Consumer Reports: Ways to save money on cell phone plans

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORTS — Maybe you’ve seen ads for cell phone service from companies you don’t normally think of when it comes to mobile phones, like cable and broadband companies.  

As Consumer Reports reveals, those plans can often save you money. Like many people, JD Mathewson was looking for ways to cut back on spending, especially on his cell phone bill.

“At the time, I was paying Verizon about $170 a month,” Mathewson said.

Then, JD got an email from Spectrum, his internet provider, touting its cell phone service. He compared Spectrum’s plan to his Verizon plan and made the switch.

“I’m saving about 50 dollars a month on my cell phone bill,” he said. 

JD isn’t alone. About five million people now get their cell phone service from a cable or broadband company.

“Cable companies lease wireless capacity from major carriers and use WiFi whenever possible to provide service, and that saves consumers money,” said Octavio Blanco of Consumer Reports.

In response to this competition, CTIA says: “the wireless industry has a long history of intense competition.”

If you already get internet service from Spectrum or Xfinity or any service offered by Altice’s Optimum or Suddenlink brands, adding a cell phone plan to the bundle could lower your mobile bill.

“All three companies offer one phone line with unlimited talk, text, and data for just $45 a month,” Blanco said. 

And they offer flexibility- so you can sign up for customized data plans for each of the members of your family.

CR says there are a few drawbacks to consider. Your service could get slowed down if network traffic is high, fees or taxes may not be included in the advertised rates, and automatic monthly payments may be required.

And although his kids don’t need a family plan just yet, JD did “share” the deal with another member of his family.

“My dad’s always looking for a good deal. I told him that I was saving a lot of money with this and I didn’t have any issues with the service. And he went ahead and signed up for the same service,” said JD Matthewson. 

Consumer Reports says if money is tight, this could be a way to afford both cell service and a wired broadband connection in your house.

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