Nick's 2 Cents: Your cell phone bill - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Nick's 2 Cents: Your cell phone bill

65% of Americans own a cell phone, and the reasons seem endless for owning one.

If you look at your cell phone bill, the changes can seem endless, with some pages and pages long.

So what exactly are you paying for?

Randy Hutchinson, the president of the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South, says many people complain about their bills.

"Complaints about cell phone businesses is number one source of complaints to the Better Business Bureau nationwide," he said. "Two-thirds of those complaints concern a billing problem."

Since 2002, wireless providers have charged their customers nearly $1 billion in additional fees. You can usually expect to tack on an extra 20% to your bill for those surcharges and taxes.

Another common complaint is false charges, when customers complained they were being charged when their phone was turned off.

Then there's the contract. Many get caught up in a one or two year deal and can't get out of it without paying a termination fee, sometimes as high as $200.

Also, be aware that your contract may be extended without you knowing it. This can happen when you make a change to your service and the company considers it a new plan, which means a new contract.

Experts say you should treat your cell phone bill like you would your credit card bill or bank statements. Take time to look at each page before you blindly write a check.

If you have a complaint about your cell phone bill,you can log onto to the local Better Business Bureau web site at midsouth.bbb.org , or you call them at (901) 759-1300.

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