Company cell phone policy

In my last job, I had a corporate cell phone, but in this one I don’t. But we received a memo today that the company will reimburse corporate use of personal cell phones. Simply submit the bill, indicating the expenses that were work-related, and we’ll be reimbursed.

Most people have a cell phone plan with some number of minutes included in the monthly fee (in my case, 450 minutes are included). So can I request reimbursement for only those minutes that exceed my monthly plan, or can I pro-rate the minutes used and ask the company to pay a share of my fixed monthly fee? How do others handle this situation?

I don’t have a cellphone, nor are they allowed where I work, but… shouldn’t you keep track of how many minutes you use your phone for business rather than personal stuff, and give them the cost at the end of the month like you would if you were being paid for mileage?


“My phone plan charges X per minute, and I spent Y minutes on the phone for business purposes. The total cost is W.”

Or maybe it’ll be exactly like mileage, and they’ll tell you they’ll pay X per minute? I suppose that’s not fair if you have a plan that charges more than what they deem the going rate, though. :frowning:

Like I said, we don’t use phones where I work (or the internet, no no) but I can’t imagine them not wanting documentation on much time you spend on the phone.

Maybe you should ask HR and save yourself the grief of wondering.

It’s not as simple as paying for each minute, since some number of minutes are included in the monthly fee I pay whether or not I use the phone. For example, I get 450 free minutes of calling, and let’s assume the bill is $45 per month. If I use 150 minutes for business-related calls, would I be justified in requesting reimbursement for $15 or one-third of the bill? What do other people do who use a personal phone for business purposes? I could ask the manager, but am trying to avoid appearing petty. At the same time, if the arrangement isn’t fair, I’ll simply not use my personal cell phone for business-related calls, and simply rely on local phones.

Figure what your bill would have been without the company calls. Then bill the company for the difference. If say your plan allows 200 minutes and you have 150 minutes of personal calls and 100 minutes of company calls, your expense due to the company use is only the 50 minutes that exceeded your allowable.

What’s petty about it? Do you think your employer just expects you to magically know all the details of every new policy they might enact?

If you charge them what you think is fair, THEY might not have had that reimbursement arrangement in mind at all and will then think you are trying to gouge them.

I fail to see how asking them to explain the new reimbursement policy can be seen as petty. You want to make sure you get your money AND that you don’t overcharge them. How is that bad?

Thanks. I’ll probably ask, but am still curious how others handle this.

Where I work, they will reimburse just about any plan. I have a 1000 minute family plan with 3 phones. They’ll reimburse the plan for the primary phone, but unless I can show over 1000 minutes of business calls, no overages. No extras either, like ringtones, screens, text messages, surfing. They will not reimburse for the actual phone, either.

At my job I was told I had to get a cell phone or pager. I don’t like pagers, because if I’m going to have to call somebody anyway, I might has well have a phone with me.

Originally it was entirely paid for by the company and I was told I was to use it for business purposes only. Later they switched to an arrangement where the employee owns the cell phone but gets a stipend added to their paycheck. After taxes the covers only about 2/3 of my bill, but that’s probably fair after factoring in the percentage of the times that I’m using the cell phone for personal calls. I like the plan much better, because any personal calls or overages are up to me, and I don’t have to feel guilty about using my phone for any purpose whatsoever. Of course, any overages that are attributable to work would be reimbursable, but that’s never happened.

My husband’s company gives him a flat $100 per month.

I have a personal cell-phone that is a pay-as-you-go service.
That is, I buy upfront a certain number of minutes.

My employer does NOT have that number.

My employer (Fortune 100 member, for context) will reimburse for personal cell phones used for business, but prefers to have a company-owned phone if you need one. So for our departmental on-call phone, we have one owned by the company.

I do use my personal phone for work (the number is even on my business cards) but have never charged back the time. I only have a $35/month plan, and usually spend less than an hour a month on business calls, so no problem. If I do go over my plan hours, I will charge the business time back, and in that case, to address your original question, I’d charge any overage to the company as well as a proportional amount of the base. So for example, if I have 500 minutes, use 300 for personal calls and 300 for business calls, I’d charge all of the overage to the company, as well as 40% of the base amount (200 of the 500 minutes).

i am the lead technician for a small fire alarm company. my boss pays for the phone and does not care if i use it for personal calls. he does require me to carry it at all times. he never wants me out of touch if he needs me.