Tired of $200 phone bill!

sigamy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 7, 2003
1,300
2
NJ USA
Man these Verizon guys have us good. They are laughing all the way to the bank. I hate the phone. I never use it. Don't have much to say I guess. My wife lives on the phone.

Home phone (unlimited calling and tons of extras): $55 + fees = $75
Wife's cell (1000 minutes): $70
my cell (don't know why I have one): $10
DSL: $32

Total: $187 and there are other taxes/fees/screwings that I'm probably forgetting here. This is $2200 a year! When everyone was yelling about gas prices I was asking them how we all afford $50/month for cell phones. We didn't have cell phones 10 years ago and we all survived. This is nuts.

I just switched from the $55 plan to a $40 plan on the home phone. Need to get the wife to lower the cell minutes. Maybe I'll even drop the DSL to 768k for $15/month.

Can someone tell me why Broadband costs have been cut in half in the past 3 years when traditional voice dialing, which has been around for 100 years, is now outrageously expensive?

Are any of you using your cell phone as your primary phone? Anyone over 30 doing this?

Vonage isn't an option because I'd either need another line for DSL, or lose my phone number, or switch to cable modem. None of these are cost effective in the end. (I'm on DirecTV right now so cable will screw me.)

Anyone with me? Or am I just a dinosaur?
 

miloblithe

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,076
28
Washington, DC
I'm 32, and I have no home phone. My wife and I just have the cell phones. I can't really think of much of a reason to have a home phone at this point. That's your biggest expense, so I'd dump that.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
15,925
1
Portland, OR
miloblithe said:
I'm 32, and I have no home phone. My wife and I just have the cell phones. I can't really think of much of a reason to have a home phone at this point. That's your biggest expense, so I'd dump that.
If his wife lives on the phone, then his cell phoine costs will go up drastically without a home phone. I'd secretly swich my wife's phone to a pay as you go service. :)
 

sigamy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 7, 2003
1,300
2
NJ USA
yellow said:
If his wife lives on the phone, then his cell phoine costs will go up drastically without a home phone. I'd secretly swich my wife's phone to a pay as you go service. :)
Not only that, but I'd have to keep a basic "standard" phone line at the house for DSL. I'm sure Verizon will want around $25/month for that so you are right back into the area where it just isn't cost effective.

For me, the real solution is to dump the cell phone. It's just not going to happen though. It would be like asking me to go back to dial-up. We are just so used to the convience.

Guess I need to look at other ways to save money...
 

ibook30

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2005
815
3
2,000 light years from home
sigamy said:
Not only that, but I'd have to keep a basic "standard" phone line at the house for DSL. I'm sure Verizon will want around $25/month for that so you are right back into the area where it just isn't cost effective.

For me, the real solution is to dump the cell phone. It's just not going to happen though. It would be like asking me to go back to dial-up. We are just so used to the convience.

Guess I need to look at other ways to save money...
there's a lot of competition in my area for broadband / cable / and phone service. It has driven the prices down. I look forward to renegotiating all of these services now that there are 2 or 3 companies offering in the area. Perhaps look around and see if there is competition for theses services in your area - then attempt to renegotiate.
 

vashim66

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2003
98
0
Why not get Vonage for phone service? and switch to cable internet to avoid having a phone line w/verizon.
 

ziwi

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2004
1,087
0
Right back where I started...
Verizon Freedom Essentials - $39.99 - Includes unlimited local, regional and long distance calling in the U.S. and Puerto Rico plus 3 popular calling features. (Caller ID, Call Awaiting and Voice mail)
It is a little more than the internet phone, but it also has the emergency number availability all the time for people that may need it. That has been the drawback of the just internet or cell folks - the 911. Power out - can't do it on the internet, cable or DSL out same - for the Cell the localization ofthe call is not available for all yet - gps for 911 is going to be there for cells in the futute to make this a viable option...

