Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/164490/8-ways-your-wireless-carrier-is-gouging-you/
Wireless carriers are gouging us — particularly in North America, where the USA and Canada have the most expensive cell phone plans in the world. We’ll look at the many ways cell phone companies are taking advantage of us.
Good article. Only thing you missed is, where do I buy unlocked phone, say directly from the manufacturer for a reasonable price.. This has been a never ending quest for me and never found any store in the US. Luckily, my job made my travel a lot and India was one of the destinations. I managed to buy HTC One X and Motorola Raze Droid XT 910 there for a pretty reasonable price. Why such can not be done in the US?
Only problem I face, if phone needs any repairs, I am out of luck but this won't happen if manufacturers start selling phone in the US. Now that Google have started selling their phones, I would certainly look at them for my next phone. But that is the ONLY option so far so you do not have much choice if you do not like their specs, for e.g. absence of memory card slot.
You might want to check out Ting.com
They address a lot of the grievances in this article.
First, always remember that no business is your friend -- NO business! If you don't need bells and whistles, don't buy them. My wife and I have cell phones, just plain, ordinary you-call-me-and-I-call-you types. No text, no foo-fra. We've had this plan now for 12 years. Buy only what you need, not what you want. I want a Lambourghini, but in the real world I only need a car. Dealer won't give you what you want? Simply ask if another dealer can be recommended. They are ruthless, you have to be ruthless. Yes, be a jerk....
I have used all the major carriers in the U.S. They all are ripoffs. About 3 years ago I switched to Metro PCS. Pay $55 per month for unlimited 4G LTE, unlimited data, talk, text, etc. My friends who have the same things with the other carriers pay $40-$50 more per month. The best thing is there is no contract. So I pay a little more upfront for a phone, but that is offset in how much I save with the monthly rate.
i down graded my phone service and they had to get the manual and a guy from the back room to figure it out
Robert - interesting. A dumb question. If I have a 3-g tablet can I connect that and a phone to the same plan?
I believe so. They even have an addon to make your phone a hotspot to connect other devices.
I made a petition to the White House about this! http://wh.gov/lquLp
Wireless carriers aren't just businesses they are utilities. They are supposed to be governed by states so that they behave in a certain way that's beneficial to communities. Our cell phone bills (and our internet bills) show how much the balance between communities and corporations have shifted. Shop around, certainly, but also urge your elected officials to take oversight seriously.
Thanks Robert, appreciate your thoughts.
Thanks for the heads up. I checked it out, and it looks good. I am only 1/2 way through my current contract, but I made a note in Outlook to investigate further when my contract expires. Looks like it's LTE only, so I'd have to get my wife a new phone as well.
I know carriers like Ting and Republic Wireless but their phones are locked to their network. I can not take Ting phone to Verizon for example. Republic Wireless is even worse than that. You can not take their phone to even Sprint because of the Wi-fi modification. I had a great hopes for RW but after they started censoring customer complaints, I stopped them considering as my service providers.
You are so right. So I use Airvoice Wireless on their PAYG plan. $10 last me for 2 months minimum. Majority of the times, I am connected to wi-fi, so when someone calls, I hang up and call them back using Vonage mobile. For SMS, I use Google Voice..
Good that you took initiative but honestly, why would White House take your issue into consideration? Everybody complains but nobody has signed your petition yet. There is something major on the corner, Tracfone, a MVNO is on a plan to buy every MVNO in North America, making MVNO under one umbrella and making us one more major carrier. That will be worse (the probably I will stop using a cell phone). Go to Howardforums.com and check out yourself.
Makes me happy that I live in Denmark, I have a plan with 6 hours calling but if I call to people with the same carrier it´s free, free sms/mms, 6GB Data and free roaming for what is equivalent to 25 Us dollars per month
Re: AT&T new 61 cent fee. The CRTC in Canada just finished spanking the carriers in Canada in 2012 for the same thing. It's no longer on my invoice.
Anyone know a good 3G MYFI or similar service? The Karma looks great for areas with WiMax, but I'm looking for coverage on the oregon coast.
120 minutes on a prepaid tracfone plan is under ten dollars USD each month. Two hours of mobile talk is more than enough for me and if I have to sit on hold for half an hour, I simply use my unlimited landline phone.
Chris, speaking of roaming, why do consumers have to pay to use WiFi on-board airplanes, when it's free everywhere else? While you're at it can you look into why some airlines are blocking video enabled apps from running on-board their WiFi equipped airplanes? I think it has something to do with them not wanting users to view movies or show videos through and app because the airlines are selling/renting downloadable movie and videos too now.
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