A good chunk of your hard-earned money goes to monthly bills, such as cable TV, phone service and more essentials. While there's no way to get these services for free, you also shouldn't pay more than you need to.
That's why we've told you in the past how to save on your cable bill and cellular bill by minimizing the services you use and taking advantage of special deals. However, your savings on any service can quickly disappear thanks to hidden fees you don't notice. Today we're going to tell you how to uncover these fees on two major bills and in your monthly bank statement.
There are a few different ways providers can sneak hidden fees onto your bill. They're usually labeled something generic like "special services," "Internet advertising," "service fee," "calling plan," or "minimum monthly usage fee." If you see any of these, call your provider.
Just say, "What is this charge, and why am I paying for it?" You might find out that they'll drop the fee to keep you as a customer. You might even discover an accidental carry-over from an old plan that was never cleared, such as a phone line that's no longer used.
You might also see fees for texting services that you were tricked into signing up for in the past. It could be a daily horoscope, dating advice or other "premium SMS service" charging $10 or more a month. This is called "cramming" and you won't see it as much anymore after major carriers got slapped with a huge $158 million fine from the FTC last year. However, it doesn't hurt to still keep an eye out for them.