Tired of $200 phone bill!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by sigamy, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    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?
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    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.
  3. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    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. :)
  4. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Why can't the wife in question concentrate on calling after 9:00 PM and on weekends, or whatever the free hours are on your plan?
  5. sigamy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    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...
  6. ibook30 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2005
    2,000 light years from home
    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.
  7. vashim66 macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2003
    Why not get Vonage for phone service? and switch to cable internet to avoid having a phone line w/verizon.
  8. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    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...:(
  9. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2003
    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.
  10. quigleybc macrumors 68030


    Jun 17, 2005
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    I hear ya...

    I cancelled my home phone line to use the cell's as the primary phone...and then the internet people told me that without a land line, my DSL would go up in price by 1/2!!!


    So I did it anyway..

    When my plans end...I'm going Vonage...
  11. Danksi macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2005
    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.
  12. sphereboy macrumors 6502


    May 10, 2002
    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?
  13. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    Why not drop the home phone and use the cell phones exclusively? If you have Cable internet you can get VOIP pretty cheap too.
  14. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    Tacoma, WA
    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.

  15. dylomel macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2004

    i have used t-mobile, cingular (AT&T) & Verizon, so far I think t-mobile has the cheapest deal.

    T-mobile current promotion :
    $39.99 for 1500 Whenever minutes!!!

  16. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Why have you had to dial 911 so often? Seems a bit high to me, unless it involves your work.
  17. prostuff1 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2005
    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.
  18. macartistkel macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2005
    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!
  19. stevep macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2004
    Thats nearly 17 hrs of non-stop talking. About right for a female I'd say.
  20. OCOTILLO macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2005
    Houston, TX
    This is the first sensible post on this thread.
  21. floriflee macrumors 68030


    Dec 21, 2004
    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.
  22. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    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)
  23. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2003
    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).


    got by fine before cell phones, still getting by today. I do understand the appeal though...
  24. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005
    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

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