Your Cell Phone Costs You $3.02 a Minute

New study breaks the code on cell phone bills

By Sajid Farooq
|  Monday, Mar 9, 2009  |  Updated 2:22 PM PDT
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Your Cell Phone Costs You $3.02 a Minute

Your cell phone bill is costing you more than you think, according to a new study.

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You may want to stick to text messages after reading how much the average cell phone user (that means you and me) spends on each call per minute.

Are you sitting down? You may want to. The average cost of a wireless call is actually a whopping $3.02 per minute, according to a new study from San Diego's Utility Consumers' Action Network. Ouch.

The study found that the average cell phone customer only uses about 32 percent of his or her monthly minute allotment.

The 87-page survey of 700 "relatively savvy consumers" in the San Diego area showed that cell phone users have paid more than they and the FCC realized, or wanted to admit to.

"The report applies nationally," UCAN executive director Michael Shames said. "The plans are national and the rates uniform. Consumers are being dramatically overcharged."

The study also alleged that 90 percent of AT&T and Verizon Wireless customers were improperly taxed and that "the FCC has used deceptive statistics from questionable third-party sources to create an illusion of lower phone prices and regulatory success." 

The study also alleges that "deregulation has increased phone costs for low-income families" as high as 34 percent."

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