Cell phone carriers' sneaky new fees hitting AT&T, Verizon customers

Cell phone companies always seem to offer great deals: Free phones, unlimited data, and all the texting you want.

But, if that's the case, then why do some monthly bills cost $100 or more? One reason: A new report says carriers have found many new ways to nickel-and-dime us.

Hey, what's this new fee?

In the past few weeks, people have been complaining about a little a new fee that AT&T is charging its wireless customers.

It's a new 61 cent a month "administrative fee." Nothing big, but, according to the blog How-to-Geek.com , it's just the latest fee that carriers are adding on to nickel and dime us.

The blog's list of sneaky cell phone fees include:

·         Administrative fees. Don't switch to Verizon to avoid this one, because they have the exact same charge.

·         Tethering charges. This charge is to use your wireless data plan on another device. This is essentially the same thing as mobile hotspot fees.

·         Mobile hotspot fees. These let you connect an iPad and other devices to your smartphone's data plan.

·         Text message fees. Why is messaging still being charged separately, when it could simply be part of our data plan?

International Roaming Fees

And, finally, perhaps the worst nickel-and-dime fee of all: International roaming fees.

If you don't check with your carrier before going to Mexico, Canada, or Europe, you could be the next person with a thousand dollar cell phone bill you weren't expecting.

How-to-Geek says carriers are free to charge whatever markup they want on international roaming – and they do.

My advice? If you hate all these extra fees, look seriously at prepaid, no contract plans, whether they're from a major carrier or a store like Wal-Mart or Best Buy.

They are cheaper, and often won't nickel-and-dime you.

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