A cell phone. It’s a completely necessary device but what isn’t necessary is the high bill one gets every month. This week, Hank Ryan did an investigation piece about cell phone secretes and how easy it could be for one to lower their monthly bill. Most people just get the bill and accept the price for what it is and don’t even know that they could be saving big by re-configuring their cell phone plan. Ryan starts of this investigation by talking to cell phone guru Nick Lindwedel who tells us how easy it is to lower one’s cell phone bill. Ryan explains that you don’t have to change your carrier or cancel your contract but all you have to do is analyze your usage. Ryan was able to find a person who agreed to a phone bill experiment. Kelsey pays $200 a month for her cell phone bill. After Nick looked over her bill he found that Kelsey was paying for more minutes than she ever used. After lowering the monthly minutes, Kelsey could end up saving $360 a year with no penally for changing her plan mid contract. Ryan found another person to participate in this cell phone bill make over and found that this woman could be saving $120 a year if she got rid of her unnecessary phone insurance. Towards the end of her report, Ryan lists several helpful tips that will help viewers lower their cell phone bills; “Don’t waste your cell phone minutes checking voice mail, do that from a land line, don’t sign up for a new long-term plan just to get a new phone, and drop the insurance on your phone.” Ryan gives some final helpful advice by saying that one should check their bill because phone companies are not obligated to notify one on when they can save money. The investigative team from Channel 5 News (Ryan’s rival) did a report this week on Governor Deval Patrick giving pay raises to supervisor who work for the turnpike. Nothing wrong with this story but just to put it into perspective with Ryan’s; it’s more political oriented than Ryan’s which is not unusual. Investigative Team 5 takes on a more political edge while Ryan takes on an array of reports.
Just about everyone has a cell phone these days. This wasn’t a heavy investigation piece in which Ryan exploited someone for their wrong doings. Ryan proves that investigative reporting doesn’t always have to be that way. This investigation was probably one of the easiest ones for Ryan since she didn’t have to do much digging. Material doesn’t alway have to be hard hitting and “juicy” for it to affect a great amount of people. I actually have a personal experience that relates greatly to Ryan’s report. My mother called me the other day so proud of herself as she ended up calling the cell phone company and asked how she can lower her bill (this was before Ryan’s report aired). To her surprise she was able to knock our bill down $30 less a month after finding out that we had more minutes than our family plan needed. Point of my story, it works! One can go ahead and test Ryan’s advice and will most likely find that they are paying way to much for extra things they don’t even need in their plan. It’s an investigative report that is so simple yet Ryan still tackles it for she knows it will help a lot of people save money. It was an excellent idea of Ryan to find two people who were willing to give this a test. One thing that could have been done better in this report was if Ryan actually talked to a representative from one of the major cell phone companies and ask them how many people are over spending. It probably would have been a hard interview to get since no cell phone carrier wants to admit that people are loosing money but it would have been nice to see Ryan make an effort. Instead, the main source of information is coming from this random cell phone guru guy. No dirt really had to be dug in this piece yet it will probably be one of Ryan’s top reports that ends up helping everyone save money.