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Reading Your Cell Phone Bill-Calling Charges

Apr 20, 2008
When people receive their monthly cell phone bill, most admit that they do not understand them and just pay the amount due, no questions asked. Understanding your cell phone bill can go a long way to saving you money and ensuring that you are not paying charges that you have not incurred.

While the first section of your phone bill usually itemizes the various minutes that you have used, the second section is usually the Calling Charges section. The first listing in this section is the charge for your Monthly Plan. This is the amount of money that you agreed to pay when you signed up for a plan with your cell phone service provider. Although you may have not paid this exact amount for some time, this is the amount that your bill should be.

The next listing on your bill is probably the Minutes Overage Fee charge. It is this charge that can make your bill astronomical. These are the additional minutes that your provider has charged you that are beyond the limits set up by your service plan. These include any additional minutes that you exceed as well as the fees that are charged for such features as downloads and text messaging. Some service providers charge up to $.45 for every additional minute that you have gone over your preset limit and the fees for text messaging and data service can be expensive also. The best way to avoid these higher fees is to keep track of your minutes and the services you use. For example, if you use your text messaging often and this service is not included as part of your existing plan, you may want to upgrade to a plan that includes this feature. The extra cost now may save you quite a bit of money in the future.

The next section of your bill may be the Domestic Roaming listing. Some cell phone calls that you make when traveling outside your local area may not be included in your plan. This fee is charged for those calls and some providers charge up to $.50 per minute for such calls. You can control these costs by looking at your cell phone when you are making a call. Most of the phones will alert you if the call is roaming. You can also change from your cell phone plan to one that includes free roaming. You should know, however, that even if you have free roaming, you may still be charged for analog calls and calls made out of your provider's area since you are using another provider's network.

You can also be charged for Domestic Long Distance calls. While these fees are less expensive than roaming fees, some companies charge you $.10 a minute as well as counting the Anytime minutes that you are using during the call. You should change your local plan to a nationwide plan if your charges in this area become too large.

International Roaming call fees are much like Domestic fees except that the charges to your account are much higher. Some companies charge as high as $5 per minute for these calls. While certain cell phone companies may offer lower rates for these calls, there is always some kind of charge for them.

The final listing in the section of Calling Charges section is the charge for the 411 service. While this may seem like a convenient way to find addresses and phone numbers, a charge of $1.50 per minute plus the minutes that you use when calling this service makes it impractical.

By understanding the charges that your cell phone provider bills to you for these various calls can help you decrease the amount of these calls that you make. This can save you a lot of worry when your cell phone bill arrives
About the Author
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