In the summer you see those little tents set up all over town. The sign reads "free phones" or something like that. There is usually a person or two manning the booth under the tent and they are making good money too! All they have to do is give away the phone.
It all started back in the 80's when then President Ronald Regan started a program for Americans living in rural areas without access to phones. Of course, in the 80's there were no smart phones or internet so the Lifeline Program provided home phones on land lines. The program was indeed expanded under President Obama to include cell phones and most recently wireless data packages.
So what's all the hype? Are the phones really free? Yes, sort of. Can anyone get them? No? Here are some facts about the Lifeline Program:
Are the phones free? Yes, to low income individuals able to provide proof of identity, low income, and proof of government subsidy such as Medicaid (title 19) or food stamps (SNAP) etc. However, the phones are subsidized through a small tax placed on everyone's phone bill. It's hidden under all of those surcharges and miscellaneous fees on your phone bill.
Do the people giving away the phones make money? Absolutely, they do! The carries differ on commission paid out on each phone but on average the commissions range from $7-10 per phone given away. So when you you see the long lines of 20 people waiting under that tent, understand in less than two hours, that sales representative is about to make nearly $200. Not to mention spiffs and sales bonuses on top of the $200. Do you make $100 an hour? Maybe.
But at least - now you know!
Phones or more info: http://chitchatpro.com/free-phones.html
Antoine Miller is a telecom professional with over a decade of cable, voice and data experience. Miller shares his most useful tips and experience with individuals looking to save money and get the best value from their cable, phone and internet service.