I've had the same phone package forever with my local phone company. And every month I would just pay the bill when it came in and not think anything of it. But, there was a problem with that method of doing things.
For one, my family lives a long distance away from me on the East Coast. To stay in touch I would call them once every couple of weeks to see how everyone was doing. Except my step-mom, I'd call her every day and she'd call me back as soon as she answered the phone because she was more than willing to take advantage of this wonderful thing she had which was "unlimited long distance". Since long distance isn't exactly cheap, every month no matter how careful I was with phone usage (I mean even calling Anchorage costs money, or my son's speech therapist, or a bunch of other places) my long distance charges would always be 30.00 or more per month. I just assumed it was an inevitable part of living in the state I do, cursed it, and moved on.
Until this last December. See, I was checking our internet usage online (as our DSL package also sucked when it came to usage) and I noticed an ad to buy 500 gigs of internet usage for 50.00. I was thrilled as our internet inevitably went over every month as well, which would cost us 5.00 per gig of overuse. We were only allowed 25 gigs, and while that seemed like a huge amount when the gal at our local telephone company assured me that is what we would need when I upgraded our DSL two years ago, it always seemed to get eaten up and we'd go over. Every single month.
So, I clicked on the link to check out what I had to do to buy the 500 gigs on our account and looked in shock when I read, "Unlimited long distance for 19.99 a month". That was less than I was paying in long distance charges and I'd never seen THAT tidbit in my local telephone newsletter that came with my bill (grumble). I called the phone company the next day to sign up for the unlimited long distance for 19.99 a month and found with my current phone package that they could upgrade it no problem and long distance would only cost me 6.97 a month!!!
Honestly, I was both thrilled and furious when I found out that had unlimited long distance for over a year and hadn't really bothered to inform their customers about it.
A couple of weeks later I was in for another surprise. I was talking to my sister-in-law about her DSL and how I was unhappy and thinking about upgrading now that I had unlimited long distance and would be able to figure out what long distance charges would cost me every month. She had just upgraded her internet a couple of months before and I found out that her internet was only 10.00 more per month than mine and she was getting 70 GIGS per month usage! I went online and sure enough there it was staring me in the face.
Lesson learned. Next time I need help upgrading my internet, I sure as heck am not calling my local telephone customer service agent for help. I'll do my researching via the internet.
I also found out that they had a special going on where if you upgraded your internet package you would get a 50.00 credit, thus would pay for the 500 gigs I had bought back in December and would also cut my bill down to nothing for the month of February (I decided to wait till the beginning of Feb. to implement the new internet package, since I had over 470 gigs left of the 500 gigs I'd purchased in December left).
And that's exactly what I did.
I now have unlimited long distance and a BUNCH more bandwidth and all for at least 10.00 LESS per month than what I was paying before with crappy internet and "charge per" long distance. And since they applied my 50.00 credit to my account this month my phone bill is miniscule, thus saving me the 20.00 (and more) I had cited to save this month.
So, next time you're looking to save money, try checking out your phone package and your internet. You might be able to save more money than you thought!