business hour for business stuff. Unless, it is something to be discussed off the record.

<<In the alternative, when you have a friend/colleague and you know their work and personal number, do you make sure you use the right one based on your communication?>>

I do. Treats others like how you would like to be treated. Aka, the golden rule.

KlangFool
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KlangFool
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by KlangFool »

5Cent wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 10:10 pm
For some of us, it is worth more than $50/$70 per month.
Noted, for each their own. Guess I am cheap after all :sharebeer
5Cent,

You are not cheap. It is just that those time and effort are not worth $50/$70 per month to you.

To each its own.

KlangFool
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runner3081
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by runner3081 »

One phone, two numbers.

Grab a Google Voice number for work calls. Have it forwarded to your personal number. When not wanting work calls, turn off the forwarding.

Was in a similar situation, always had a paid company phone that I could use personally, then, current employer for 6-years now, they give us nothing, but expect us all to use our phones.
BogleMelon
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by BogleMelon »

I bought my first iPhone (13 Pro) only after my employer offered me a business phone (iPhone 12) with a line in which I accepted. Now I regretted that. First, moving around with 2 phones is a true headache. Also, the business number is a recycled, I get tons of spam calls daily (it seems the previous line owner was buying those services after all!). On a hindsight I would tell my employer no thanks for both cellphone and line, and I would just use my google voice number for business needs.
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather
Monsterflockster
Posts: 871
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:03 am

Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by Monsterflockster »

Don’t know who needs to hear this but some very good advice I was given when I started: “Keep your work and personal life separate.”

My vote... Two phones. Turn your work phone off when you are not working (or on call). Leave work at work.
bob60014
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Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by bob60014 »

Dual sim or add Google voice for ease of use, two phones for separate use. Unfortunately, depending on the type of business, you have think of the possibility of subpoena/lawsuits. Two phones is the easy choice if this is a consideration.
tashnewbie
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by tashnewbie »

Monsterflockster wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:40 am Don’t know who needs to hear this but some very good advice I was given when I started: “Keep your work and personal life separate.”

My vote... Two phones. Turn your work phone off when you are not working (or on call). Leave work at work.
+1.

At my last job, I used 1 phone and didn't get a stipend from the employer. Looking back, I should've refused to put work stuff on that phone (but people would've still been able to call it, which is fine for me).

At my current employer, I have 2 phones. If I get a work call after hours, I'll answer, but I'm not checking emails after hours (my philosophy is that if it's truly urgent, they'll call).

I work in the healthcare industry and have access to sensitive data, so I wouldn't want to have access to that stuff on my personal phone. And I wouldn't want my employer to have access to the stuff I do and store on my personal phone. YMMV.
Jeepergeo
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by Jeepergeo »

Is there a chance you can negotiate the stipend? Getting enough to cover an unlimited plan and keeping the phone in your name would be ideal. Make sure that the stipend will come as an expense reimbursement so that you don't get taxed on it.

If you transfer your line to your new employers, you will likely lose the ability to use the web-tools associated with the account/number, and you will need to make sure that they will transfer it back to you when you leave (get that in writing).

Think about the things you use your phone for, including security system access, 2FA, etc. If you are doing these things on a company phone, you want to make darn sure you get that number when you leave. If you won't get the number, then you need two phones. If you can get the number, then one phone will make life easier.
d0gerz
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by d0gerz »

5Cent wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 9:45 pm3. For folks who have a company phone and personal phone, how do you keep the contacts from not comingling?
The only contact on my work phone is the toll free number for our company's IT Help Desk, in case I need to reach them on-the-go. No one calls on my work cell phone (or even work landline) other than spammers/telemarketers. All work-related calls happen via Zoom.
Do you carry both with you? Are they both smartphones?
They are both smartphones. I only physically carry my personal phone. My work phone usually lies on my desk. It has push notifications enabled for email and company chat, which is helpful because there is definitely some latency between when I get notified on the phone vs on the computer.
Katietsu
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by Katietsu »

But you are only stuck with the $78 plan for another month. Since you are OK without 2 separate phones, I would take the $50 stipend and switch to a $50 a month personal unlimited plan (or whatever plan best meets your needs.) Once you set it up, you might not need to “deal” with it for years.
nalor511
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by nalor511 »

Katietsu wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:20 pm But you are only stuck with the $78 plan for another month. Since you are OK without 2 separate phones, I would take the $50 stipend and switch to a $50 a month personal unlimited plan (or whatever plan best meets your needs.) Once you set it up, you might not need to “deal” with it for years.
This is my vote as well. I have done it both ways, this is the best way for your sanity
inbox788
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by inbox788 »

5Cent wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 9:45 pmI have a "free" Iphone SE gen 2
You have a dual SIM phone if you want to add a line/plan to your existing phone.

https://www.apple.com/iphone-se/specs/

I think Tmobile test drive offer is still available. Try it free for a month.

https://www.t-mobile.com/offers/free-trial

This is independent of whether you keep your line or transfer to employer.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209044
Topic Author
5Cent
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:12 am

Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by 5Cent »

inbox788 wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:34 am You have a dual SIM phone if you want to add a line/plan to your existing phone.
Man, I didn't know that! This is amazing. I will totally explore this.
crossbow
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:47 pm

Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by crossbow »

5Cent wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 9:45 pm Questions:
1. Do I switch my current line to my employer and save $78 per month?
or
Do I keep my current line and get the $50 discount?

2. If I switch my line to the employer, do the bogleheads advise getting a "personal" cellphone number?
and
If so, any advice on getting a cheap flip phone and cheaper plan for some calls/text/car use?

3. For folks who have a company phone and personal phone, how do you keep the contacts from not comingling? Do you carry both with you? Are they both smartphones?

Thanks
1. Yes - employer pays $78 per month. Or you can learn to live with less data and pocket the difference if you take the $50 stipend. Mint Mobile offers 4GB at $15/month. Assuming coverage is fine in your area, you come out $35/month ahead.

2. No, too much of a hassle. What if you lose one or you bring the wrong phone on a work trip or vacation?
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anon_investor
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by anon_investor »

5Cent wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 10:00 pm
And I leave my work phone on my desk and completely ignore outside my working hours
Being the devil's advocate, wouldn't it be simpler to just have one phone and ignore whatever calls/texts that come after hours. Maybe the nuisance factor?
OP, one reason to have separate work and personal phones, is if there is some kind of investigation or lawsuit that requires company devices to be collected and retained for evidence.
gtd98765
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Re: Cell Phone Conundrum

Post by gtd98765 »

I would also take the $50 stipend. Then it's your phone, your number. If you want to divide work from home, get a Google voice number for work calls.
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