According to new survey of 2,005 Americans conducted by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) for the U.S. New Millennium Research Council (NMRC), as many as 60 million U.S. cell phone users — almost 40 per cent — are prepared to cut back on their wireless service plans to save money.

Significantly, 26 per cent of cell users polled said they were seriously considering canning their contracts and moving to pay-as-you-go cell phones.

A full 20 per cent of those surveyed said they will, or already have, cut back on cell service ‘extras’ such as Internet access, email and texting services. Tellingly, fewer than half of those polled said their extras were delivering significant value and one in three of those surveyed said they don’t have any extra services and don’t want them.

Overall, the survey revealed that 80 per cent of Americans now own cell phones.

Allen Hepner of the NMRC capsulised the survey findings nicely…

The era of cell phone penny pinching is officially here. Thanks to the recession, the U.S. cell phone marketplace is undergoing fundamental changes that will just get bigger as the economic downturn deepens. What we see in these survey findings is clear evidence that most consumers will keep a cell phone during this recession, but only after shifting to less expensive cell phone plans, such as prepaid, and also by scaling back on cell phone extras including Internet connectivity and texting.

The full text of the survey can be downloaded at the NMRC Web site. Note: It’s in .PDF format, so you’ll need a recent version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader or another .PDF reader to view it.

3 Responses to Cell fans cut costs, can contracts

  1. JamesP
    Mar 24, 2009

    I switched to prepaid recently and found it is saving me some real dollars every month. I think everybody can benefit from taking a real close look at their cell phone contract. Most people use either less than their monthly minutes (and still pay for them) or use more than their monthly minutes (and pay overages to the tune of 40c a minute). With Tracfone prepaid it actually works out cheaper per minute on my average monthly usage and I can buy a package and add to it any time during the month without paying ‘overage’ charges. It allows me far more control over my spending, with no side effects. Prepaid is definitely the way to go for most people.

  2. Evolving Squid
    Mar 24, 2009

    I agree with JamesP. I have an ancient plan (monthly now, no longer under contract and hasn’t been for years) that gives me 200 any-time minutes for $25. I use about 200 minutes a month +/- 15 typically. The modern equivalent would screw me with less minutes during the week but free weekends (I use the phone pretty evenly) and more $/minute if I go over.

    I used to monitor my phone bills and adjust the package every quarter back when I used the phone more than I do now.

    I don’t lock in the core service for a million year contract either. I like having the freedom to dump the phone company at a moment’s notice.

  3. JoseO
    Mar 28, 2009

    cancelled my contract with a company and switched to TracFone! I am saving a lot of money and am doing everything I used to do with my contract phone. I am sending text messages, making long distance calls, and even taking pictures with it! I kept my number as well and am thinking of merging my landline to this phone too!

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