Cell service providers are beginning to notice a somewhat alarming trend among users. As plans graduate out of their contracts, more users are giving up extras like mobile web, texting, and SMS messaging. These “extras” can cost an extra $20-100 a month on most plans, and even more for family-type multiple-user plans like our family has.
As the economy worsens and people look for ways to cut costs, dumping a $40 data plan and a $30 texting plan can really impact a squeezed budget. Most users have alternatives for data, like laptops, netbooks, home computers, etc. The cost of the extras can outweigh their conveniences, in some cases.
Not that we techies don’t like our conveniences and our gadgets, of course. But when the choice is to pay your mortgage or pay for your extras on your cell phone, I think most of us know what the choice should be. In fact, when I hear of anyone buying a smart-phone these days, especially ones with expensive data plans like the iPhone, I have to wonder what they are thinking. I actually have a friend who works for the mortgage business and just bought an iPhone and locked herself into a 2-year contract that is twice as expensive as her cell phone plan had been before. What happens when her mortgage job goes south?
Scary stuff. I know we’ve cut back on things we don’t need that we can live without, including paring down our cell phone plans. And I have to wonder, if enough of us do that, will the cell phone companies, in order to maintain their business, start offering those extras at a lot lower price, as I know they can afford to do?