15 most hated fees

Stand up to the pesky charges -- from checked-bag costs to retirement plan expenses -- that bug you the most.

11 of 15
11. Plunking down to hang up on your cell carrier
What it costs: $$$

What you're mad about: Agreeing to a cellphone contract is sort of like signing over your soul to the devil: You know there will be hell to pay if you break your end of the deal. In this case you'll owe $200 to $350. Such fees usually subsidize the cost of the handset you bought at a low price, says Bob Sullivan, author of Stop Getting Ripped Off.

How to fight back: Try to talk your way out of the fee, mentioning examples of poor service you've received (keep records and cite them). Customer rep won't budge? If you can stand it, stick with the carrier a while longer. Termination fees are generally pro-rated, so the longer you hold out, the less you'll pay. Next time consider a prepaid phone, which doesn't require a contract. It's generally a good deal if you use it less than 400 minutes a month during peak hours, says Sullivan.

NEXT: Paying the price when a fund balance dips
Last updated June 11 2010: 3:40 PM ET
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