New site compares cell phone costs

The cell phone industry has perfected the art of incomparables; with dozens of variables, no two programs match up perfectly. The result, for me, is that I always have the nagging feeling that I'm paying more than I should.

A new web site claims to address this dilemma by making these comparisons for me. Billshrink.com gathers my user information, including my zip code, minutes used, texting habits, and monthly bill, and responds with a list of suggested programs and anticipated yearly savings. According to it, I could save $60 a year by shifting my cell business to T Mobile. I could use $60 a year.

I have reservations, however. I always look at how such services are funded, and Billshrink is funded by the companies to which users of Billshrink switch as a result of the comparison. While I have no reason to question the objectivity of the comparisons, the site's income depends on the cell phone companies. With such a business plan, I can't hold this site up as a a champion of consumer advantage. A business's customer is the one that pays the bllls; in this respect, Billshrink's customers are the cell phone companies. It's product is you and me.

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