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Checking Your Phone Bill

Signing a contract for a postpaid mobile telephone plan is a significant financial commitment. Make your decision with the same care as you would take for any major consumer purchase. You also should review your monthly telephone bills just as closely as you review your monthly credit card and bank statements.

 

Companies compete for your telephone business. Use your buying power wisely and shop around. If you think that a company’s charges are too high or that their services do not meet your needs, contact other companies and try to get a better deal.

 

When reviewing your bill, the following points may help you to identify mistakes and to decide whether or not you are on the best plan for you.

 

  • Check that your telephone number(s) is on the bill. Sometimes it is not very clear, but it is worth checking because mistakes can be made and you can be billed for someone else’s calls.
  • Check what calling plan you are on. Companies change their plans from time to time, and the one you are on now may not be the one you originally signed up for. Is it the best one for you?
  • Check the number of “bundled” minutes that are included in your monthly payments.
  • Check the number of “bundled” minutes that you have actually used in the month. If this information is not shown on your bill, ask your service provider.
  • If the number of “bundled” minutes you have used is significantly less than the number included in your plan, you may be paying higher monthly charges than you need to. Consider moving to a plan with less “bundled” minutes, either with your present supplier or someone else. Remember, however, that your usage may alter from month to month and so it may be wise to check several bills before making a decision.
  • If you use all your “bundled” minutes and also have a charge for “Additional Minutes”, you may benefit from moving to a plan with more “bundled” minutes as “Additional Minutes” are often charged at a higher rate than “bundled” minutes. Before changing plans, you should verify with the supplier that your typical calling will be included as eligible "bundled" minutes.
  • If you have not used all your “bundled” minutes and have a large number of calls to subscribers on another supplier’s network, you may benefit from changing to that supplier yourself.
  • Many mobile handsets will keep an approximate record of how many minutes you use each month. Learn to use this feature so that you can check that the minutes you are billed for are approximately correct.
  • Check the details of your overseas calls. Do you remember making each call? Did it last as long as the bill states? Is the correct rate being used? Remember that mistakes can be made, and in addition there are many kinds of telephone fraud that can result in incorrect charges on your bill.
  • If you share your plan with other people, get the other users to carry out similar checks. If there are calls that none of you recognise, query them with your supplier.
  • Check that any balance carried forward from the previous month is correct. Have all payments that you have made since your last bill been taken into account?
  • If your supplier gives you “loyalty points”, have you received the correct number for the current month, and has the total correctly increased?

If you do not understand any aspect of your bill, or if you believe that there has been an error, take it up with your supplier. Although a telephone call or visit to their offices may be the best approach initially, if you do not get a satisfactory response, put your complaint in writing. If that does not work, please go to our "How to file a complaint" page and follow the proceedures outlined on this page.