My roommate and I want to sign up for one of those "family plan" cell phone deals because it will save us a lot of money. We each pay over 50 bucks a month and one of these plans will bring that down to about 40 bucks each. Is it okay to sign up for a "family plan" even though we are not technically family?

Craig, Williamsburg


Absolutely. Gothamist noticed that T-Mobile, for example, has a "Families, and couples" text link on their main page. Roommates certainly qualify as , and Gothamist was impressed by the inclusion of the word "couples" in the T-Mobile copy. While gay couples don't yet have the right to marry, it seems they are guaranteed free night and weekend minutes and no roaming charges.

A call to customer service confirmed what Gothamist learned online. Although T-Mobile sells the plan under the name "FamilyTime," a phone representative confirmed that no birth certificate, DNA test, or marriage license is required to sign up.

But be careful! Cell phone contracts can last longer than apartment leases and fees for early cancellation can be as much as $200. Sharing a phone plan with a roommate who might move out early or who has a hard time paying his half of the cable bill could cost you more than you are currently paying with your separate bills. Make an agreement with your roommate now about who will be responsible for the charges should you need to end your wireless relationship.