Really review your bills and KEEP your receipts

As you may have heard I have been trying to reduce our bills, I called insurance and got quotes.  I checked out other cable and phone providers and I checked out other services for our cell phones.  One of the things I have done thus far is change over our phone and internet provider.  Today I got a bill from the past provider and was surprised to learn that they charged us another month for the cable and phone, also they charged us for the modem which they never retrieved on the sixth of March as they were supposed to.  I honestly had forgotten all about it.  I work from home as a recruiter and it took about an hour for them to connect the new service so I did not have time at that very moment to make a call and ask why they had not come for their equipment.  It sat on my desk from that day to this and I didn’t think another thing of it.  Also I THOUGHT the internet service would have been disconnected so it being connected to my old wireless router didn’t seem a concern anyway.  The day my new provider came I connected my computer to it and later when I got my new laptop I connected that as well to their wireless.  When I called I got a nice man who said that they would refund the charges they had placed on my account and then I asked what my bill would be from now on and was told just for cable it would be 119.00.  WHAT!  One hundred and nineteen dollars a month to watch television every month seems pretty steep. That is $1428 a year!  So when I got off the phone I talked to my husband about it and we decided to go down in package and get rid of the DVR.  I called back and got a woman on the phone and asked if while they were picking up the modem equipment on Monday could you also pick up the DVR while you are here.  I was on hold forever and she was having all sorts of issues in changing the order etc and then she told me that I should not have received a credit for the internet that the other gentlemen had given me because the internet had been used.  YUP, someone had accessed my wireless at some point and did some downloads.  This woman put through the order for pick up and for the change in service for the cable but would not give me that credit.  I did in that conversation learn that I was being charged for ANOTHER box that they had picked up from us on February 8th so I did get a credit for that.  I asked to put through to technical support to ask if there was a way to prove I had not used their internet services in that time, that I personally had not done a download in that time. He told me there was no way for them to tell that however he did note the huge difference in usage from the month before and that basically there were just a few downloads for the month which to him suggested I was not regularly using that.  No one uses one modem and then switches to another just for one download so it did not make sense.  He went to his supervisor who pleaded my case to the customer service supervisor and in the end I got the credit.

My point though is you REALLY have to pay attention to your bills and what is on them.  We didn’t even notice last month that they had not removed the billing for the box that was picked up from us in the beginning of February.  I have heard of people getting small little $1.00 charges on their credit cards for months and not noticing only to discover that the company charging that was doing it to a million people and collecting that much money in a month without most people even noticing!

Oh and as I mentioned I work from home but I’m a contract employee and can go weeks without assignments.  I had TOTALLY forgot that on a credit card that I have (that I really want to pay off and never charge to again) I had opted for payment protection so that if I was out of work I would not have to pay it.  For months I have paid for that service and not used it once but should have!  Like I said you have to pay attention.  I could have just lost about $200 through this internet fiasco and I did lost about $90 in payments to that credit card that I had paid to have protected.  That is a lot of money folks!



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