The Long Goodbye: Your Kid’s Cellphone Bill

Cheering their new grads at college commencements this month, parents will likely give another hurrah: No more tuition! But there’s another cost that might well linger on for parents of high school and college grads: the cellphone bill. A Wall Street Journal survey last year found that about 40 percent of parents of 18- to 35-year-old children still pay for their cellphone service, and 29 percent continue to do so even after their kids have moved out and pay their …

Can You Design a Better Cell Phone?

They’re small. The keys are tiny. The text is barely big enough to read.  Their ringtones are jarring, and only your 15-year-old grandson knows how to work it.  Cell phones are a must-have these days, but that doesn’t mean they’re any more fun to use than they were 10 years ago. Over in Germany, they held a contest a little while ago to reinvent the phone. (Here are some of the ideas, although they’re in German. Your browser may be …

Watch Those Cell Phone Fees—Or Pay Nothing at All

I always swore I’d never buy a cell phone. It’s not so much a financial issue. I understand that cell phones are becoming increasingly economical, and many folks are abandoning their land lines and using a cell exclusively. However, a study by the Utility Consumers’ Action Network found that actual costs incurred by 700 cell users surveyed averaged more than $3 per minute when factoring in unused minutes, service contracts and other fees. Ouch! More on that in a bit. My decision …