How We Lowered Our Cell Phone Bill By Over $100/Month – Part 1

This is a little three part series that details how we lowered our cell phone bill by over $100/month. It goes something like this:

  • Part 1 – Breaking Up With Verizon (this post)
  • Part 2 – I’m In Love With Ting! (tomorrow)
  • Part 3 – Glyde Smoothed The Way (the day after tomorrow)

20140211-195200.jpgBefore we go any further, let it be known that we have been ridiculously spoiled in the cell phone department, and by that I mean that our cell phone bill was actually pretty close to the “average American household”. (The average per line bill was $71/month in 2012, ours was $80/line for smart phones.)

We each have an iPhone 4S and have a shared plan that has allowed us more minutes, texts, and data than we could ever possibly use each month. And don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone. I use it for just about everything. From recording all my runs using RunKeeper, to getting paid for working out with Pact (FKA GymPact), to keeping on top of our finances on a daily basis with Mint, and a whole host of other apps. This little computer has become a sizable part of my life.

But for these luxuries, we have also been paying dearly…

The Details On Our Plan (And What We Actually Used)

 

  • 2 iPhone 4S
  • 700 shared minutes (used ~250 min/month including “free” minutes like mobile to mobile and nights/weekends)
  • 1250 text messages (used ~100 messages/month outside of iMessages that go through data plan)
  • 4 GB of data, 2GB data plan on each phone (used ~1GB per month across both phones)

For our usage patterns, this was the smallest plan we could have purchased, and after taxes and fees, we’ve been paying $160.73/month and were no longer tied down with a contract. But those giant bills had to go.

 

Breaking Up With Verizon

Dear Verizon,

We’ve had a lot of good times over the years. You gave Mr PoP his first gig in retail sales that led to a great career in B2B sales, and for that we’re really grateful. And back in 2009, you were the only cell phone provider that had a signal strong enough that we could use a cell phone inside of our house and allow us to cross Alligator Alley without dropping any calls.

What you lacked in customer service (and let’s be honest… you lacked A LOT in customer service), you seemed to make up for that in the fact that we had bars just about everywhere. And we paid handsomely to be able to use our fancy little iPhones wherever the heck we wanted.

But as time went by, that wasn’t really enough anymore.

The thing is, everyone else changed, but you haven’t. You’re still the same Big Red you always were. But in the meantime, your competition has gotten a lot better (and they now accept our fancy little iPhones), and we’ve gotten a lot smarter.

So we’re leaving you. Actually we already did. But – holy cow! – you didn’t handle it well.

Bitter to be losing us, you refused to prorate our last bill. You held down and LOCKED our phones making them unsellable for weeks. Your “customer service” agents locked us out of our online account, then refused to send us a copy of our last billing statement, telling us if we wanted to see a copy of it we’d have to drive to the nearest Verizon retail location and pay a service fee of $5. I think my favorite part is that you emailed me a link to my final bill, but have completely locked me out of the account so there’s no way for me to actually view it.

I spoke with at least 3 different customer service agents, both over the phone and using your online chat option and none of them were able to give me a straight answer as to when we would finally have you out of our lives forever. Ridiculous.

I’m telling you this to help you, I swear. Because those kind of moves just make you look desperate. And nobody wants to be with someone who’s desperate.

And so, Big Red. It’s over. For your sake, I hope you clean up your act, otherwise you’ll die a long slow death like other companies that didn’t adapt and thought they could just rape their legacy customers with high fees in perpetuity. *cough* AOL *cough* But we’ll no longer let you do that to us, and we’re spreading the word that others shouldn’t have to either.

Best Wishes,

Mrs PoP

 

Check back for tomorrow’s post to see what we think of our new beau, Ting!

 

Anybody else out there want to fess up to having a high cell phone bill? I know we can’t be the only ones!

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