Stepped up competition among major cell carriers could mean savings for you

T-Mobile offering cash reward for switching

TAMPA, Fla. - The cell phone wars breaking out among the big carriers involve a surprising amount of trash talk. T-Mobile's firebrand CEO, John Legere, even crashed an AT&T event wearing his T-Mobile T-Shirt.

"I went and I had no ill intentions but very large human beings escorted me out of the building," said Legere.

But T-Mobile is doing more than showboating by offering customers who dump the competition, AT&T, Verizon or Sprint  up to $650 dollars. A few days earlier, AT&T  had offered $450 dollars to T-Mobile customers to make the switch.

But before you commit, the Better Business Bureau says you need to read the fine print especially when it comes to data rates and cancelation fees.

John Oglesby of the West Florida Better Business Bureau says you should confirm that you'll get good reception before committing to a contract.

"You want to make sure that your service provider provides adequate coverage for the areas you're going to make phone calls in," said Oglesby.

There are alternatives to the traditional cell phone carriers. Walmart recently started offering a no-contract pre-paid service with unlimited talk, text and data, but the website found some heavy data users found the service "throttles"  or slows down after you hit 2.5 gigabytes a month.

It's also worth checking with Consumer Reports which last year found that one well know carrier has really slipped in customer surveys. Sprint, normally rated in second or third place plummeted to the bottom.

More about the T-Mobile deal from reporter John Matarese:

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