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Study: Cellphone bills average $3.02 per minute

POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 11:12pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 12:02pm

Local retailer encourages consumers to educate themselves and study bill

TYLER - Whether it's in the car, or on the go, Americans are never far from their cell phones.

Yet, most people care more about the color of the phone, than how much they're paying, per minute.

"I would probably say 3 cents," said one consumer. "I don't know."

Three cents? Think again.

"Cell phone companies are notorious for adding little things here and little things there," said Cole, longtime owner of Cole Cellular, an AT&T provider, at 6724 S. Broadway in Tyler.

According to the Utility Consumer Action Network, it appears the average person is actually clueless when it comes to their cell phone bill.

After reviewing 700 phone bills, UCAN said cell phone customers are paying as much as $3 per minute.

The majority of landline long distance customers pay over 10 cents per minute, with 20 percent of people paying more than 50 cents per minute and 10 percent paying more than $1 per minute.

Cole said parents should pay special attention to the bill if they have kids on their plan. These days, young people text more than talk and that's where he says cell phone companies will get you.

In some instances, charging 15 cents per text, both incoming and outgoing, when a user goes over their allotted data plan.

"You need to know exactly what your plan includes because that's when you get a lot of surprises," Cole said.

He urged consumers to pay close attention to any and all bills they receive, and to review their plans on a regular basis. Then if you feel like it's too much, go talk with your provider.

If you have a "What's Up With That?" question, send it to

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