The mythology of prepaid wireless
Only 16% of Americans use prepaid wireless phones today — a figure much lower than that of other developed countries, according to a new study by the New Millennium Research Council. What's even more striking is that the NMRC estimates that 30% of Americans, including 25 million adults, would save money using a prepaid plan rather than staying on a postpaid contract, but they don't switch. Why? NMRC says there are several myths about prepaid that steer consumers away from such value-focused plans. While carriers don't perpetuate these myths, they don't have much incentive to discourage them, as contract customers are much more valuable to them than prepaid customers. A survey conducted for the NMRC by Opinion Research Center found that:
of Americans feel they are always under contract and therefore cannot switch to a prepaid plan without being penalized.
believe that prepaid is only for people who rarely, if ever, use their cell phones.
agree while 44% disagree with the statement that a postpaid customer always will pay less than a prepaid customer.
believe that prepaid phones are available in “very basic models.”