Cell phone savings

September 18, 2009 6:05:25 AM PDT
Having a cell phone can be a necessity, but it doesn't have to cost you a bundle. There are websites offering tools to help you figure out if you're paying too much for your cell phone service. Andrea Smith, technology producer at ABC News Radio, joined us with tips. Billshrink.com is a free online cost savings tool that saves people on average $300/year on their wireless plans. With more than 10-million wireless plans available, and a slew of hot new products this year from the Palm Pre to the iPhone and the HTC Hero, it's hard to figure out which plan you need for which phone, and which is the most cost effective plan. Billshrink.com takes your current information, like how many minutes you use, how much you text, your location, and makes unbiased and personalized recommendations.

This is a free online cost savings tool that saves people on average $300/year on their wireless plans. With over 10 million wireless plans available, and a slew of hot new products this year from the Palm Pre to the iPhone and the HTC Hero, it's hard to figure out which plan you need for which phone, and which is the most cost effective plan. Billshrink.com takes your current information, like how many minutes you use, how much you text, your location, and makes unbiased and personalized recommendations.

BillShrink says on average, 8 out of 10 people are paying too much money for their cell service.

Wirefly.com offers comparisons of cell phone plans as well as cell phones themselves. In fact, they often offer phones at lower prices if you sign up for a plan through the site. They will compare your current plan; how many minutes you use, analyze whether the calls are free nights and weekends or daytime, and tells you if you are on a plan that's right for you, or if you can save by switching, with links to the plans they recommend.

Here's a useful link to the site:
http://www.wirefly.com/resources/wireless-wizard/WirelessPriceWizard.aspx?referringdomain=wirefly&refcode1=&refcode2=&agent=&eid=&zipcode=

Prepaid plans:

Consumers are turning to cost-effective wireless alternatives during the economic downturn. Buying a prepaid plan is one way to go. Comscore Research says combined visitation to sites that offer these plans grew 37 percent versus a year ago to nearly 8 million visitors, representing more than 4 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience.

Prepaid cell phone sites: VirginMobileUSA.com, TracFone.com, MetroPCS.com, MyCricket.com (Leap Wireless), BoostMobile.com and Net10.com (América Móvil).

Other tips for saving money:

-Analyze your bill: most people pay for more minutes than they need.
-Consider pre-paid unlimited talk and text plans
-Be willing to change carriers: don't worry about early termination fees. (On average, you'll save 20 percent on your bill by changing plans. Most carriers are now pro-rating early termination fees)
-Don't buy a bigger plan that you need. (Ask yourself, based on the last 6 months of usage, how many minutes am I using? There's usually no charge to change plan)
-Location is key. Check out deadcellzones.com.

Follow Andrea Smith on Twitter. Her twitter name is @abcandrea.


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