logoGot the latest smartphone? Jodi, of Centereach, N.Y., doesn't. She says she has just an ordinary “old” phone that allows her to talk and send text messages through Verizon Wireless.

“My plan is for $59 per month, however, with all of the hidden fees it always comes in around $83,” Jodi told ConsumerAffairs.com. “I still paid it early this month but they slapped me with a $167 bill for overage charges!”

Jodi said the company was willing to credit her $41, but she thinks that's not nearly enough. Our advice is for Jodi to take her bill to a Verizon Wireless store and ask a customer service rep to explain to her why her bill is so high. If she doesn't have an unlimited text package on her account, text messages can really add up.

Out in the cold

Randy, of Honolulu, Hi., is another consumer having problems with a new, high-tech refrigerator.

“Our Kenmore Elite Trio Refrigerator, model number 59676593600, is stuck in defrost mode for the third time,” Randy said. “Sears replaced the touchpad twice, the defrost sensor and thermostat sensor once. We're waiting the two weeks till they come and the fridge is starting to stink. Any diagnostic codes so as to not be at the BlueGuy’s mercy, and actually know what’s failed?”

If anyone has a clue, let us know and we'll pass it on. If we were in the market for a new fridge, we think we would look for a stripped-down model with no bells and whistles. That way, there are fewer things to go wrong.

Your word against theirs

If you use an online travel site to book your travel, you might save a few dollars. Then again, you might not.

“I booked a vacation package, a trip for two to Las Vegas,” Jason, of Campbell River, British Columbia, told ConsumerAffairs.com. “One week before we were to travel my wife broke her ankle. I called to cancel the trip. The agent at Expedia told me that I would get a refund for the hotel because I called early enough. I was told I would receive a credit with the airline for the flight. I asked the agent if there was a reference number for the call and was told I didn't need one -- everything was canceled.”

Two months later Jason said he still had not received the credit. He called back and said he was told that he no longer would get a refund because he did not cancel the trip.

“After being on hold for 45 minutes, then being disconnected, I called back,” he said. “The new agent could not find a record of my call and we started over. After explaining again I was put on hold for 30 minutes then disconnected. I eventually was able to speak to an agent in the escalation department.”

But not only was there no recorded transaction, Jason said the agent told him the notes in the file said he didn't cancel. It's worth remembering that most discounted travel is not fully refundable.  That's one of the reasons it's discounted.  Next time, Jason should  look into optional trip insurance, which can pay all or part of the cost if you have to cancel your plans.