A consumer advocacy group in Illinois revealed some alarming data at a conference held at their Chicago headquarters this morning. The group called the Citizens Utility Board, or CUB for short, has been representing the interests of Illinois residents and small business utility customers. Today they released a study on smartphone data plans.
The study by CUB revealed that 9 out of 10 consumers are trapped in over-sized data plans. Contrary to the fact that people assume unlimited is best, CUB has found that many customers who paid for unlimited data over the course of a year in fact used less than the 2gb per month. Although all four carriers have different policies about changing your plan mid-contract, most consumers don’t realize that they can change their plans.
More after the break
According to the CUB study consumers are over spending on data an average of $278 per year. The data was based on information provided by CUB’s Cellphone saver found at www.CUBcellphonesaver.com this tool, developed by, Validas in Houston Texas, has analyzed 19,000 cell phone bills and helped consumers find a way to reduce their total cell phone costs by an average of $331 a year.
“Wireless carriers are forcing everyone to shop at what amounts to the cell-phone industry’s big and tall store,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said. “Unfortunately, the suit doesn’t fit and customers are pouring hundreds of dollars a year into bulky data plans that aren’t tailored to their needs.”
While the mobile enthusiast community is crying out to bring back unlimited plans CUB’s study found that consumers are using an average of 456mb per month of data on smarpthones, which is less than a quarter of the 2gb tier offered by Verizon Wireless, which is their smallest tier available.
Kolata suggests that lowering the tier to 500mb or 1gb, family shared data and roll over data are all ways that carriers can help consumers manage their data and their wallets better.