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
The 10 most valuable global brands Apple has the most valuable brand in the world, up 67% over the last year, according to a BrandZ ranking. More
A life's work: Photos by Mary Ellen Mark The subjects of Mary Ellen Mark's photography ranged from celebrities to world leaders to those at the fringe of society, including prostitutes and the homeless. More
The 8 biggest job-killing companies Unemployment is at its lowest level since 2007, but some companies are still cutting lots of jobs. More

Special Offer