Wireless Subscribers Reluctant to Commit (to Lengthy Service Plans)

Paul Lilly

Two-year service agreements have become the norm as wireless providers try to entice potential subscribers with subsidized smartphones, but according to an AP report, it isn't necessarily working. Instead, buyers are trending towards prepaid cell phone service.

"I would love to have an iPhone. I just can't swallow the $70 or more bill that would come with it," said Jeff Finlay, a 45-year-old stay-at-home dad in San Antonio.

With most prepaid services, consumers can buy minutes in advance usually for around 10 cents to 20 cents each. When the minutes run out, they can simply refill their accounts. For the past several years, prepaid plans mainly targeted consumers who didn't have the credit to qualify for a wireless plan, but have started to see a wider audience more recently as everyone looks to cut back costs. According to the New Millennium Research Council, about one-fifth of Americans with cell phones are on prepaid.

Making prepaid service even more popular, it's now possible to make unlimited calls and text messages for $45 a month, or half of what it would cost with a contract on Verizon. Not everyone needs unlimited usage however, and at Tracfone, the largest independent provider of prepaid service, customers pay an average of $11 per month.

Full AP report here .

Do you roll with a prepaid plan, or are you on a service contract? Who is your mobile phone provider? Tell us in the comments section below.

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