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What to do if a prepaid carrier owes you money

If you look through the user reviews on our pay as you go cell phone providers, you might notice a theme of discontent. The reviews are usually well balanced between positive and negative in general, but there is a specific type of negative comment I’ve seen a lot of lately. Some people claim that a prepaid carrier owes them money for one reason or another — minutes balance not transferring is the No. 1 complaint, specifically. If you think you’ve ben wronged by a prepaid carrier and that they owe you money, you can send your dispute to the FCC. It’s a much better and responsive process than the Better Business Bureau.

To file your complaint, go to the FCC Consumer Complaints page. There you’ll select the wireless phone option. The billing, service, privacy, number portability and other issues option is probably what you’re looking for here, but this is a clearinghouse for all types of complaints.

The final step is to decide how to file your complaint. The easiest way is an online form, which you can access after you choose your complaint category. Just fill out the information and hit Submit. Otherwise, you can file by phone by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (225-5322), or snail mail or fax the form, which you can print out from the website.

Again, this is a bit more efficient a process than complaining to the BBB. I’ve rarely seen anything come of a BBB complaint, but I’ve had many a friend get a response from an FCC complaint.