Consumers Cellphone Bills Up $13 From 2005

Consumer average monthly cellphone bills are up $13 from 2005, from $60 to $73, according to a recent J.D. Power and Associates survey. The growth is largely due to the cost of extra phone features like photos and video sharing, texting, and downloading songs and videos. However, only 34% of consumers say they use their phone’s photo features…

So, either most people are using the features besides photo-sharing, orr a bunch of people have signed up for add-on monthly photo sending plans they don’t even use.

If the latter is true, it’s another reason why it’s always good to check out your bill and see if you really need some of the additional plan features you might have been talked into. A site called Validas scrutinizes your cellphone bill to see if there’s any savings you can get by changing your plan around. The first bill analysis is free.

2007 U.S. Wireless Mobile Phone Evaluation Survey [J.D. Power And Associates via tracnotes]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Hey, I was in that survey. Definitely an outlier though.

  2. scoobydoo says:

    Ha… Thanks to Sprint (SERO) my bill for the household is down almost $120 a month…

    Never thought I’d say it, but thanks Sprint!

  3. axiomatic says:

    I think the answer is really:
    C. The cellphone carriers are just soaking the customer for more money under the guise of offering advanced features.

    Sorry people but SMS and MMS are not really features but in fact protocols that a network supports, or doesn’t. There is no special hardware above what you would normally need to run on a wireless network. At best when using these protocols, a carrier will utilize the over all network bandwidth a bit more. But thats a whole different argument, not tied to why your personal bill is $13 more.

  4. theblackdog says:

    I must be bringing down the average, mine is only $52 a month after all the taxes.

  5. UpsetPanda says:

    I’m guessing they didn’t bother talking to people on a family plan, when a family plan can consist of just two people and is usually cheaper than having two single plans…

  6. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    I must be a freaking genius. All my bills but Comcast are lower. We dont have a choice in cable companies.

  7. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @CaffeinatedSquint: Yepper we do the same. I pay about $26 a month for Cingatt. The wife pays about 35 cause she uses her phone for about 80% of the total usage.

  8. JustAGuy2 says:


    450 anytime (way more than I use), unlimited nights and weekends, wireless internet. Verizon, $45/month including taxes.

  9. UpsetPanda says:

    @JustAGuy2: We share 700 minutes on a family plan, for about $85 plus taxes. Individually, we would be paying $55 and $50 plus taxes. We don’t even use 450 minutes between us (most of the time we talk to each other) but it was a heck of a lot cheaper than going for individual plans. Some people say that we need to switch because we get rollover minutes, but there’s really no point unless you actually talk enough that you need rollover minutes.

  10. Southern says:

    I feel bad for people that can’t get a service like Cricket. $40-$50 per month, unlimited everything — local calls, long distance calls, text messaging, photo messaging, voicemail, mobile Web access (Granted their mobile web access isn’t the greatest..)

    My wife and I have been with ’em for about a year, and we’ve even turned off our house phone — with unlimited cellular, there was just no need for it.

    If you live in a Cricket (or MetroPCS) market, look into it.. Flat Rate cellular is (hopefully!) going to be the wave of the future. :)

  11. wring says:

    Huh, I pay $56 for 1000 txt, 1000 picture msgs, 300 anytime, and 5 “faves” for tmobile.

  12. azntg says:

    We pay about $90/mo. (after surcharges) for 3 lines with AT&T. It’s been stable for a while, which is good.

    The first three months, I’ve been dealing with CS to trim and receive credits for all the unwanted features that sales have added on to our accounts without notification (or our permission). At least I managed to get the activation fee waived while I was at it.

    I’ve taken care to disable wireless internet and all forms of messaging with them, plus as a precaution, I disabled them on all three phones as well. My parents have no reason to text, watch video or use the wireless internet and have . Frankly, neither do I. I’m the only “black hole” in my circle of friends.

  13. UpsetPanda says:

    What I find bizarre is that a lot of people are paying for things they don’t even use, and the article points out that most users don’t even use some of the features. Instead of paying an extra $10 every month, just take it off! Log into your account and just remove it!

  14. JustAGuy2 says:


    It’s great until you want to roam, and then you’re in trouble.

  15. Cera says:

    This is exactly the reason why I went ahead and cancelled my cell phone contract. I know I have to pay a $200.00 early termination fee, but in the end, I will be saving around $1,000.00 by not waiting until my contract has expired. I went ahead and bought a prepaid cell phone since I don’t hardly ever use mine. I’ll just keep buying the minimum amount of minutes whenever I have a little extra cash. With the service provider I went with, your minutes and service expiration date are rolled over as long as you buy more minutes before the old minutes expire. I can still browse the internet, have voicemail, download ringtones and graphics, and send/receive text messages. Of course, that costs minutes (or as they put it, airtime). But if my minutes continue to grow, big deal if I lose minutes by doing that stuff. Also, it’s a great way to avoid all those taxes every month.

  16. beantown77 says:

    Those Validas guys are on to something…saved me a bunch of money on my Cing bill. Thx!