Last June, my wireless plan included myself as well as my daughter and my mother. A nice family plan that cost me $157 a month with a provider that shall remain nameless.
To my delight, my daughter told me she didn’t need me to pay for her any more and extracted herself from my plan. When my mom died last August, I was left a “solo” practitioner. The bottom line became $116 a month.
It seemed the perfect time to add my wife to my plan. After all, she was herself paying $111 a month with the same provider. Why should we each pay the same price when family plans are available? Off we went to the wireless store on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Do I really need to say how it went?
After an hour of discussion (following a 30-minute wait) in which the store rep got on the phone at length with the company—something I could have done myself from home—I got the bottom line.
It turns out that when I had been persuaded after my mom’s death to get a cheaper, all-access monthly plan rather than the family plan it seemed I no longer needed, the new cost of adding an additional line became $65, rather than $20.
Of course, none of that was explained at the time, and the “cheaper” monthly cost of the all-access plan was as savings of $10, apparently.
As a result, my plan requires me to pay $90 a month as a base price. Adding my wife’s line would be $65. Adding our two monthly phone payments another $54. Insurance, taxes, fees. The bottom line was $220 to $230. Just like what we’re currently paying separately.
The real kicker, though? When we told the store representative “thanks, but we’ll stick with what we have,” he apologized profusely—to the company person who was on the phone! What we got was an annoyed look.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. In dealing with utilities—there is no such thing as loyalty. I’ve switched car insurance companies twice in the past 10 years when costs rose for no apparent reason. I went from cable to satellite and back, and now I’m with streaming TV, in search of more reasonable cost.
So when my phone is paid off next year, I’m hitting free agency.