You have the ability to find out exactly how much wireless service you’ve used and what it’s costing you, anytime you want.
All of the major cellphone companies offer tools to help you manage your wireless use — make sure you use them and avoid any unnecessary surprises! They include such capabilities as:
- Checking your monthly use on the web.
- Dialing shortcuts from your mobile device.
- Using applications downloaded right to your smartphone.
- Signing-up for usage alerts via text message.
- Establishing a monthly cut-off limit on calling, messaging or data.
Go to your wireless carrier’s web site to see the specific tools they provide to help you stay on top of your account.
No one likes to pay more than they bargained for on their monthly cellphone bill, so we encourage you to use those tools to keep track of your monthly use to prevent unwanted overage charges. We’d also like to let you know about some of the options available to you.
Some other things to consider…
Before You Travel Abroad
Even though many companies will alert you to local rates or prompt you to call customer service when you arrive in a foreign country, it’s always a good idea to make sure you understand your plan – this includes calls, texts, and data/Internet usage – BEFORE you go abroad. Call ahead to check rates and availability!
Most companies offer you:
- Resources on their web site including information on where to get the best international voice and data rates, and also tips and tutorials for what you can expect while traveling.
- The ability to temporarily shut off your data service in order to prevent international data roaming.
- Mobile Apps to track international use in real-time.
Stay On Top of Your Family Plan
If there’s more than one person or one line represented on your monthly wireless bill, chances are it is increasingly important to you to keep track of your family’s wireless use to prevent accidental overages.
Many wireless carriers provide plan monitoring tools that let subscribers:
- Set limits on allotted minutes, messages and downloads each month.
- Set voice and messaging allowances.
- Receive free text alerts when a family member nears or reaches their limits.
- Create a list of blocked numbers to prevent unwanted calls and messages.
- Set specific times of day when a family member can’t call, message or use data on their cellphone (but calls to other account/family members and Emergency 911 are always allowed).
You can’t be surprised if you pay up front! And, in addition, many prepaid carriers give you tools to check your use online and give you the option to buy more minutes. About 20% of wireless subscribers (which is about 58 million of the total 292 million wireless connections) are choosing this option since there are now about 30 different carriers with varying and competitive plans from which to choose to best suit your needs.
Check with Your Provider
Rule #1: It’s always easiest to check directly with your provider — check your monthly use on the web, by dialing shortcuts from your mobile device, or by using applications right on your smartphone. If you haven’t done so already, go to your service provider’s web site and find out exactly what they offer.