Speaking up could help you save on cell phone fees - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Speaking up could help you save on cell phone fees

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

When your monthly cell phone bill arrives, do you open it, cringe at the fees and then send in the payment? Have you ever thought to yourself, "Hey, maybe I could negotiate?"

We found if you're upset about cell phone fees speaking up could save you big bucks! So, exactly how much can you haggle with your provider?

When Mimi Sun was due for an upgrade and got a newer model iPhone, she was shocked to see her carrier tacked an "upgrade fee" onto her bill.

"I definitely was like, 'What? I'm not paying so much money.' And, I was staying with the same carrier. It's not like I'm changing anything," Sun said.

An upgrade fee, when you're already paying for the new phone is the latest example of a "one time" charge some cell phone companies "ding" consumers with, and this analysis of the four major U.S. carriers by cheapism.com found they can dent your wallet up to $36.

But if you want to subtract some of the those one time charges, we found you may actually be able to talk your way out of upgrade, as well as activation fees.

Experts say if you're fed up, speak up because carriers are getting competitive when it comes to fees.

What other fees may be no problem to negotiate off your bill? If the money is going to Uncle Sam in taxes or government imposed fees, forget  it. And those monthly administrative or regulatory fees, probably not. But what about those hefty fees for going over your limit on your voice, text or data plan? Or for roaming internationally?

With no international plan while vacationing in the Dominican Republic, Joshua Fuentes got quite a surprise when he returned back to the U.S.: a $2,000 phone bill. Experts say if you've been a good customer and don't usually go over your plan, as to have the fees waived.

Luckily Joshua's carrier said yes when he called, and he says they reduced his bill by 90 percent.

Early termination fees and late fees are also charges experts say you can try to negotiate.

To get the full rundown on cell phone fees, which carriers are charging less than others, and ways to save, visit cheapism.com and the Federal Communications Commission website.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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