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Five ways cellphone companies could get better

CUB is all about consumer choice, and we think the cellphone industry is in need of a makeover. Here are a few changes we’d like to see: 1. Pay-for-what-you-use data pricing. We’ve already told you about how badly smartphone customers are overpaying on bloated data plans. A key remedy would…...

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Energy-saving smartphone apps

Your smartphone doesn’t have to be a bottomless pit for your pocketbook. It can also be a tool to help you save money. These are just a few of the energy-saving smartphone apps available. 1) Light Bulb Finder (free): Find energy efficient light bulbs at nearby stores or order them…...

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New CUB guide: Top tips to cut your smartphone bill

Ever feel like the smartphones are taking over? The Pew Research Center recently reported that for the first time ever more than half of American adults, 56 percent, own smartphones. In my family, at least, it does seem like the iPhone is taking over our bank account—and I’m sure I’m…...

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Is cable a waste of money, or not?

A new survey by CouponCabin.com indicates 45 percent of consumers think paying for cable TV is a waste of money. But here’s the kicker: 81 percent of us pay for it anyway. What do those numbers say? We don’t seem to mind paying for the programs and channels we actually…...

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Text me a dollar! The facts on P2P money transfers

Ever wish you could pay the babysitter by tapping a screen, or reimburse your roommate for utilities without writing a check? Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payment transferring allows you to send money to another person’s bank account by text, email, or even bumping smartphones. Your bank may offer this service (Bank of America…...

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5 no-cost tips to cut your summer energy bills

Summer is here, and along with all the fun stuff comes an annual spike in our electric bills.  To keep more money in your pocket for road trips, pool visits and ice cream, here are five no-cost tips to cut your summer energy costs: Avoid placing lamps or TV sets…...

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Got a smartphone? You’re probably overpaying for data

Illinois consumers are overspending on cellphone data plans by $1.4 billion dollars each year. That’s according to a report released today by CUB and wireless research firm Validas. The report, based on an analysis of more than 100,000 wireless bills nationwide, shows that the vast majority of cellphone users are…...

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Hidden cellphone fees nickel-and-dime customers

A common complaint among consumers is that wireless bills seem to always be rising, even though carriers claim their rates aren’t going up. How is this possible? An underhanded way of assessing fees, called “nickel-and-diming,” can cause customers to pay more on their overall bills even though the base rates…...

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Kick “cramming” off our wireless bills!

Fraudulent third-party charges could cost wireless customers up to $887 million a year. That’s according to a nationwide coalition of consumer advocates, including CUB, who are pushing federal regulators to adopt tough rules cracking down on the “cramming” scam. Cramming is when a third-party company places a charge on your…...

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Victory? Nicor customers to see $72 million refund

A 5-0 Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) ruling means Nicor customers will be on the receiving end of a $72 million paycheck in the near future. While we’re always happy to see customers get a refund, in this case, $72 million is not enough to undo the harm done to customers.…...

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