Top Cell Services & Savings

Consumer Cellular, a small company, was the top-rated provider in Consumer Reports’ just-published survey of its subscribers. Among the big-name providers, Verizon Wireless earned the highest score. Sprint has fallen to the bottom of the ratings, with low marks for value, voice, text, and 4G reliability.

Looking for ways to save on your cell bill? Consumer Reports has advice.

“Between my wife’s and my cell phone, we’re paying close to 200 dollars a month.”

“Of course, it’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely insane. But you can’t live without a cellular phone.”

It’s an expense nearly everyone puts up with, but Consumer Reports says there are several ways to save.

“The traditional two-year contract may not be the best choice for value. Initially you get a big discount on the phone you pick. But moderate users may be paying a lot more for service compared to a prepaid plan.” said Rosalind Tordesillas of Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports’ staffer Monique Little cut her monthly bill by more than half switching to a prepaid plan.

“It saves me about 100 dollars a month.” said Little.

In a recent survey of more than 58-thousand Consumer Reports subscribers, prepaid Straight Talk earned high marks. The company advertises unlimited talk, text, and data for 45 dollars a month.

Even if you’re in a traditional contract, a good way to save is to check your bill to make sure you aren’t paying for more data than you use.

Tordesillas said, “Of the people we surveyed with a monthly data allowance, nearly 40 percent reported using no more than half of it.”

But if you usually burn through your data allowance, rein in those data hogs — streaming video, music, and gaming.

Another tip — make sure your
Wi-Fi connection is always activated, which lets you surf and stream for free in Wi-Fi areas. But never use an insecure connection for sensitive tasks like making purchases or paying bills.

Consumer Reports also advises checking to see whether your employer participates in discount plans with any of the big nationwide cell-phone carriers. You can find out by searching for “employee discounts” on your provider’s website.

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