Cell Phone Bill ShockCell phone bill shock can happen to almost anyone and it really depends on the terms of your agreement and also understanding how your applications on your smart phone work. One example of this kind of thing was when a customer had unlimited text messaging for his phone and a limit on the data that his phone could send and receive each month. In an effort to reduce text messages, they used a free texting service out of the US, which actually is an application that used the data part of the plan to send and receive information. In addition the data plan is used every time an application must be updated with a new release. In short this user’s data plan was far exceeded and they received this huge bill from their carrier.

How Can you Avoid Cell Phone Bill Shock

  • Understand the Application
  • Research the Application before You Download
  • Check Your Usage
  • Use WIFI
  • Make a Complaint

We will cover each of these in a bit more detail:

Understand the Application – many app’s use your data plan to update, to send messages and to interact with other cell phone users. While you may be reducing one type of traffic i.e. text messaging which is billed separately, you are actually using more data which eats up your allowance for data every month. Understanding how your app works and updates is important to control you monthly billing.

Research the Application before You Download – before you download the app, take the time to understand how it works and how much data it uses and how often it will update itself. If your phone is being used by your teen, some ground rules need to be established about downloading so called free app’s. They may be free, but really place a burden on the amount of data that is downloaded or sent by your phone.

Check Your Usage – monitor your usage every week. If you are getting close to your limits for data usage, text messaging or long distance take appropriate steps now. Control your usage, increase your plan or recognize that your bill is going to be higher this month.

Use WIFI – this is a great way to reduce data usage. Force your phone to use Wi-Fi whenever a Wi-Fi network is available. This includes your home, many coffee shops and even many restaurants. All you need to do is program your phone to use Wi-Fi first before using the network data plan that you have. In some cases you will need to sign up as a user and receive email advertising, but it is definitely worth it. Most phones will also remember the network and passwords and will connect automatically to the WI-FI network when it is available. This is a great way to limit your plan data usage.

Make a Complaint – sometimes it works when you complain to your carrier. It costs nothing but your time to lodge a complaint. They might not write the entire bill off, however if the write off some of the bill, you are ahead. This approach usually only works one time. The carrier will give you that one chance where you can claim that you did not realize that activity on your phone was going to cause a high monthly charge. After that they expect that you now understand when high data usage is triggered and will take the necessary steps to control it. Also consumers may decide to change their plans to accommodate higher data usage, text messaging or long distance.

Consumers need to manage and monitor all of their services regardless of what they are and cell phone usage is no different. Manage cell phone local air time, text messaging, long distance and data usage to prevent significant surprises of large bills from your carrier. This includes your children’s phones as well, particularly when they first get their phones.

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