Lately there's been a slate of ads touting reduced cell phone rates. I rarely watch TV, and I still have been subjected to countless ads that imply a victorious rate reduction from $99 a month to $69 a month.
I can't tell you how amazingly hokey they are. Ads are the reason I can't stand to watch TV to begin with, and so I suffer greatly in order to see the occasional episode of Criminal Minds.
The biggest problem I have with TV ads is that they're geared toward the average idiot, and they are a blatant attempt to manipulate. If *I* want a product, I'll research it through Consumer Reports first. I don't care if someone with a "witty" personality or capped teeth is trying to sell it to me.
Of course I'm in the minority.
However, being subjected to those ads is why this article is of such an interest to me. The author claims that (gasp!) these reduced fees are a precursor to future hidden fees.
Ah, the old "bait-and-switch." It's nice to know that the ethics of the snake oil salesman remain with us to this day. "The more things change, the more they remain the same," as Alphonse Karr said.
In the meantime, may I recommend Metro PCS?
Their customer service is absolutely horrendous, and you can almost never speak to a real person if you try calling them. So, when you DO need customer service, you usually have to go to a local company owned store and wait for an hour or so (I am NOT exaggerating). But... how often do you need customer service, anyway?
I probably lose 2 hours a year waiting to talk to someone at the store, and probably my blood pressure peaks close to a stroke when I try to call them a couple times a year, but you get what you pay for.
Metro PCS offers unlimited talk and texting for something around $60 a month. Yeah, you have to buy the phone, but I used to have Verizon and they positively rooked me for everything they could get out of me. My savings with Metro PCS are at least $100 a month, overall.
So in this economy:
Metro PCS = Cheap Rates + Poor Service
Other Companies = Higher Rates + Locked-in Contracts + Good Service
You do the math.