Switching Cell Phone Plans to Save Money

Prepaid plans a popular alternative

Saying goodbye to your cell phone contract may mean saying hello to bigger savings.  According to a study by the New Millennium Research Council, nearly 40% of Americans are likely to cut back on wireless service if the recession deepens over the next six months.

Cell phone shoppers agree, "I just decided what's more important?  Either you cut back on something you need verses something you don't really need and it's the phone."  That was the attitude of one shopper at the Cricket Wireless store in San Diego.  Cricket officials said they are seeing people drop their long term contract and go with prepaid wireless plans.

"It can cost you as little as a dollar a day.  It can cost you a dollar a month depending on what you are using," said Stephanie Fortuna of Cricket.

Only 17% of U.S. cellphone consumers currently use prepaid plans but apparently that number is growing.  Estella Cervantes made the switch, "You know how much you're going to pay and you don't have to worry about going overboard."

Under the Cricket Wireless plan you pay anywhere from a dollar to three dollars a day for the service.  It's one dollar for voice calls only, two dollars for calls and texting and three dollars to add online access.  But unlike monthly plans you only get charged for the days that you use the plan.

"Now if you don't use your service on that day we don't charge you for it.  That dollar a day actually roll over", said Stephanie Fortuna.

Consumers who are not interested in pay-as-you-go plans can also cut down on their monthly plan's features to save money.

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