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My Search for a Lower Phone Bill

August 31st, 2006 at 03:35 pm

Today is one of those days I just want to yell at the top of my lungs. I got my Verizon phone bill today. It was like a slap in the face! Here I thought I had made a great decision that was going to save us money, but nope- I'm staring at a $100.00 phone bill. That includes our dsl, but $70 is just from the phone alone. I signed up for the new "freedom essentials" plan they just recently offered in my area. $50 to cover local & unlimited long distance plus caller id & other stuff. But I didn't account for almost $20 in fees & taxes.

That simply won't fit in my meager budget. So it's back to the drawing board I go- time to review my choices again. The problem is we've tried so many things with our phone bill that I'm frustrated.

In the past we've learned several things:
1) Long distance is a must for us
2) We really hate using 10-10 numbers & phone cards
3) Vonage works great but there isn't a local number, so we still need a landline
4) Using cellphones can be more expensive
5) Caller Id is something we really, really, really love & use all the time

I'm going about this smarter than before. I'm doing some serious searching and using my calulator to figure out what my bill would be after all the stupid fees. How low I can get my phone bill depends on if I can convince DH that we can try and do without caller id. I've come up with two options- both will use Pioneer for long distance that I found at lowermybills.com.


(BTW- Can anyone give me some tips on making my stuff like I have below line up right?)
Option A with Caller ID:
30.95 Local Pkg w/ features
3.25 Intrastate access
6.50 Interstate access charge
40.70
1.223% Fed tax
2.44 6% State tax
44.36
.19 Emergency Service
.69 Fed. Universal fee
45.29 Sub-total
29.95 DSL
2.70 Supplier fee
77.89 Total

Monthly Savings: about $20

Option B w/o Caller ID:
19.17 Basic Local Plan
3.25 Intrastate access
6.50 Interstate access charge
28.92
.87 ]3% Fed tax
1.74 6% State tax
31.53
.19 Emergency Service
.69 Fed. Universal fee
32.41 Sub-total
29.95 DSL
2.70 Supplier fee
65.06 Total

Monthly Savings: About $35

I'm opting for Plan B and just suffering without caller ID. I figure we can screen our calls other ways. Our phones have a "distinctive ring" we can set for numbers stored in the phone. We've never used it, but I'm gonna haul out the manual & check into it. Also we can let the answering machine pick-up first, but I don't like that idea. Or just simply hanging up or making an excuse. I don't favor that option either. But I'm willing to try if it'll save us an additional $15/mo.

The other thing I found is that Verizon offers 2 DSL speeds- the one I get is up to 3.0 Mbps for $30/mo. The have one thats up to 768 Kbps for $15/mo. I don't know how much the difference in speeds would be. It'd save us an additional $15/mo but I don't want to get stuck in a year contract and find out that it's not much better than dial-up.

3 Responses to “My Search for a Lower Phone Bill”

  1. Delshon Chestnut Says:

    Im not sure if you live in an apartment building but why dont you just offer internet service to some of your nieghbors and allow them to use your network. You can charge them lets say $25 a peice. I can assure you that
    there is some people in your building with laptops that are looking for a deal like that .

  2. faeanne Says:

    That's a great idea for people living in apartment buildings! But we own our own home so it's not an option for us. We lowered our phone to basic unlimited local with no extra features & switched to Pioneer for LD. Surprisingly my DH agreed to let caller id go without a fight- he understands that right now I'm trying to save money where we can. Thanks for the tip though- I definitely will pass it on to others because it's an awesome idea that most people wouldn't think of.

  3. Parnit Singh Says:

    use magic jack. Dont know if that is the best option for you, but they give u a local number with some things as well. You may wanna look into it. it's like 20 dollars a years. Yes, a year.

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