With this plan - my cell phones are now the problem...:(
 

ColoJohnBoy

macrumors 65816
Mar 10, 2003
1,129
0
Denver, Colorado
Why not give a big, hearty "Screw You" to Verizon and switch to T-Mobile? Better phones, in my opinion, and I pay $50 per month for 1500 minutes, nights and weekends, no roaming or long distance, and 400 text/picture messages a month. That's inclusive of tax. Sorry to sound like an ad, but after Cricket and Nextel, T-Mobile is near-perfect. :D

And like miloblithe, I only have a cell phone, no home phone, and everything works fine.
 

Danksi

macrumors 68000
Oct 3, 2005
1,554
0
Nelson, BC. Canada
If you don't use a cell phone very often, then pay as you go is a good option (divide the initial cost of pre-pay phone etc by at least 12 months)

Both my wife and I like mobiles for convenience. We switched from contract (~CDN$35/mo) to pay as you go (~CDN$5-10/mo) average. I went with Rogers and since they're GSM, I managed to re-use my UK phone and just buy a pre-pay SIM card to stick in it.

For the home phone, we switched our long distance provider to YAK, killed our call display, voicemail (bought a CDN$30 digital machine instead), line waiting etc, which made a big difference as well.

We killed our Cable TV as well since we don't normally watch it (although we still receive the channels!) - that's another big cost saving.
 

sphereboy

macrumors 6502
May 10, 2002
301
0
MIAMI.FL.USA
VOiP - 20bux
Cable Broadband - 45bux

cant beat that. throw in a cellphone your all set

Cingular rollover minutes work well too. If you have a slow month, the leftover minutes carry over. Control the wife man! All the minutes she wants now, wants next?
 

savar

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2003
1,954
0
District of Columbia
sigamy said:
Home phone (unlimited calling and tons of extras): $55 + fees = $75
Wife's cell (1000 minutes): $70
my cell (don't know why I have one): $10
DSL: $32
Why not drop the home phone and use the cell phones exclusively? If you have Cable internet you can get VOIP pretty cheap too.
 

saabmp3

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2002
868
0
Tacoma, WA
ziwi said:
for the Cell the localization ofthe call is not available for all yet - gps for 911 is going to be there for cells in the futute to make this a viable option...

With this plan - my cell phones are now the problem...:(
E911 for cell phones is almost universal now. If you don't have GPS built in (nearly all phones in the past 18 months have it) then it'll still work. I've had to call 911 from 8 different states, everytime I've been put through to the correct authorities.

Ben
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
saabmp3 said:
E911 for cell phones is almost universal now. If you don't have GPS built in (nearly all phones in the past 18 months have it) then it'll still work. I've had to call 911 from 8 different states, everytime I've been put through to the correct authorities.

Ben
Why have you had to dial 911 so often? Seems a bit high to me, unless it involves your work.
 

prostuff1

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2005
1,484
18
Don't step into the kawoosh...
I would say drop the cell phones and force the wife to ues the home phone. If she is using 1000 min a month that is more than the neseccary calls. I would drop the cells and force her to use the home phone. My other suggestion is to get a phone card, from Sams or someplace, and use that for long distance. That is usually cheaper then paying the long distance call fees.
 

macartistkel

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2005
521
0
Portland, Oregon
Oh I was so amazed to see this thread this morning...about 5 minutes ago I just got off the phone with Verizon bitching them out because I had a $1,000 phone bill this month :eek: The rep just kept telling me that I was wrong and I went over like 2500 peak minutes...but I actually talked less than I ever have this last month AND out of my entire life I have NEVER went over that much on a phone bill (and I have had some HUGE phone bills in my life! :D )

Anyway, I have used only a cell phone only for the past 5 years and no land line! Thats the way to go in my opinion!

Oh and I got the bill worked out too----my data connection (cause I have a Blackberry) was turning on at times and running for like 711 minutes at a time! THAT was their ERROR and Verizon is changing it for me thank goodness!
 

floriflee

macrumors 68030
Dec 21, 2004
2,707
1
How much talking does your wife do during the day?? I have Sprint for my provider right now, and opted for the 7PM-7AM night and weekends plan. The extra $5 a month is well worth it since I don't really talk on it a whole lot during the day and think that waiting until 9PM to use my night&weekend minutes is just bogus. With that option I could go to a much lower "anytime minute" plan for a fraction of the price and still talk to people at a reasonable hour.

