Don’t Waste Your Money: Request new smart phone plans - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don’t Waste Your Money: Request new smart phone plans for lower rate

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(Toledo News Now) -

Despite all the family plans that cell carriers have pushed in recent years, our monthly cell phone bills continue to go up and up. This year there are new options for lowering those bills, without dropping your smart phone, but the key is: you have to ask.

You may have seen the new television ads from AT&T and other cell phone companies offering new money saving family plans. Are they worth checking out or are their better ways to lower your bill?

Remember when a cell phone bill was $40 a month? Neither do most people. Many smart phone bills long ago passed $100. Danielle Hofacre says she pays $200 a month and could use some relief but doesn't know where to start.

"Have you done anything to lower the bill? Have you done anything to try to cut it down? No, not at all. I mean what do you cut down?" asked Hofacre.

The good news is you can lower your rising rates, thanks to new rate plan wars, but you have to do the work. They won't just offer it to you.

• AT&T has just lowered single smart phone rates from $80 down to $65 a month for voice, text, and 2 gigs of data.

• Verizon recently cut the price of its Edge plan from $90 to $80 a month.

• T-Mobile, which started the wars, has a Simple Choice plan with 1 gig of data for $50 a month.

• Sprint's new family plan lets you add another member for as low as $25 a month, including data.

Julio Clark cut his bills by doing that.

"$45 a month, I would say, for text and minutes and everything," said Clark.

Also, save $10 a month by dropping texting entirely, then using an app like "WhatsApp" to send texts virtually free.

Not enough savings? Consider a prepaid phone from Walmart's Straight Talk, or smaller carriers like Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, or Net10. The website Saveonphone.com compares them for you. For less than $50 a month, you'll get unlimited talk, text, and around 2 gigs of data.

Bottom line: the major carriers all have new plans this year but you have to call them and ask because they will not offer these to you. If that's not enough, consider a prepaid smart phone which can cut your bill by $25 a month or more so you don't waste your money.

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