The True Cost of Cell Phones

March 8, 2009 at 10:48 pm | Posted in Rants, Technology | Leave a comment

This LA Times article mentions a study showing that most cell phone users do not use most of their monthly minutes and pay as much as $1 to $3 per minute. Even in this economy, people will continue to pay for too many minutes they will never use. This is due to the cell phone providers charging outrageous fees for going over your monthly minutes (even though their marginal cost for overuse is close to zero), and not giving enough information or in-store exposure about their prepaid or pay-as-you-go plans. Who can blame them when their customers are sheep wanting and willing to be fleeced?

With a good prepaid plan like the one I have with T-Mobile, you always know how much each minute costs and how much you will pay every month. My average monthly cost for the past three years is about $8 a month, and the maximum I’ve paid for a single month was $17. All cell phone users should evaluate their usage once or twice a year and change their plans as needed.

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