smart spending

7 effective ways you can tackle high fees

Set alerts to monitor your data plan limits
Set alerts to monitor your data plan limits © Kostenko Maxim/Shutterstock.com

"Estimating service use is tricky for consumers, especially as more companies move to billing in shareable buckets, such as new wireless data-sharing plans for many devices and family members on one plan," Breyault says.

With wireless family needs that may include several smartphones, tablets, laptops, wireless connect cards and netbooks, data plans are being shared, and family members need to keep track of their usage. Charges for going over the limit can cause "bill shock." Bill shock is a sudden, unexpected fee increase, which happens when device users unknowingly exceed plan limits for voice, text, data or roaming charges on a shared data plan.

Getting help

  • Wireless carriers have been compelled by the FCC to provide limit alerts, so use them.
  • To avoid roaming and data charges on any wireless device, stay on your carrier's network or turn off the data connection.

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