If you're unhappy with your cell phone service, you're not alone. A just-released survey of 14,000 Canadian subscribers shows satisfaction with cell carriers was relatively low.

"Overall, the top complaint is price," said Rosalind Tordesillas of Consumer Reports, which conducted the survey. "People may have seen their bills rise because they're probably using their phone more, and in different ways."

Almost 70 percent of respondents said they now send and receive text messages, and about 40 percent said they access the Internet over their phone.

Howard Maker, head of the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS), an independent agency that tries to resolve complaints involving Internet, long-distance and cable companies, says billing is the number one complaint he hears about.

"They are being charged more than they think they should be, they are not getting credit for the number of minutes they think they should be," he said.

The second most common complaint involves contract terms and conditions.

Maker says if consumers have a complaint, they should first review their contract to see what their rights are and what they are entitled to, and then ask for it.

"Ask them to make it right, and if they are not prepared to make it right then feel free to contact CCTS," Maker said.

Best-rated companies

Consumer Reports rated SaskTel in Saskatchewan tops for customer satisfaction.

Rogers and Telus didn't score as high overall, though Rogers did get above-average ratings for text messaging and Web and email access and Telus got better marks for customer service.

Bell was a step below in overall satisfaction. Consumer Reports says below-par customer service was largely to blame.

Maker said his office receives very few complaints about SaskTel, MTS Communications in Manitoba and Shaw Cable.

If barebones service and no-frills phones work for you, pre-paid plans from Virgin Mobile rated well.

But before signing up for any service, Consumer Reports says always check the coverage map to be sure there's service where you need it -- both at home and when you travel.

And ask friends and colleagues about service in your area.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Chris Olsen