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Podcast 70: Avoiding Cell Phone Bill Shock, Michael Gikas

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Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Michael Gikas, Senior Electronics Editor at Consumer Reports about avoiding cell phone bill shock. Tom and Mike discuss Consumer Reports’ tips, such as monitoring your usage, adjusting your plan and even evaluating prepaid phone options.

Consumerism Commentary Podcast #70
Avoiding Cell Phone Bill Shock, Michael Gikas: S03E18 / 92

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Table of contents

[00:00] Introduction from Tom Dziubek
[00:31] Interview with Michael Gikas
[00:42] Cell phone bill shock
[01:13] The FCC cell phone bill survey
[03:29] Monitoring cell phone usage
[05:47] Adjusting your plan as needed
[06:45] AT&T’s new data service plans
[13:03] Using free texting apps on smart phones
[18:05] Blocking unsolicited text messages
[19:20] Prepaid phone options
[27:23] Talking to a customer service representative
[31:50] End

We always welcome feedback from listeners. If you have any comments for this episode or for any other, or if you have suggestions for future episodes, please leave us comments here or email us at podcast at this domain name.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published August 22, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar The Yakezie

Just got a new iPhone 4 myself yesterday. Don’t want no bill shock at the end of the month and will be checking my usage md way through the billing cycle for sure!

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avatar Anonymous

Good idea to check your usage online. I checked mine and found everynight at 1 or 2 AM there is a big data transfer. Really freaked me out. I called customer service and found out after an hour phone call that when you use data incrementally the billing isn’t noted at the time of use. The billing is transfered in bulk upload in the middle of the night. I saw data tranfers of 50000kb in the middle of the night when we are sleeping. I thought the phone was hacked . Later I found out this is completely normal. It still added up to my normal data usage. Freaky!

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avatar Jj

Valid points made…this can come as a real shock when you are on a tight budget and as a small business, have to have a cell phone. We, as a small business owner, have found switching to prepaid invaluable. The time and admin savings make such a difference before you even get to the monetary value. We now pay for what we use and I would recommend other businesses to seriously consider the swap! There is so much to choose from, do your homework and find what suits you best…we found StraightTalk at $45 unlimited minutes,text and web the best value for money. We are now also in control of what gets spent up front.

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