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Bill Shock

Have you ever met Bill Shock?

Mr. Shock isn't a who – it's a what: bill shock is what happens when your family cell phone bill is much higher than it's supposed to

be.  Or than you thought it would be. For example, it can happen if your plan limits text messages to 500 a month – and you or your 

child send (and get) that many in a week.

There have been news stories about parents opening cell phone bills and seeing a balance of $18,000.  That's not a typo. 

Eighteen.  Thousand.  Dollars.  OK, maybe that doesn't happen most of the time.  But imagine having your child explain a $500

cell phone bill because they went a little over on the texting.

What can you do about bill shock?  Most phones or carriers have a way to track the number of messages you've sent -- and 

the number of minutes you've used.  Check your phone's manual, or the carrier's website, to find out how, and then check it!  There

may be a way to turn off the service when you reach your monthly maximum, or get a message reminder that you are close to your 


Look at the links under "Parental Control" and "Talking to Your Kids" about smart usage!

 Did you know?

Girls between ages of 14 & 17 text more than any other group of kids, averaging 100 messages a day.

Source:  Teens and Mobile Phones, Pew Internet & American Life Project, April 2010.