Friday, June 6, 2008

Priced Out Of Life

Since the price of gas has started to rise; and food, and clothing, and every imaginable thing you could possible want to purchase (with the exception of SUVs I suppose), we have been tightening our belts. I sat to pay our phone bill today and found that even our bleeping phone bill has gone up by six dollars a month (excuse my "French"). That may not seem like much, but when you are on a budget, every penny counts.

So I called Verizon to find out why and a very nice man in India offered to lower it by a whopping two dollars a month, since I was one of their very "special" customers. PAH! Bag that, I am now on the hunt. I have learned from my very wise father that pretty much everything in life is negotiable if it involves a human being and so I am now looking for a new phone company with a much better deal. Here is the catch...

I have both my DSL internet and unlimited phone service (local, long distance etc.) through Verizon. Both services have gone up in price, so I would like to make a clean break from Verizon altogether if I can. I am quite willing to go with a VoIP, but I must have Internet service first.

So, any suggestions? Just for a pricing reference, I pay used to pay less than $100 a month for internet, phone and cable (we just have basic cable) and want to keep it that way.


TheTutor said...

Have you considered satellite TV and internet? I don't know what they run in your area, but basic satellite TV with DirecTV (we love them, btw) was $25 for the first year here. (If you end up getting DirecTV before the end of June, let me know and I'll refer you and we'll both get a discount.) We have really liked it and their customer service is excellent.

We also have satellite internet which we like. It costs the same or less as cable internet around here and runs at the same speed as DSL. (If you want to use something like Vonage, though, don't get satellite internet because it doesn't work. Ask how we know.)

The only negatives with satellite are that they don't work well in really bad weather, but we usually unplug our electrical equipment in storms anyway, so it's moot point for us.

We also went to all cell use on our phones. T-Mobile has great prices and family plans PLUS you can get a really basic plan with low minutes cheap then get a phone that connects to WiFi and make free unlimited calls over the internet. If you have WiFi in your house, you would get unlimited minutes calling from home. A friend of ours has tried it with our WiFi connection paired with satellite, and her connection was fine. The satellite going out in bad weather wouldn't be a problem because on those days you would just pay for your minutes and run off of the nearest cell phone tower.

We don't have the WiFi phone (it came out after we signed our contract, so we are saving up to switch when we can move to a cheaper contract), so we pay more than we would if we had a WiFi phone. For cable, internet and two cell phones, we have pay about $130 per month. Once we drop cable and switch to WiFi phones (assuming current cell prices), we will be paying about $90 per month.

It's amazing how expensive everything is getting, isn't it?

Renae said...

We don't have cable or cell phones. We pay $40 a month for a land line phone and DSL through AT&T/Yahoo. That might not help you, but we are content. :)

The Loose Moose said...

We are paying the following:

DirecTV $56/mo (you can get fewer channels for less money), reception problems are very very rare and have never lasted very long;

Time Warner Cable (internet only) $45/mo;

Home phone (ViaTalk - Voice Over Internet Protocol) currently $199 for 1 year - 2nd year free --> averages out to $8.30/mo - been with them for 2 years, great service and all the features you can think of (and a bunch you never thought of);

Verizon cell phones (2 phones - 700 shared minutes) $70/mo (with taxes $82/mo). I'd love to trim the Verizon bill. For the past 6 months we have averaged 212 min/mo with a max of 307 in December. Verizon is apparently now allowing family and friends (up to 5 phones) to share an account anywhere in the country and everyone can have a local number. May be an opportunity here to save some money.

Hope you can find a good way to cut your costs.

Mrs. Sam said...

In my country we have things called bundles where you get your wireless/internet/cable all in one for a better that an option for you?