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How to Check Cell Phone Records

Michael Kwan
Checking a cell phone bill

In order to keep your expenses in check, it is important to know how to check cell phone records. Just as you should be keeping track of all your other bills, from the mortgage to Internet service, including your cell phone expenses as part of your monthly budget only makes sense.

Looking for Errors, Overages and Other Charges

Many people pay their bills without taking a second glance at them. They assume that the charges are correct and that they should pay accordingly. While it is certainly prudent to pay all your bills on time, in order to avoid late fees and other troubles, this does not mean that you should pay your bills blindly.

Regarding how to check cell phone records, it's important to note your usage patterns. If you find that you are making most of your calls in the evening, it may be worthwhile to look into cell phone plans that include unlimited nights. This can represent a significant savings over paying for each minute individually or taking them out of your monthly bucket. If you are consistently going over your monthly allotment, it may be a good idea to inquire about changing your cell phone plan. Yes, it is possible to change your plan even if you are in the middle of a contract.

Even if you have a plan that is suitable to your needs, there are other reasons why you would want to check your cell phone records. For instance, it is not out of the ordinary to discover errors and unexpected fees that have been added to your bill. You only have a small window in which to dispute these charges, so be sure to check every bill every month for any mistakes that your wireless carrier may have made. Did you really make that 20-minute long distance call to Paris? Is that the correct long distance rate?

How to Check Cell Phone Records

Usually the easiest way to check your cell phone bill is to have the physical cell phone bill in front of you. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the layout, where the information is placed, and how you should go about reading it. Review how the minutes were used, if you had any overages, and if you were charged any additional fees that you did not know about.

If you do not have a paper bill, you can usually log into your cell phone provider's website using your cell phone account. Most carriers, like Fido and T-Mobile, have an area on their websites where you can log into your account and check many features regarding your account. For how to check cell phone records, look for an area where you can look at past bills. The online versions of the bills are usually quite similar to their paper counterparts and you may even be able to download a free PDF version to print, should you so desire.

It is also very much worth noting that some carriers may charge you an extra fee for what is known as detailed billing. Instead of simply providing your aggregate usage, detailed billing will list every phone call you made, the number that was called, how long the call lasted, and other pertinent information. This can be very useful for tracking your phone usage and, in the instance of concerned parents, it could be a good way to know if your children are chatting with people that they should not.

Requesting Other People's Records

Due to privacy laws and other legislation, it is typically not possible for the average citizen to request the cell phone records of another private citizen without their consent. The exception comes with some government officials, law enforcement agencies, and other security personnel that may be able to access that information, possibly under the Patriot Act.

If you want to check the cell phone records of your ex-spouse, for example, you'll need to ask him or her first.

How to Check Cell Phone Records