Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Carefully scrutinize your wireless bill

Recently, I noticed a $1.99 data charge on my Verizon Wireless bill.  Since I don't use their Mobile Web, this was an accidental charge, or something else.  There are reports from the Consumerist blog that suggest Verizon may be levying these charges on a not-so-accidental basis, so naturally, I was a little perplexed.

Here is your mitigation strategy that worked for me: call or write Verizon (or your other phone provider) if something similar shows up, and ask for them to suspend data access.  Mobile Web, or other cell provider web service, is basically a joke anyway.  A really expensive joke.  To prevent yourself from accidentally using these services, or some unscrupulous practices on behalf of the mobile provider, asked to be blocked from them so you don't have to worry about future charges.  If you do see charges on your bill that you didn't make, be sure you ask them to reverse them.

The above advice works for any itemized bill with multiple charges.  Credit cards are an obvious candidate for scrutiny, too, but don't limit yourself to just bills.  Also check pay stubs, utility bills, anything that hits your wallet on a monthly basis.  Remember: a computer can add up numbers correctly, but it takes a human to enter data in the first place.