Americans are dialing back on using text messaging that you get from your cell phone carrier.

Particularly with Verizon and AT&T, you get completely ripped off with those monthly text message fees. And do you know the secret? Text messaging is a zero cost thing for the cell phone operators. It wouldn't matter if people sent a million text messages a minute. There is no to cost for the cell phone operators.

So those $15 or $20 monthly fees they're charging you are just junk fees. The question then becomes, how do you avoid them?

We have discovered after most of the rest of the world that smartphones will allow you to use enhanced app-based text messaging services that don't ride on the text messaging architecture of the cell phone company.

You can eliminate that $15 or $20 monthly bill and use app-based text messaging if you have a smartphone
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Apple has been pushing their service, iMessage, as of late. But there are many more that are multi-platform available in the Play store for the Androids.

You can easily do enhanced web-based text messaging that is far more sophisticated, and absolutely free using smartphone capabilities of your phone, rather than the text messaging capabilities of your phone.

This trend leaves the cell carriers with two choices: They either incorporate text messaging into the monthly fees, or they just bleed people dry who don't know the opportunity is there to dial back their cell phone bill and get rid of the monthly text messaging charge.

I have been using the app from textPlus.com for so many years for my Androids. It works better and does so much more than the text messaging service available through the cell phone carriers.

One of the neat things about it, I travel overseas and it follows me wherever I am in the world. I can text back to the U.S. for free from wherever I am in the world. So get with the program if you've got a smartphone.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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