Tuesday, April 08, 2008

March Wireless Bill

Last night while checking email, I saw my wireless bill. Pretty ordinary you might think--and normally I would agree with you. But this month has a been a bit hectic, with chasing medical insurance claims, trying to house hunt, and traveling for work.

My cell phone bill was twice it's normal amount. Painful.

I read through the log of calls and tried to reason out the charges, and unfortunately they all jive. My better half's and my family share plan consists of 700 minutes, with free in-network calling. Where the disconnect happened this month was on all the calls out-of-network. Proofing the reams of virtual paper showed calls to family, calls to real estate agents, and calls to medical insurance specialists. All of them non Verizon. All of them costing me my precious minutes.

Normal usage for Melissa and I over the past twelve months has been well inside the 700 anytime minute mark. Verizon doesn't roll over minutes, and this month we exceeded it by approximately 250 minutes. And that's billed at .45 cents a minute. Ouch.

So the question is do I bump our family plan up? It's really only an extra $20 a month for 700 additional anytime minutes. If I break out the overage charges by the additional cost computation, that's six months of potential service wasted on overages. Seems like a no-brainer when looking at it that way.

But is this month an anomaly? Traditionally, Melissa and I are within the 700 minutes our plan allots. Seems to me that this just might be the troll which hooks many a folk into biting on a more expensive plan. Unless of course we suffer through another month of the potential cancer-causing phonegluedtohead syndrome. Another set of overages will snap my theory of our trend usage right in half.

I am by no means independently wealthy. And an additional $120 heaved on the pile of monthly expenses is a tad frustrating. It fosters one of those "I just worked overtime for Verizon" sorts of thoughts. I suppose I will bite the bullet and go for the 1400 minute plan. I can make the adjustment with no extension to my contract, etc. Verizon is pretty decent about that.

I need to text more now--what a great price! 500 out of network text messages, plus free in-network texting all for the low monthly price of $10. With the sheer number of texts I send to Melissa and Dan, the primary recipients of my cellular shorthand, the .50 cents a message monthly fee is far far cheaper. if I break it down per text, it's about one fourth the .50 cent per message cost. That's a bit better.

Then again, I may skip the plan upgrade entirely. I may just go all Scrooge on the phone company. I could even go completely nuts and borrow other people's cell phones when I need to call out; impose a self-regulated wireless drought where I call out on my cell only on odd days and weekends. Never during the heat of the day, always from the lee side of a rock or shade of a copse of trees.

So if I don't answer your call, don't feel slighted. I may text you back, I might just write your message down and try to send a reply via carrier pigeon or bottle. At the very least I can try them face-to-face--have a half dozen conversations with you (all in descending chronological order) when I see you again. Just try to keep up eh? Remember I will be taking notes. So nobody plan on dying, having any children, seeing the virgin Mary, or having any experiences needing immediate feedback. I'll get back to you in 24 to 48 business hours.



Paul M. said...

That sucks. You know, when that has happened (at home or work) we've been able to call the provider and upgrade retroactively. My wife has a gift for getting favors from call-center employees, so our home plan they just forgave the entire overage when we agreed to upgrade the plan. At work, the guy agreed to cut the overage in half when we upgraded. Put on your nicest voice and give it a shot!

Jarubla said...

I just called Verizon, no dice. I can change the plan I am suscribed to within the billing cycle, but I am outside of the cycle by 5 days.

The nice voice route didn't work. I suppose I could have gone all ape poop on them, but I didn't try that either.

'S all good.

"Who are those guys behind me? Well, they's mah network!"


Shopgirl said...

We have this problem too, only we have a shared 2000 min plan because I can't stay under 1000 minutes...we need 1200-1400 minutes. I even use my fav's... I think I'm the one that needs so communicate via pigeon!

Shopgirl said...

I blame it all on my clients...it's not me! ;)

Michelle said...

yikes - that's no fun...chip and my cell are both verizon - we'll call you guys from our cells from now on, every little bit helps right? :)

ANDREA said...

ok- that last paragraph was hilarious. sorry about your phone bill woes. I am SO not a phone talker- text me sure. call me, nay. i dont know if its worth 20/month if you only go over once every loong while. i dont know...good luck jayruby