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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Counting Pennies Really Adds Up...

I've been busy.

And I have been concentrating really, really hard on my class assignments.

Because of that, there are several things that just don't get the attention that they deserve.

For example...


Yes, I hate bills...

And one thing about bills is that it takes time to go over them.

Well today I was looking at my AT&T bill. Actually, it was last month's bill, but nevertheless...

At least I was looking at it.

Since this bill is paid as an automatic withdrawal from my account...

Sometimes close scrutiny is overlooked.

Today I discovered that there was a new charge on my telephone bill in the amount of $3.88.

It was for long distance service.

Not for a long distance call mind you...

It was a charge for the ~availability~ of the service.

I called AT&T and asked them why I had this charge on my bill.

There really wasn't an explanation other than it was a charge that the telephone company has decided to implement.

I told the service rep that I didn't want it on my bill.

I think she was shocked.

Why is that?

Is it because everyone just accepts the status quo and doesn't ask any questions?

Surely I'm not the only one who has called about this?!

The representative proceeds to tell me that I can have the long distance service removed but that there would be a $9 disconnect fee and, of course, I wouldn't be able to make any long distance telephone calls.

Can you believe that?

I have to pay a bogus fee to have their service removed?

I told her that I wanted it off of my bill and that I didn't want to pay for any services that I was not going to use.

I use my cell phone for all of my long distance telephone calls and I haven't used my "land line" for long distance communications in over seven years now.

The lady really couldn't believe that I actually wanted the long distance service removed.

It took a while, but I finally convinced her that:

#1. I refuse to pay for something that I am not going to use.

#2. That I was offended that AT&T actually has the audacity to a: bill me for un-used services, and b: bill me to have said services removed.

Of course the poor woman is required to up-sell their services to me, and she dutifully did her job.

I once again repeated my position and feelings about the whole situation to her and that I did NOT want to increase my telephone bill.

So... I will have to pay $9 as a one time fee in order to save $46.56 annually on my telephone bill (and that's not counting those unbelievable taxes either, so it will be well over $50/year savings).

Finally, I had "indoctrinated" my representative and I was finished telling her no, no, and no to all of those extra features.

I was ready to hang up the telephone when finally her 'light bulb' came on.

(Surely she must work off a commission or something.)

She said that they also had a new "pick and choose" package where I could maybe get the same exact services that I have but for less money.

I don't buy into their package deals, so I was paying for what I wanted separately.

Come to find out the ~new~ pick and choose package will save me about $5 a month (not counting those blasted taxes).


I am a happy camper now and AT&T will be getting more than $100/year LESS from me.


I hope you guys had a great Wednesday!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

AT&T is exactly why I cut my land line altogether. I was paying $48 a month for a phone that I never used and never answered even when it did ring. (my friends and family all knew better than to call me on that phone)

You wouldn't believe the fuss they put up over me wanting to cut off the land line altogether. It was pretty funny though. I've had cell only since May of this year and I love it. I really hated paying for something that I never used.

December 07, 2006 4:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you!

December 07, 2006 8:49 AM  
Blogger Sicilian said...

TJ. . .. AT&T took over SWBell here and within a month started charging me 2.00 a month plus taxes to have a line. I noticed the the difference in my bill immediately. I did not call, only because I knew what I would get. I have not gotten rid of my long distance yet mostly because I have had to fax both kids stuff while they are at school. It is the only reason I have kept a land line in the house. I am considering Vonage because it is 24.95 a month for unlimited long distance, but then again faxing is not allowed at that price.
I am so glad you took them to task. I may following behing very soon.

December 07, 2006 9:27 AM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Shelly...

I'm sure they made a big fuss over it all!

My land line is basically the "teenagers' phone" now. Which works out perfectly for us.

Hey Sue...

Been involved in any more "murders" lately?

;+ )

Hey Sicilian...

Same thing happened here about AT&T. They took over the SWB service in our area too.

Do you have internet at home?

You can send things as an attachment via e-mail. Heck, it would save you a lot of money in the long run just by running by Kinko's to fax an occasional item here or there. Kinko's in our neck of the woods is open 24 hours too!


December 07, 2006 10:31 AM  
Blogger Lea said...

Good for you!! Stick it to 'em!

December 08, 2006 5:48 AM  
Blogger Pattie said...

Oh that kind of stuff drives me insane! I think many of these companies are banking on the fact that folks just do not scrutinize their bills. That is horrible. My brother in law and sister in law actually don't even have a phone in their home anymore. They use their cell phones for everything now to avoid all the taxes and charges. We get our phone service through our local cable company now. The charges are much less.

December 09, 2006 8:04 AM  
Anonymous wolfbaby said...

ROLF if i they had cable internet service where i live i'd get ride of my land line in a heart beat... never really use it... well now i do for work *sigh* guess not anytime soon..ahh well.

December 11, 2006 5:48 PM  

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