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U.S. Cellular adds overage protection service

The carrier's new service sends you a text message when you reach your monthly allotment of anytime messages.

In addition to releasing a new touch-screen phone this week, U.S. Cellular also added a new overage protection service for customers. It's a simple concept, but it should come in handy for chatterboxes hoping to avoid costly fees for going over their monthly anytime minutes. The service will work for your text message bundles, as well.

When your minute or message use reaches 75 percent of your monthly allotment, you'll get a text message advising you of the news. If you keep talking or texting, you'll get a second message when you reach your maximum number of messages and texts. You then can decide to put down your phone, change your plan, or suffer the overage fees. The service is free, but you must sign up for it by contacting U.S. Cellular.