Carriers should offer plans with lower minutes

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| February 9, 2013

After looking over my bill today, I noticed a few of things. First of all, the amount of texts that are sent and received from my phone are just ridiculous. Second of all, my data usage isn’t nearly as much as it ought to be, but that’s because I’m almost constantly connected to Wi-Fi. The last thing I noticed is that the minute usage on my phone hardly makes a dent in the nearly unlimited usage I have available to me. I decided to check back on previous months as well and it always seems to stay around 60-75 minutes of usage – and that’s including mobile-to-mobile.

The generation I grew up in learned that “texting was better” simply because you can multitask while doing it. While a lot of us still do use the basic function that a phone was meant to do, I know a lot of us who would prefer to text over an actual phone call, generally speaking. Yet when I see most plans that include data, a large or unlimited amounts of minutes is included in that plan. But what’s the use of paying for something if you’re not going to use it?

I’ve been paying for unlimited for quite a few years now, and I don’t even know the last time I spoke to somebody for more than an hour over the phone. Most of my interactions happen through text or face-to-face. I’m not saying that companies should nix the plans they currently offer; having unlimited mobile-to-mobile is a great thing if you are the type of person who talks on the phone a lot. But for people like me who prefer to communicate via texting, perhaps cutting down the minutes is a good way to help cut down the bill a little.

It’s not only texters that would benefit from a lower minute plan, though. Those who have found alternative methods to traditional phone calls using their data plan would benefit from it too. I would much rather switch to Google Talk, Skype or another 3rd party calling app if it meant I could decrease the cost of my bill. Of course, this would probably only work best with those who are either constantly around Wi-Fi or those who have unlimited data plans. I’m not sure exactly how much data a phone call would use, but I imagine if you were to use a data call often it could add up pretty quickly and might create a larger bill rather than a smaller one.

This is an idea that will probably not happen for a long time, though. The fact of the matter is, companies get to sucker us in with things we don’t need. People who want data but don’t text are forced to pay for texting, people who want data but minimal minutes are offered some of the highest minute plans the company has to offer; plans without data offer limited accessibility to both. It’s seems like an all-or-nothing sort of plan with these companies, and as unfair as it seems that’s just the way it is and it will probably stay that way for a while.

Readers, what do you think about your plan? Are there features that you don’t use that you wish you could pay less to get rid of? Are you happy with your plan and its price? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!