Beware of hefty fees before switching cell phone providers

Maybe you're considering switching your cell phone service.

Companies are offering hundreds of dollars if you make the switch.

Well, not so fast.

When Brittany Troescher decided to switch her cell phone provider, she thought no problem, since her contact ended a while back.

Then she received her final bill.

"Total with final charges, taxes, and termination fees, it was $534."

More than 500 dollars to switch!

"I thought, we just bought 800 dollar phones!" Brittany says.

So, she called her provider to say the termination fee was wrong and claimed her 2-year contract had ended.

"They said you're going to be month to month, we are going to put you on a lower monthly rate, and you won't get new phones."

The company had her bank account information and they took out an early release charge of $200 per phone.

After it was brought to their attention, the company investigated and refunded that money.

But it's a warning: Don't link your bank account to automatic payments. You lose a lot of control.

And check with your provider about any obligations before switching.

Also, not all phones work with all carriers.

So make sure yours is compatible or that you can get some trade-in value towards a new phone.

E-mail me with any consumer issue you have or "like" my Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about the issue there.

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