Getting Hard To Save Money

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by NetBrakr, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    Here is what I got.

    Landline Phone - At&t
    Wireless Phone - At&t
    DSL - At&t
    Satelite TV - DirecTV

    I wonder if I can somehow bundle them...but the question is how much would I saved.
     
  2. brickman65

    brickman65 It's a state of mind..

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    I would think you could. It is certainly worth a call. Google U-verse to see if it will help you.
     
  3. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    I just dumped our landline. At&t took a full week to repair it. In the meantime, I picked up an Ooma box and we have been making calls all along. Now I haven't gotten around to shutting the line off just yet. You have to call between 8 and 6 Monday through Friday to remove service. You can add services and features 24 hours 7 days a week but to reduce or stop service you have to call during those rather short hours. I've set aside time tomorrow to call and strip most services from our lines if not shut them off completely. Right now our landline calls are forwarded to our Ooma box and it feeds VOIP to all the former landline phones in the house. 12 of them. Pretty nice. Calls are (mostly) free. I can call china for 3 cents a minute but watch out as mobiles cost 60 cents a minute. Hey, at least I'm not paying $2 a minute using At&t. I also picked up a 1000VA battery backup that should keep the cable modem and Ooma box alive for up to 6 hours during a power failure.

    The only reason I'm not pulling the trigger on porting our land lines to Ooma is I'm also considering Obi/GoogleVoice or Obi/Skype. The problem with GV and Skype is there is no 911 service. Another problem is there is no direct way to port a land line to GV. You have to stop off at a cell number on the way which adds about $45 to the process. Ooma charges a whopping $250 for a box up front but the service is "free" (about $3 a month) after that and 911 works as you would expect it to. Ooma charges $40 to port a land line but it's free if you sign up for their $10 a month "premier" service that includes things like a second phone line. Heck a second phone line on At&t will set you back 15 bucks or more. I have heard you can get Ooma boxes cheaper if you're willing to shop around, ie $180 at Costco. I needed one right away as our home phone had stopped working or I would have use mail order and saved even more.

    There is no reason for any person to own a POTS land line right now.

    I got my first At&t wireless bill with all 4 lines. It was huge. Apparently At&t's computer had a brain fart. They actually called me to explain they were adjusting the bill. Whew. If I'd seen an auto payment for that amount, I might have taken back those 3 iPhones and let the kids wait another month for iPhones on Tmo.

    Another place to save money is Comcast. Call and ask about any promotions. I'm on one now because they couldn't find a box that worked and went through 6 boxes. Yes SIX boxes before they finally found one that worked. I called and complained. They offered me free premium channels which I explained I didn't want or need so they lowered my rate.

    Another good place to save money is the light bill. We have kids. Making them shut off lights is a losing battle. About 3 years ago, I caught Al Gore on TV talking about the evils of incandescent light. I was impressed with the numbers he quoted so I embarked on replacing all my light bulbs with CFL. My electric bills went down by 1/5 to 1/3 depending on the time of year. It was that much. I also have a few LED bulbs but I'm holding off because they are too expensive and too inefficient (only about the same as CFL). The LED and CFL use about 1/5 the power of a regular bulb so they don't burn hot but why should I pay $40 (LED) for something I can get for $2 (CFL)?


    Netb, I think Uverse could help but don't get the phone part. Just get the TV and Internet part and pick up a VOIP adapter. AT&T provides a battery backup if you use Uverse voice but they overcharge for it so get your own battery backup and a skype/obi/ooma box and you'll come out better. BTW, Vonage isn't worth looking at right now as they are only about $10 cheaper than At&t.
     
  4. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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    I was just discussing Ooma with my brother, today. Had you considered Magic Jack?

    EDIT: most places I've checked shows Ooma box for around $200. Costco includes the Bluetooth adapter.
     
  5. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Magic Jack requires an intel mac or pc. I didn't want to devote one of the "good" macs to magic jack. A UPS can keep an ooma box, airport extreme and cable modem going for six hours but add an intel mini and you are looking at 90 minutes... Maybe.
     
  6. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    Hmmm...as of now, here are the bills.

    $30 - DSL
    $70 - TV (DirecTV Choice Xtra)
    $25 - Phone
    $140 - Wireless Phones

    If I get U-verse TV and Internet, the cost will be $64...but it's only good for 6 months, so after 6 months it will be $107.
     
  7. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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    My Qwest land line costs $45.61/month with all taxes and fees. The only feature we've added is Caller ID, which my wife seems to require. In addition to the $15.99 basic service, there's a $3.99 domestic plan (long distance) fee and $2.00 instate plan fee. I've never really understood those additional fees and have tried to have them removed. The $15.99 is supposed to work for unlimited local calls (and faxes). Why the add'l $5.99 for something I don't use?

    I'm lucky, my broadband is pretty good and is only about $15/month (<3 Mbps download). TV is over-the-air. I pay $30 + tax (~$34)/month for wireless phone and my wife's plan is (mostly) paid through work. There's a good chance my wife will get an iPhone, which will add about $30 to our monthly bill, but I'm okay with that.
     
  8. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    [OT]
    And there are still those who wonder why am I still single? :D :D
    [/OT]
     
  9. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    Considering what parts of the country just went through, I think it's a bit precipitous to say 'there's no reason for a POTS line.' Sorry; but if you have the cash, you would be foolish NOT to have one.
     
  10. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Careful. Those prices from At&t don't include taxes and fees. They make up quite a few creative fees so that $107 will probably be more like $130. Still that's less than what I'm paying Comcast right now (closer to $150) but Uverse doesn't work here for the same reason my landline keeps breaking down. If Uverse worked here I would have it by now as Comcast is horrid to deal with. The channels we pay for keep going in and out of reception like the days of rabbit ears on analog TV. I need Fred Sanford and "Dummy" to stand there and hold up a coat hanger with tin foil so I can watch any channel above 60.

    As for whether you do or don't need a land line, it varies by location. If you have a land line and high speed internet by all means dump the land line. The same can be said you have a land line and good cell reception in your house. Just be careful about voip providers as many of them don't provide E911 service so you might find yourself looking up the number on the internet so you can dial the non emergency access to your local police dispatcher so you can tell them somebody is having a heart attack. Just remember there was an era when there were no cell phones and no 911 either. People somehow managed to stay alive back then.

    I took step 2 in dumping my land line today. I called during At&t's silly short business hours to terminate one line and move the remaining line to their lowest "plan" and it is still going to cost me $33 a month. I was paying an average of $84 a month for two lines. To me this is a compromise. I want to see how well the VOIP works through the "bad weather months" before porting my number from At&t local phone service to Ooma (or whoever I wind up with).
     
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