Upgrading to any new phone can cost a fortune because of all the extra charges that hit you. So you may be interested to know which carriers have the most, and which have the fewest, sneaky fees.
Phone Users Frustrated By Hidden Fees
It's becoming so common: Signing up for a cell phone plan that sounds affordable, only to be shocked by all the hidden, extra fees.
"I have like a $50 data plan. Next thing I know, I have an extra hundred bucks on my bill, every month," said Adrian Miller.
Sound familiar? Many of us can't even figure out for what we are paying.
"I don't even know what I'm being charged for, honestly. I just pay it every month because I have to," admitted Stephanie York.
"I think it's ridiculous. My bill is always over $100 and it's just my own individual plan. I hate it!" said Elizabeth Rogers.
A new survey by Cheapism says unexpected fees can add another 20 percent to your bill.
-State and local taxes
-The Universal Service Fund
-411 Directory Assistance fees
-New phone activation and upgrade fees, which can be $60 or more.
-"Overages." Don't go over on your data plan. That's instantly another $15 on most carriers.
Bart Vanderzee knows that too well.
"It's getting out of control, the data usage stuff drives me nuts," said Vanderzee.
The Most & Fewest Fees
Cheapism compared rates and found some big differences among major carriers.
T-Mobile is the low price winner, with the fewest hidden fees. Also, there's no charge for activating or upgrading.
Verizon is next cheapest for upgrade and activation fees, though Cheapism says Verizon has the highest early termination fee, at over $300. So Verizon can't be considered "low cost," it says.
AT&T and Sprint tie for the highest upgrade and activation fees. But Sprint gets a pass because it's the last major carrier that still offers unlimited data for anyone.
So if you're looking for the lowest upgrade fees, and fewest extra charges, Cheapism calls T-Mobile the winner.
The Biggest Sneaky Fee
International roaming charges. Check with your carrier before you travel out of the country.
Don't expect to pay $75 a month for your smart phone, unless you go with prepaid, where you pay everything upfront each month.
That way you don't waste your money.
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