t2

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

There Might Still Be A Better Deal

My kids have a schedule when they are at their dad's house and when they are at my house. They come home from school and get driven to either my house or their dad's house. Unfortunately because of quarantines and lock downs and things changing, there have been mistakes and sometimes the kids get delivered to the wrong house after school.

This isn't usually a problem because usually I'm home. Or if I'm not home, Lee is here. Because Lee is pretty much always here since he has school exclusively on Zoom. But recently there was an emergency when my 9 year old arrived home and there was no one else home. And while that shouldn't be happening and isn't anything I plan on happening on a regular basis, this emergency was made worse by the fact that we don't have a house phone. We used to but we never used it and then the phone broke and I just canceled the line since it was a waste here. But when Anneliese was home alone, not knowing where anyone was or how to contact them, that was a wake up call that we do need to have a phone available in the house.

We have a spare cell phone that the kids use for playing games, but it wasn't installed with Whatsapp since there was no sim card or phone number attached to it. I made an account for my kids after this for them to be able to use google hangouts to contact me or their dad in case of emergency, but I heard google hangouts is about to be canceled, so that won't last much longer.

I decided to get a sim card for the "house" cell phone to be used to reach anyone who is home if needed, and for anyone home to be able to call out, in emergencies. Or to be able to make whatsapp phone and video calls with that.

Today I called the cell phone company I've been with and been happy with, decent service, decent pricing. And I told them I wanted to order a SIM card with a line, the cheapest one they had.

The company representative told me that the cheapest line they had was $5.70 a month, and told me the specs of it. I asked him if that was the cheapest they had, and he said that it was. I mean maybe I should have been happy to get a cheap line anyhow, and $5.70 is cheap but I was sure there was cheaper. I asked again "Are you absolutely sure that there is no cheaper line available?" and he said he's absolutely sure. So then I asked again "Because I heard that there was a line available for $2.85 a month" (something that I knew from various frugal groups I'm in locally) and guess what? Such a line exists, but "It's not worth getting." I told the representative that he has no idea what I want the line for so how would he know if its worth getting at all, and he tells me "But it only has 100 minutes a month".

Dude.

That is all I need.

Why was he telling me that a cheaper line didn't exist? And that it isn't worth it?

Oh yea, that's his job.

And my job is to find out the cheapest plan that is available for what I actually need.

And I definitely don't need more than 100 minutes a month. I need a cell phone number. I need the ability to call it. (Free minutes.) And I need it to be available to call in emergencies. Which should definitely not be more than 100 minutes a month.

So that is what I ended up getting.

The cheaper option that "doesn't exist" but somehow suddenly existed once I called out the company representative.

If at any point I decide to have my kids take the cell phone out of the house for various reasons, and not just use it for emergencies, I may end up signing up for a more expensive plan. But paying extra for more services when I literally do not plan on them ever being used is just throwing out money every month, no matter how little extra it is.

This is now encouraging me to call back and ask about a cheaper option for my phone line, something a different representative told me "doesn't exist" but now that I know that someone else from the company lied to me, I'm going to try this one. And if they say there is nothing cheaper, I'll tell them I'm switching companies, and that usually gets them to offer something cheaper that wasn't originally on the plan.

I don't have wonderful advice for you on how to know if a representative from a company is lying to you about whether or not there is something cheaper, but I did want to bring awareness to the fact that there might be cheaper options that they tell you don't exist, but when called out on, they might actually share with you.

Have you ever had a situation like this, where you were told you were given the cheapest option, but somehow there was a cheaper option that wasn't offered to you even when asked? What did you do to finally get that cheaper price?

3 comments:

  1. Huh. Maybe I should find out if there's something cheaper for our landline (cells don't work where I live, but the phone company is making landlines more expensive and cells cheaper, sigh).
    But maybe there's a better deal out there. Hm. Thank you!

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  2. That's really horrible customer service and probably should have been brought to the attention of a supervisor. Working in customer service, in person and over the phone, for the city I live in here in Ohio, USA that would be totally unacceptable. You're right to talk to them about cheaper rates for your current plan. I'd mention this episode as well. And good for you for standing up and getting what you knew was cheaper. That's a good lesson for us all!

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  3. I have actually heard that you have to be very specific in your wording and ask for any unadvertised cheaper plan.

    ReplyDelete

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