Saving money on your smart phone data plan just became a little easier. Illinois consumer watchdog, CUB steps in after a study shows cell phone users are becoming financial losers.
The Citizen's Utility Board says the gap between the size of your data plan and the amount of that you actually use is the problem.
"That problem is overpayment on our cellular data plans," said CUB spokesperson, Laura Goldberg.
Think about your current smart phone data plan. Now, think about how much of that plan you use each month. What CUB is explaining, is that you pay a flat rate each month, for data you may not be using.
Each year, nearly a billion and a half dollars is spent on data not used. In Rockford that number is $16 million.
"We find that one of the other biggest problems with this is just lack of consumer education when it comes to cell phones and the best possible phone plans out there," said Goldberg.
Break it down by each consumer. CUB's study shows that each user is over spending by around $200 every year.
"Consumers are unaware that there's cheaper ways to go about using data and using their cell phones."
Now there's a tool in place to help fix that and save you money. It's called Save-Love-Give, run by CUB's partner, Validas.
According to the utility board, it saves consumers, on average, $300 a year.
"This tool analyzes wireless usage and warns you about the best possible plans within your current carrier."
If taking to the web doesn't appeal to you, there are more practical ways to try and save money on your data plan.
"Downsize your data plan, set your smart phone to WiFi, turn off app's when they're no longer in use, call your carrier and see if your employer offers discounts and consider pre-paid cell phones."
You can find more information on savings tips and advice on CUB's web site: http://www.citizensutilityboard.org/newsReleases20130618_WirelessWaste