Author Topic: Can I beat $65/mo total for phone/internet? (cable is "free")  (Read 3793 times)

chackman17

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Hi - I'm paying about $65/mo total for phone/internet as follows:

$48ish landline + DSL internet. Slowish (tests at about 1 Mbs down/380k up) but sufficient for what I do.

$15 prepaid "dumb" cell phone (10 cents per min or text; rarely use all but it rolls over)

$2-3 long-distance (use Costco 2.9 cents/min card)

Don't need to pay for cable - it's already covered in my homeowner's assn fee.

Can I substantially beat this down, or best to just leave it?

Must haves = reliable home internet access, ability to receive simple text messages, some kind of cell phone.

Been reading "The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide" (thanks Tech Meshugana!) but it's not clear to me how much I'd save by redoing everything - or whether the effort would be worth it.

Thanks!

Joet

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Re: Can I beat $65/mo total for phone/internet? (cable is "free")
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 04:18:04 PM »
call them up and threaten to quit periodically, will scare a few dollars out of them each time

russianswinga

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Re: Can I beat $65/mo total for phone/internet? (cable is "free")
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 05:16:02 PM »
Good GOD what a ripoff price.
At&t U-Verse INTERNET ONLY: $25 for 6mbps in San Diego.
I did have to sign for a year to get that rate AND buy their router for $100, AND pay $150 installation, but I still save money.
Now they keep sending me cable subscription deals every 2 weeks because they can't fathom that I would ever want their HS Internet service without TV.

StarryC

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Re: Can I beat $65/mo total for phone/internet? (cable is "free")
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 05:51:19 PM »
 I also think it is highly location/ competition dependent.  I don't have a land line, but pay $25 a month for internet much slower than ATT U-Verse.  But maybe the going rate for local home phone is $20 a month? 

1) If you are renting a router, find out what model you need and buy one (e-bay or Amazon).  Mine was $50 and we were renting for $8 a month.  That pays off in about 6 months, and we've had it about 2 years. 

2) Do call and threaten to cancel periodically.  Our $25 a month is a "25% discount for 12 months" for something or other.  Prior to getting it we paid 1 month full price after 6 months of "$10 off".  That was after another month of full price ($40 a month) and 12 months of "introductory offer. Basically, if you aren't getting a discount, it will not hurt to call and ask to be transferred to "customer retention." 

Daley

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Re: Can I beat $65/mo total for phone/internet? (cable is "free")
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2013, 07:10:18 PM »
Hi - I'm paying about $65/mo total for phone/internet as follows:
....
Can I substantially beat this down, or best to just leave it?

There's potential for a bit of tweaking and massaging on the total cost. It's a decent rate, but you might be able to shave off another $10-20 a month with the right available options.

$48ish landline + DSL internet. Slowish (tests at about 1 Mbs down/380k up) but sufficient for what I do.

One significant way to cut costs is to eliminate the traditional landline and just go with straight internet access and migrate your home phone to a VoIP provider.

Who provides DSL service in your area? If it's AT&T, you might be able to get 3Mbps dry loop from them for that price, though I'm unsure of what their new official prices are... site redesign has gone and hidden everything of value. Shock. If you're in an AT&T area, you will not be able to get dry loop access from anyone but AT&T. If you're in a Verizon area, look into dry loop service through DSLExtreme... if it's Century Link or Frontier territory, look into Toast.net. (Not 100% certain those local CLECs will provide dry loop access to third party ISPs, but it doesn't hurt to ask!) You'll just have to crunch numbers on alternative broadband connections and tack on about $8 for something like VOIPo or VOIP.ms. If that total gives you more for the same money or less without any real investment, pull the handle... otherwise, stay put.

You said your cable is free. Is there any way to get cable internet? Excuse Comcast, that's usually a cheaper and easier internet-only option.

Others have suggested arguing to get your rates down. It's an option, but I typically don't bother recommending it as an option unless you grossly undervalue your time or you have no other recourse and enjoy arguing on the phone. The one thing they fail to mention is that if you want the threat to be real, you have to be willing to follow through. Best to make sure you're not in a monopoly situation first.

$15 prepaid "dumb" cell phone (10 cents per min or text; rarely use all but it rolls over)

Sounds like you're with NET10, which is a GSM MVNO (and a ripoff). If you're in an area covered well by T-Mobile, you could half that cost going with Platinumtel instead. If there's good AT&T coverage, Airvoice will shave off about $5/month. Added benefit? Greatly improved customer support. Carrier unlocked GSM dumbphones can be had for under $35 easy, and you can switch to any other GSM carrier you like without investing in another phone. ROI on making the switch should be roughly six months or less. If you are with NET10 (America Movil), the handset is proprietary and locked in. It's dumpster fodder unless you can find someone else to buy it off you. (Good luck, I couldn't even give away our old Tracfone/NET10 handsets).

$2-3 long-distance (use Costco 2.9 cents/min card)

If you're able to switch your home phone to VoIP, this should disappear. Alternatively, if you switch to P'tel, this too could still disappear if you continue spending the same amount of money a month on cell service.

Must haves = reliable home internet access, ability to receive simple text messages, some kind of cell phone.

If your DSL service is already reliable, then if you can go with an alternative carrier, it should still be reliable. If it's reliable and you aim for the 1.5-3Mbps service range, VoIP service should be solid as well.

Been reading "The ISP, VoIP and Cellphone Superguide" (thanks Tech Meshugana!) but it's not clear to me how much I'd save by redoing everything - or whether the effort would be worth it.

Thanks!

You're welcome, and glad to have helped! :)

onehappypanda

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Re: Can I beat $65/mo total for phone/internet? (cable is "free")
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2013, 08:40:34 PM »
Do you need the landline?

I haven't had one since 2006 and haven't missed it at all. I use my cell for all my phone needs. Internet by itself costs us $30, so that + cell phone service would knock your bill down a good bit without having to do anything fancy.

chackman17

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Re: Can I beat $65/mo total for phone/internet? (cable is "free")
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 09:53:18 AM »
Thanks, you all, for the excellent suggestions! I'm now encouraged to wring that cost a little further. --All the best, chackman17

Frugally-raised

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Re: Can I beat $65/mo total for phone/internet? (cable is "free")
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 10:22:17 AM »
I keep a landline because it's more secure (in emergencies, mobile phone towers cannot handle a heavy load) and because it is tied to my business, but every time I get the bill I wonder if I'm ready to dump it.

Still, I was able to discover that AT&T has a super-secret low-cost rate. I pay a flat fee and any outgoing call (local included) is per minute. Since I have a high-cost cell plan that I keep for the data plan, I use it for all outgoing calls.

This super-secret rate is so secret that customer support at AT&T doesn't really know about it. When I asked to be switched to this plan, there was a lot of "checking with my manager" before they were able to do it. It's about $10 per month, which becomes about $17 per month when you add all the required fees and three sets of taxes.

I don't know if this plan is available everywhere, but according to a 2012 bill I have lying around, it's called Consumer's Choice Basic.

chackman17

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Re: Can I beat $65/mo total for phone/internet? (cable is "free")
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2013, 02:49:36 PM »
Oooh - thanks for the info! I will grip my land-line receiver using a secret handshake if I attempt it to ask a rep for it. (Actually, I live in a Verizon area - don't even know if AT&T lives here.)