I’ve been contemplating a switch in cell phone providers for a long time now, mostly because the reception in my high-rise apartment is pretty lousy. I’ve also considered dumping the cell phone all together, in favor for Magic Jack or Ooma but for some reason, I’m scared that in an emergency situation, I’ll be disconnected from the world. For now, I’m sticking with a cell phone and sticking with AT&T as my provider.
In searching for a better cell phone plan, I stumbled across Validas, a website that says they can analyze my current cell phone bill, provide incredible amounts of data & savings and ultimately let me know if there are plans out there that can save me money.
The name Validas can be derived from three words which describe the technology behind the company very well. First, you think of the word “validate”, which is what Validas does by making sure your cell phone bill is as inexpensive as possible. Second, the word “validas” means powerful in both Latin & Spanish and can describe the strength of the technology used to evaluate your cell phone plan. Finally, it relates to the word “veritas” meaning truth. Giving users the entire breakdown of their cellphone bills allows them to understand where they can improve.
So just how does Validas work their magic? Well the process is fairly straightforward and I would be glad to take you through it. First, you need to visit their website Validas.com, with your cell phone plan log in information in hand. Currently, this process will only work if you have one of the six supported cell phone carriers, which are:
- US Cellular
After you have registered an account (Name, email address and password), you are then asked for the log in information to your cell phone plan provider, so that Validas can evaluate your current bill. After about 30 seconds, you land on a page where you are given a short summary of what they have found, like the one I received below.
Now as you can see from my short report, Validas tells me that the current plan I have in place is the absolute best I can find. While that is awesome to know, I was hoping that for the purposes of this review and to save a little money, I was overspending somewhere. Because my savings would be $0, there really isn’t any reason to purchase a full report and if you come across this, you can probably stop right there. However, I decided to purchase a report anyway, just to take a look at their technology and see what they can still provide me in terms of better understanding my cell phone bill.
The cost of buying a full report can vary. Currently Validas offers four plans, all of which provide the exact same report. The difference is the frequency in which you can view you’re report and is as follows:
- One Use / $5.00
- Four Uses / $10.00
- Ten Uses / $20.00
- 24 Uses / $30.00
Now you may be wondering why you would need 24 reports on just one cell phone plan and to answer your question, you wouldn’t. Each time you view your report counts as one use, so if you navigate away from the page and go back, that’s two uses right there. The best thing to do would be to order one or four uses, make sure you download the information to a pdf file (I’ll show you how) and save the other reports for a time when you switch cell phone plan providers. Yes, it’s a little bit sneaky to charge people each time they view the same report but it’s extremely simple to maneuver around.
Now getting to the actual report, after you have paid, you are directed to a page which provides you an overall synopsis of just how much money you can save. You are also shown a breakdown of your cell phone bill and how much of that goes toward “frivolous” purchases like 411 calls, text messages and downloads. As you can see from the graphic below, my plan (Two lines and unlimited text messages for one of those lines) costs just north of $90.00 and there are no potential savings of any kind.
You will also notice on this page that there are other tabs at the top of the report that will allow you to navigate through other areas of your cell phone bill. To the right of these tabs are ways to print and save the report. If you select the XLS (green) tab or the PDF (red) tab, you will save not just one page of the report but the whole thing. This way, you won’t have to save every page you click on, which can save you some time and if you accidentally leave this browser, you won’t have to spend more money to get your report back.
The other tab I found interesting was the usage tab where I could see a breakdown of just how many minutes I spent on the phone last month, what hours of the day I made most of my calls and just how many calls were made. This report also shows any add-ons I paid for during the month, like roaming charges, downloads and long-distance minutes.
Unfortunately, because I have no savings available, the remainder of the report is of little value as most of the pages are left blank. I am provided a list of other cell phone plans that would fit my needs, however all of them are more expensive than the one I currently have, making that a lost cause. The final tab on the report allows me to send an email to my cell phone provider, explaining that I’ve seen ways to cut my expenses and I would like to now implement them. The email template already includes the carriers email address, which makes for a nice convenience.
All in all, I love the information that Validas provides and I wish I could explore it more but truth be told, it’s nice to know that my shopping skills are finely tuned enough to have already selected the best plan for me. If you find yourself spending hundreds of dollars a month in cell phone bills, you will definitely want to check out Validas.com, as for just $5 you may be able to save hundreds, if not thousands a year in unnecessary charges and coverages.
For more ways to reduce the amount of your cell phone bill, be sure to visit our article on 15 Ways to Slash Your Cell Phone Bill.