John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Chances Are You're Paying Way More for Mobile Than You Need To

Does your wireless plan suit your needs? Truly suit your needs? Because if it doesn’t, you’re potentially wasting hundreds of dollars. According to a yearlong BillShrink survey of more than 230,000 wireless users, people waste an average of $336 annually by miscalculating their voice and data needs. And in doing so, they unnecessarily hand an estimated $79 million to their carriers.

A few key findings from the survey:

  • People estimate they need 711 wireless anytime minutes per month, but in truth they need quite a bit less. BillShrink found 651 minutes to be the average.
  • The average person uses 1,555 text messages per month, yet most consumers believe they use 2,566. (1,555 per-month is the average!?!)
  • People assume they need 54MB of data per month, yet most need 81MB. Ironically, most tiered carrier plans start at 150MB.

What’s driving these disparities? Consumers’ skewed perception of their wireless needs, obviously. But the carriers are to blame too. Their tiered pricing plans might offer more choice, but they also make it tougher to assess our voice, text and data needs, and make it quite a bit easier to overpay for them.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus