The best and worst cell phone carriers

People love their cell phones, and especially smartphones, but hate how high their monthly bills have grown.

"I don't understand again why the bills would be so high," one user said.

"They're outrageous," another user said. 

"it's high for no reason," a third customer said. "Extra charges for no reason."   

New survey find best plans

For that reason, the big nationwide cell phone carriers come up short when it comes to value for the money.

That's the finding of a just released survey by our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine.

However, if cost is most important to you, Sprint edged out the others for low price.
 
"Sprint is the last of the big carriers to offer unlimited data plans, which can make a big difference if you surf the web or if you download lots of apps and videos," said Rosalind Tordesillas of Consumer Reports. 

Be advised, however, that Sprint may end its unlimited data plan next year, according to many analysts who follow the company.

The pre-paid option can save

Tight on money? And you don't use your phone that much? A prepaid service is a great money-saving option for people who call or text occasionally.  

"There's no contract with prepaid phones," Tordesillas said. "You just pay for minutes or texts as you go."  

Consumer Reports rates Tracfone among the best prepaid carriers.

Buy in discount stores

Another way to cut your costs: shop for a phone in stores like Walmart, Costco or Radio Shack.

They sell low priced phones, usually tied in with a good deal at a major carrier.

The final results

 The final result of Consumer Reports survey of thousands of cell phone users, regarding major carriers:

    - Verizon came in tops, just narrowly edging the No. 2 finisher.
    - Sprint was second.
    - T- Mobile came in third.
    - AT&T rated last --a dubious distinction the carrier has held for years.

As always, don't waste your money.

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Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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