At the very least are you guys using the same service plan so you can at least enjoy something like the "Family Talk" plan or the "Mobile-to-Mobile" plan so that all your calls to each other and those within the same service provider network don't take any up of your minutes? That would feasibly let you go to a cheaper plan.

I don't know what it's like with Verizon DSL and phone service, but I know that with our Comcast service we actually got a better deal on our internet if we had both cable and internet through them (overall cost for both was lower than the cost of internet alone). Do they offer some kind of package deal? If not, I'd forget the land line. My husband and I didn't have one for the longest time and were just fine without it. We only have it now because I now work from home (can't complain about it since my company pays for the line, but I sure do get a lot of telemarketer calls and wrong numbers).

If that doesn't help then the next best thing to do would be to start looking for other ways to save.....
For example:
-cut the heating/cooling bill with better insulation and/or lower/higher thermostat temp
-shower together to save on hot water (hahaha)
-get better energy-efficient appliances
-turn off the lights and electronics (TVs, receivers, etc) when not using them
-read a book rather than watch TV
-play board games rather than PS2
-cancel unnecessary gym and club memberships
-exercise at home
-coupon clip and buy things on sale
-eat at home
-rent movies rather than go to the cinema
-buy staple and non-perishable items in bulk
-make a meal plan each week and buy only those things you need for the planned meals
-cut down on unnecessary material purchases, or at least budget for them (i.e., the latest and greatest clothes, shoes, electronics, etc.)

Just a few suggestions.

After the cost cutting the next thing is to get a better paying or another job. :D

Edit: Oh yeah, one other thing that we've done is discovered the world of video iChatting. That way we don't have to use minutes talking with family. Just another way to save a few minutes on your plan and some time.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
sigamy said:
Can someone tell me why Broadband costs have been cut in half in the past 3 years when traditional voice dialing, which has been around for 100 years, is now outrageously expensive?
Because it used to be that the telco in your town was a monopoly - you had to connect through them, and you had to use their long disitance. The Long distance tolls subsidized the basic connection. Then the industry was deregulated, and bulk resellers of long distance entered in competition. THe basic connection lost the subsidy (cause its not the connect company any more that's getting the majority of the LD revenue). So your basic connection has gone up in price, while the telco at the same time want to lard on the options so the get the money that they lost to LD services (and now, IP telephony)
 

mkaake

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2003
1,153
0
mi
what I do won't work for many, but I'll still post it...

land line - 25/month (no frills - I can find out in about 2 seconds who's calling me, and I have an answering machine... and I don't need to take a second call while I'm already talking to someone...)

dsl - 15/month

sams club calling card for long distance - 2.9 cents a minute (or something along those lines), and it helps keep the wife in line on her minute usage.

Throw in some nice VOIP for family chatting, and there you go. I've found I'm quite content to *not* have a cell phone with me all the days of my life. Driving is a peacefull affair, when I know I'm alone with my thoughts, and I never have to remember to turn it off for meetings (or watching a movie).

*shrugs*

got by fine before cell phones, still getting by today. I do understand the appeal though...
 

Timepass

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2005
1,051
0
mkaake said:
what I do won't work for many, but I'll still post it...

land line - 25/month (no frills - I can find out in about 2 seconds who's calling me, and I have an answering machine... and I don't need to take a second call while I'm already talking to someone...)

dsl - 15/month

sams club calling card for long distance - 2.9 cents a minute (or something along those lines), and it helps keep the wife in line on her minute usage.

Throw in some nice VOIP for family chatting, and there you go. I've found I'm quite content to *not* have a cell phone with me all the days of my life. Driving is a peacefull affair, when I know I'm alone with my thoughts, and I never have to remember to turn it off for meetings (or watching a movie).

*shrugs*

got by fine before cell phones, still getting by today. I do understand the appeal though...
I going to guess that ever week or 2 weeks there is a time when you wish you had a cell phone on you to make a call. Yeah I have a cell and I carry it on me quite a bit. (it doubles as my personal phone) But basic in a month think about the number of times you wish you had a cell phone then mulitplay that number by 10 and that how many times it would really be nice