America's Biggest Rip-offs

Are you infuriated every time you open your cell phone bill? Livid when you buy a snack at the movies? These are nine of the rawest deals around.

1 of 9
BACKNEXT
Text messages - 6,500% markup
Text messages - 6,500% markup
Text messages are short, quick and cheap to transmit. So why are they adding so much to your wireless bill?

The messages are such a tiny piece of data that they cost carriers only about one-third of a cent to deliver, according to computer scientist Srinivasan Keshav, who testified before U.S. senators on the issue last summer.

But on a pay-per-text plan, the 160-character messages typically cost 20 cents outgoing and 10 cents incoming. That's a markup of as much as 6,500%. OMG!

"It's pretty much pure profit," Keshav says. "Carriers would argue they put that money toward investing in new technology."

Even if customers sign up for an unlimited texting plan for, say, $10 a month, carriers are still cashing in considering that their overhead is basically $0. That's a lot to pay for a few LOLs.


NEXT: Movie theater popcorn - 900% markup
Last updated February 02 2010: 11:12 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Awesome car options for first-time buyers There are lots of good options for millennials shopping for their first car. These models might not be the most popular, but they're worth considering. More
6 surprising things for sale on Taobao Consumers can buy just about anything and get it shipped to their door from Alibaba's Taobao, China's most popular online shopping platform. More
Most notorious recalls ever It's not just automakers that issue massive recalls. From lawn darts to Pokemon balls, plenty of other consumer products have been deemed dangerous, or worse, deadly. More

Special Offer