In The Courts – vs. Cell Hell

Have you been ripped off by a cell phone company? You're not alone. A 2007 study by the Better Business Bureau concluded that cell phone companies were the subject of more complaints than any other business – more than the number of complaints about used car dealers and collection agencies combined.

Complaints from cellular consumers regarding billing errors, poor service, and unfair termination charges rank among the most numerous of the thousands of complaints Consumer Watchdog receives through its web site. As cell phones have become ubiquitous, the abusive practices of the carriers have become legion. Because cell phones are not subject to regulation, Consumer Watchdog's Litigation Project has stepped into the fray to defend the public. Here's where you can read more about three major lawsuits we've brought against cell phone companies:

* AT&T mergers with Cingular, and AT&T customers get hit with upgrade fees and poor service. More >>

* AT&T/Cingular promises rebates for phone purchases – but instead of cash, sends "rewards cards." More >>

* Nextel institutes "billing fee" and charges for spam text messages.

* Inphonics stiffs consumers on rebates, then declares bankruptcy after we sue.

Here are some of the cell phone company tricks and traps that Consumer Watchdog is currently investigating:

• Broken promises of low-priced monthly rates and calling plans.

  • • Misleading ads for special "family" or "unlimited calling" programs.
  • • Billed for unwanted text messages.
  • • "Signed up" and charged for service you never requested.
  • • Rebates you never get.
  • • Renewal of a cell phone contract for another year or two without your consent.
  • • Fees and other charges you never agreed to.
  • • Dropped calls, poor quality connections.
  • • Bills you can't understand.
  • • Can't reach customer service to correct mistakes.
  • • Company refuses to fix errors.
  • • Account cancelled because you "overused" an "unlimited" service.

• Have you experienced these or other cell phone problems? We want to hear about it – take a minute now to tell us what happened to you.