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August 13, 2011

Virgin Mobile overcharging you on your bill

TECHNOLOGY - Remember to check your bill. Your cell phone company may be defrauding you.

This doesn't just apply to Virgin Mobile customers either. Rogers, Bell, Telus, AT&T... they're all overcharging customers.

And there is a number of ways they do it.

#1. Company is Forgetful

You sign up for your phone and they "forget" to add a service you requested and then overcharge you that service. ie. You signed up for unlimited text messaging and they instead wallop you with extra charges for every text message, even though it supposed to be unlimited. See Virgin Mobile overcharging me for text messaging.

#2. Extra Fees

Charging you extra for 911, road side assistance, insurance, etc. Things you didn't even sign up for. ie. Bell Mobility is notorious for adding road side assistance to customers' bills without asking them, often adding it to people who don't even drive.

#3. Bogus Fees

These are things like "utility usage", "connection charge", etc. Anything that sounds "official", but they're not legally supposed to be adding to your bill.

#4. Faulty Math

If you've ever had this happen you know they're messing with you.

#5. Multiple Bills

Ever been on a group plan with family members? But for some reason they keep charging you separately straight to your credit card...

HOW TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST CELL PHONE COMPANIES

1) NEVER EVER GIVE THEM YOUR CREDIT CARD INFO. Always use online banking because at least then it forces you to look at your bill and know how much you're paying.

2) Remember to check your bill regularly if it looks like you're being overcharged. Look for anything suspicious.

3) When talking to customer service representatives make it clear you are not paying for their mistakes and demand retroactive changes / credits to your account. If they refuse to make those changes you know its time to start looking for a new company.

4) If you are forced to go look for a new cell phone company refuse to pay your old company anything until they fix the amount they were overcharging you. You may get a few calls from debt collection agencies, but you can explain to them you are not paying Virgin, Bell, Rogers, whatever one penny until they make retroactive changes / credits to your account. (If your credit rating is good a little dent will be worth it to stake a stand for your rights as a consumer.)

5) Remember that you always have rights as a consumer. Don't be bullied by the "big cell phone company". They're the one acting illegally, not you.

6) Organize a boycott on Facebook. Watch it go viral.

For more info check out the Ontario Consumer Protection website.

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