Peoria Public Radio News
2:35 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Cell phone users spending too much on data plans

A state consumer advocacy group is offering a new tool to help people determine whether they are overpaying for cell phone data plans. The Citizens Utility Board released an analysis Tuesday that shows Illinois residents are overpaying on data plans by more than one-billion dollars. Peoria residents are estimated to be paying nearly 13 million more each year than needed.

CUB spokesperson Patrick Deignan says there is a lack of customer education on choosing the right data plan.

“I think there’s a bit of a fear factor involved with consumers who are used to being hit with huge overage charges for their voice and text plans. You know some cell phone companies charge up to fifty cents a minute if you go over your voice plan. The same isn’t necessarily true for data. They charge slightly smaller overage fees of about fifteen dollars per gigabyte, but I think consumers kind of get pushed onto these larger data plans when in reality, they don’t need nearly that much."

Deignan says cell phone companies should offer a pay-for-what-you-use pricing structure. He says consumers can go to www.CUBcellphonesaver.com to get tips on how to cut wireless costs. He says there’s also a link to a free online tool called, Save-Love-Give that allows AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon customers to analyze their cell phone bills, and get suggestions on better data plans to purchase. Deignan says the tool can save customers as much as 300 dollars a year by buying the correct data plan.