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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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.
The next time your phone, cable or utility bills arrive, take a closer look. You may be spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year for games, movies and interactive services you never asked to receive. These services often are bundled as part of premium packages or start as free trials that turn into paid subscriptions if you don't cancel them.