Study: You're Overpaying for Cell Phone Service, Sucka!

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News Posted: Fri, Feb 4 2011 12:06 PM
You're confused about your wireless bill plan. So much so, that you've gone and chosen the wrong one applicable to your needs. Your failure to accurately assess voice, text, and data usage is costing you big time. Whoa there, Billy! Before you go and fire off an angry comment, remember we're just the messenger, so don't shoot us (and for the record, we don't want you to shoot anyone).

We're passing along what the self-proclaimed "money-saving search engine" called BillShrink is saying. According to BillShrink's latest survey, more than a quarter of a million wireless subscribers pay, on average, $336 too much per year because they're not accurately calculating their voice, text, and data usage.

"Despite the best efforts from the FCC and the carriers to create transparency in wireless fees, we've found that people are becoming even more confused about how to right-size their cell phone plans," said Schwark Satyavolu, co-founder and CEO of BillShrink. "While tiered pricing creates more choices, it makes it paramount for people to accurately assess their phone usage. Even though data usage is surging, the majority of wireless customers are still throwing away money by getting plans with too much data capacity."


Collectively, BillShrink reckons U.S. wireless subscribers are forking over an extra $79 million each year that need not be spent. Part of the reason, BillShrink says, is that people overestimate voice and text. At the same time, they also underestimate data usage and end up paying more for overage charges than they would have had to pay if they just selected a higher data tier to begin with.

Have you checked your cell phone bill lately? Are you overpaying in exchange for a bit of wiggle room?
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Nope, and it was actually my carrier that got me to switch. I had the unlimited everything plan for $100 a month, plus taxes, fees (including +$10 4G), insurance, and no military discount allowed. They actually called me two months into my contract and pointed out that I was using less than 100 anytime minutes a month.

Now I'm on the $70 a month unlimited everything *except* anytime minutes plan, with all the same taxes, frees, and insurance. However, my military discount applies on this plan and I'm paying $72 a month rather than $130.

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coolice replied on Fri, Feb 4 2011 1:46 PM

Hmm.... for some reason the billing in US for cell phone services seems more confusing and complex than up here in the igloo-world.

I sure, sure these companies up here rip us of as well... but the bills are all explained properly. And like all developed countries, you have those times with providors "accidentally" charge clients like a thousand bucks for talking in europe for 5 mins.

Right now, Wind mobile in canada, a new provider has an unlimited everything plan for 50$ + tax. not bad at all. Data, talk, text

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AKwyn replied on Fri, Feb 4 2011 2:59 PM

Well at least up in Canada they have better billing practices.

We kinda skip over the fact that we're overpaying for cell phone service mostly because the service some of these major providers provide is pretty reliable and strong. I mean providers like MetroPCS may offer lower prices but their service is total *** compared to the likes of T-Mobile.

If a mobile provider can offer up lower pricing as well as reliable and strong cellular service then I may switch, but for now... I guess I'll keep on overpaying my bills.

 

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RMedley replied on Sat, Feb 5 2011 2:15 PM

Hmm. I think it depends largely on where your at Taylor. I know MetropPCS here now offers 4G service for basically the same rate (or within 10 dollars). From what I have heard from several people there service here is also great. I have been thinking of flipping to them, but right now there smart phone choices are kind of dismal.

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digitaldd replied on Wed, Feb 9 2011 10:02 AM

Virgin Mobile still has that $25 unlimited data/text with 300 minutes deal..

You can't beat that anywhere, and its Sprint service they resell.

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LAdama replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 11:31 AM

@digitaldd - Is the reception really that good with Virgin? I had heard the same mixed things about Virgin as I had about Boost and I actually found a better priced deal with Tracfone and they operate with aircards - so its a one time buy and no monthly plan at all. The reception can be sketchy in more rural areas of Northern Florida, but here in Miami the TF reception is very good, especially good for prepaid. In terms of prices, Tracfone is exceptionally low with their phone and aircard prices, but you have to be willing to live without a lot of cell phone frills and there is no unlimited use plan offered so this strictly for those who want savings or don't talk. Having a prepaid phone and low minutes isn't worth it if you are going to burn through your minutes in a week.

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digitaldd replied on Thu, Feb 24 2011 10:09 AM

LAdama:

@digitaldd - Is the reception really that good with Virgin? I had heard the same mixed things about Virgin as I had about Boost and I actually found a better priced deal with Tracfone and they operate with aircards - so its a one time buy and no monthly plan at all. The reception can be sketchy in more rural areas of Northern Florida, but here in Miami the TF reception is very good, especially good for prepaid. In terms of prices, Tracfone is exceptionally low with their phone and aircard prices, but you have to be willing to live without a lot of cell phone frills and there is no unlimited use plan offered so this strictly for those who want savings or don't talk. Having a prepaid phone and low minutes isn't worth it if you are going to burn through your minutes in a week.

The deal with Tracfone is they piggy back on a lot of different providers networks. In the US they use Verizon & US Cellular for CDMA models and T-Mobile & AT&T from their GSM models. Virgin is just rebranded Sprint service so if you live in an area with good Sprint coverage service should be good. Incidentally Boost also resells Sprint's service.

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realneil replied on Thu, Feb 24 2011 10:25 AM

I have a Sprint phone and the wife uses a Virgin Mobile phone. Sprint's service is the best in our area by far.

Virgin has the best prices around here too. Sprint knows that they're the only good solution in the area, so they've jacked up prices when you sign up for service from my Zip Code.

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