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Get overage alerts from your carrier

Cellular overages have been a problem for a long time. You hear about people racking up bills of a hundred, a thousand or even a hundred thousand dollars thanks to roaming or just misunderstanding their plans.

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This problem is only going to get worse thanks to 4G smartphones. With 4G data speeds and high-definition online video, you can use your monthly data amount in a few hours if you aren't careful!

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission implemented a new industry standard automatic alert system. This is designed to help customers understand their plans so they don't rack up huge charges.

The new program won't arrive until later this year, though. What can you do to better track your plan in the meantime? Sign up with your provider to receive overage alerts.

AT&T

To check your voice minutes, simply dial *MIN# (*646#). For, data, dial *DATA# (*3282#). Both services send you a free text with your data usage. They're a little long to remember, so you might want to save them as contacts in your phone.

AT&T will usually send an alert when you reach 65 or 90 percent of your limit. It doesn't interrupt apps if you're using one, so you might miss it if you're playing a game or watching YouTube.

To see all of your information in one place, including texting data, log into your AT&T account. AT&T also offers a myAT&T app to monitor your usage from your phone.

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