It is hard to argue with Consumer Reports, but according to a new annual survey, about 60 percent of readers were completely or very satisfied with their service. Verizon was found to be the preferred carrier for most users, while T-Mobile was also considered one of the better carriers.
The full report and ratings of cell-phone service providers will be listed in the January issue of Consumer Reports, while part of the study is available now online at: www.ConsumerReports.org.
Key findings that Consumer Reports listed included:
- Less onerous contract terms
- Fewer problems with call quality, and this year’s survey found that readers complained less than in the past
- Given the economy it is no surprise that about 14 percent of readers still felt that cell phone service prices were high
- “Free” phones were still popular with many users, but the report suggests that the savings are usually repaid as part of the plan. This suggests that if you are getting a new plan, you might want to opt for the phone since you’ll pay for it anyway!
Consumers Reports also suggested five ways to cut cell bills:
- Interestingly, the first way is one that I probably would argue against, namely going with a prepaid plan. Originally designed for those with poor credit, these plans now offer more flexibility and might have you (or your employees) hanging up when it isn’t necessary just to gab.
- We’re in agreement on reviewing your plan minutes. No reason to pay for more minutes than you typically use. And if you have a trip coming up, or will be working remotely and need to make more calls you can always up the minute plan for a month if you need the time.
- Local vs. national plans? Consumer Reports suggests, and I would agree, getting a plan that fits your needs? If you make most of your calls in your normal stomping grounds, no reason to pay more for a national plan, but on the flip side, road warriors should always opt for the national plan!
- Bundles. Didn’t we just say that you should consider the text messaging and Internet plans as part of a bundle? Well, Consumer Reports agrees!
- Skip the insurance. Consumers Reports has some smart folks because they see right through all that cell phone insurance. Phones are durable, and if you do manage to break or lose one you can find a cheaper alternative. No reason to pay insurance on a $200 phone.