Home > Maybe not a smart move to save $ on phone bill?

Maybe not a smart move to save $ on phone bill?

April 14th, 2012 at 01:55 pm

I was irked to see my AT&T phone/Internet bill today for $50. It went up by $5, and I never make long distance calls on it.

But it went up last month as well, and when it did, I spoke to customer service and she found a $5 promotion which she applied to the bill and said it was good for a year, so my bill was to go back down to $45 a month ($21 for the land line and $25 for the Internet).

That $21 a month for the phone does NOT include long distance, but it's been no biggie becus I've been in the habit of buying prepaid phone cards at about .03 a minute, and I figured it was cheaper to pay that only when I make long distance calls, rather than paying a fixed monthly fee when I really don't make a lot of long distance calls.

So when the bill went up to $50 again this month, I called to complain and she said oh, the person you spoke to last month probably didn't see that you're already getting a $5 loyal customer discount and you can't tack on more than one.

Then she told me about their Emergency use only plan, which is just $7.45 a month (compared to the $21 I'm paying now for the phone portion of the bill). With this plan, all incoming calls are free, as are local calls out, but any long distance calls I make are .41 a minute, which happens to be the rate I would otherwise be paying under my existing plan except that I use those calling cards with a toll free number.

So, not sure if this was the right move, but I went for the Emergency use only plan. I don't have a cell phone, so i might be restricting myself too much, but i really liked the idea of reducing a monthly bill by over $13 a month.

I specifically asked about the calling cards i use with the toll-free numbers, becus i rely on these to make any long distance call. She said with the toll free number they'd be charged at .03 a minute.

So yeah, it would be on top of the roughly .03 a minute i alreaday pay for the calling cards themselves, but i still think paying .06 a minute per call will wind up being cheaper than a flat monthly fee that's assessed whether i use the phone or not.

Put another way, i could make up to 450 minutes of long distance calls a month (7.5 hours x .03/minute = $13.50, using my calling cards) and still pay no more than i'm paying now, and probably less. I find it hard to believe I would spend that much time on long distance calls.

If I didn't have the calling cards to use for long distance calls it wouldn't make sense, so if that customer service rep was wrong about toll-free numbers being billed at .03 and i actually got charged at the .41 a minute rate, then I'd have to switch back. She said long distance is anything where you have to dial a 1 before the number. But you have to dial 1 before a toll-free number, but maybe that's different.

What do you think?

7 Responses to “Maybe not a smart move to save $ on phone bill?”

  1. Monkey Mama Says:

    IT sounds like a good deal! We have done the same most of the past decade or so. The most basic of phone service, and we use other long-distance deals. {Today we use our cells for long-distance, but for the longest time we had some 3-cents per minute type deal, and that was with using the long distance a lot since all our family and friends lived in another city, at the time}.

  2. rob62521 Says:

    It sounds like a good deal if you can continue to use the long distance cards.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Hmm, I think we could use a similar phone bill review.

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    I'd call back and confirm with another rep...just to have another opinion on the rate for the 800 number. However, it sounds like a much better deal than what you have been paying

  5. Swimgirl Says:

    Same here! Cheapest local phone option possible. We use our cell phones for long distance! It's a great idea!

  6. Looking Forward Says:

    Sounds better. Do you qualify for any discount program for low income?

  7. PatientSaver Says:

    No, Looking Forward, I don't, not with my assets.

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