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Do You Really Want Those Services--and Fees?

Watch for hidden (or, at least, sneaky) charges on your phone, cable and utility bills.

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This story appears in the August 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

With five family members on my AT&T mobile phone plan, my monthly bill generally runs into the triple digits. But several months ago I noticed it was unusually high. I finally discovered the reason: One of us had inadvertently managed to sign up for half a dozen games, ringtones and other subscription services, adding more than $60 a month to our bill. After an hour on the phone with AT&T, we got the subscriptions canceled and the money refunded.

How could I have allowed this to happen? The truth, though I hate to admit it, is that I don't scrutinize my personal bills nearly as closely as my business expenses. I was too busy to notice that I was being charged for services I didn't want or need. And that's exactly what those mobile subscription services were counting on.

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