Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Unauthorized phone charges, recycling old cell phones, cars that lose value quickest

Phantom fees on phone bill

I'm finding fees added to my telephone bill for services I did not request. How can I stop this from happening?

When fees are added to your bill without your permission, it's called "cramming." These charges often are added to your bill by a third party.

The Better Business Bureau says some victims of cramming may have inadvertently signed up for a subscription service — such as for "free" ringtones or a daily joke or horoscopes — not realizing they'd be billed every month. Calling a psychic hotline or entering a sweepstakes can also lead to cramming. In some cases, the victim may just be an unlucky, random target.

"You might think that nothing bad can happen from giving out your telephone number, but you should guard those digits like you would a credit card or Social Security number," said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois.

Here are suggestions from Bernas:

• Keep a close eye on monthly statements. Anyone can become a victim of cramming, so monitoring your monthly bills is extremely important. The sooner you spot the charges, the sooner you can fight them.

• Know your rights. Contact your telephone provider to see if you can completely restrict third-party billing on your account.

• Know whom you can trust online. Before sharing any personal information online, always research the business with your BBB at www.bbb.org. File a complaint with the FCC for charges related to telephone service and FTC for all other cramming charges on your phone bill, if you can't resolve the matter with the phone company.

Find new uses for old phones

Where can I sell or donate my old cell phone?

There are a number of ways you can use your old cell phone to help someone else, including donating it to domestic violence or homeless shelters. They are sometimes made available to those in need for emergencies because even if they are not on a service plan, they can be used to call 911.

Some other possibilities include suggestions from Kiplinger.com, such as selling your old cell phone on www.flipswap.com, donating by finding a drop off location at www.recellular.com or recycling it at www.recyclewirelessphones.com.

For these and other tips, visit: www.kiplinger.com/columns/kiptips/archives/how-to-dispose-of-unwanted-electronics.html?si=1.

Sebring quickly loses value

What cars lose their value the fastest?

According to Yahoo Autos, the top five cars that lose their value the fastest are: Chrysler Sebring, Mercedes Benz S-class, Kia Sedona, Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis.

For more information, visit autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/1557/ cars-that-lose-their-value-fastest.

Q&A: Unauthorized phone charges, recycling old cell phones, cars that lose value quickest 12/30/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 30, 2010 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Two Kissimmee police officers shot to death

    News

    KISSIMMEE — Two police officers were shot dead in Kissimmee Friday night, Orange County mayor Teresa Jacobs said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of WESH.com
  2. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  4. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.
  5. Despite pain, woman in court faces ex-boyfriend who lit her on fire

    Criminal

    PORT RICHEY

    Sheron Pasco sat in the wheelchair as her mother pushed it toward the man in the orange jail suit.

    Sheron Pasco, 39, relies on the help of her mother, Tranda Webb, 62, as she recovers from the burns covering her body.