Cell phone carriers sneaky new fees: AT&T, Verizon administrative fee, others

Don't Waste Your Money

Cell phone companies always seem to offer great deals: Free phones, unlimited data, all the texting you want.

Then why is that monthly bill $100 or more? One reason: a new report says carriers have found many new ways to nickel and dime us.

Hey, what's this new fee?

In the past few weeks, a number of people have complained to us about little a new fee for AT&T wireless customers

It's a new 61 cent a month "administrative fee." Nothing big, but according to the blog How-to-Geek.com it's just the latest "nickel and dime fee."

The blog's list of sneaky cell phone fees include:

          -Administrative fees: don't switch to Verizon to avoid it, because they have the exact same charge.

          -Tethering charges: to use your same data plan on another device.  

          -Mobile hotspot fees: these let you connect an iPad and other devices to your smartphone's data plan.

           -Text message fees. Why is messaging still separate, when it could simply be part of our data plan?

Doesn't That Stink?

And from the doesn't that stink file, perhaps the worst nickel and dime fee of all:

         -International roaming fees.

If you don't check with your carrier before going to Mexico, Canada, or Europe, you could be the next person with a thousand dollar cell phone bill.   Doesn't that stink?

The How-to-Geek blog says carriers are free to charge whatever markup they want on international roaming. And they do.

My advice? If you hate all these extra fees, look seriously at prepaid no contract plans, whether from the major carriers or places like Walmart and Best buy.

They are cheaper, and often won't nickel and dime you..

That way you don't waste your money.


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