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Identify and Eliminate Hidden Fees From Your Bills

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Experts discuss how to avoid hidden fees in your bills.


Savings Experiment: Reassessing Your Bills Attention, savers. Here's a case where what you don't know can hurt you. Many companies will attempt to charge extra fees on your monthly bills, hoping to squeeze extra money out of you. Here's how to become a super sleuth and ensure that you're only paying what you owe.

Using sneaky tricks, companies may end up inserting an extra $350 per year into your bills through hidden fees. This method is called the cost creep. Providers start charging a little more every couple of months, hoping customers won't notice. If you see your bills increasing, call your provider and tell them that you've seen an unwarranted increase and would like your rates to return to normal.

Another trick is the zombie subscription. This is when a customer tries to cancel a subscription, but is charged for an additional six months while they "process" the change. Don't fall for this. When canceling, make sure you express that you want the request processed immediately, and mark the date of your call on your calendar.

The most important thing to do, though, is to examine your bills each month. If you see anything out of the ordinary, don't be afraid to call the company and complain. It can make all the difference.

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