Author Topic: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?  (Read 5399 times)

Weedy Acres

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Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« on: May 20, 2014, 10:21:11 AM »
My Verizon bill is ~$240/month and it covers:
4 flip phones (includes in-laws, who we put on our family plan)
1 smart phone
1 Ipad
1400 combined minutes, unlimited texts, 2 gb data for smart phone & ipad.

On the most recent bill, we talked a combined 3951 minutes, but since many of those are in the categories of mobile-to-mobile (other Verizon users), friends & family (I've been smart about putting all frequently called numbers on the list), and nights/weekends, only 866 of those are "chargeable" to the 1400.  We've sometimes bumped up within 100-200 of the limit, but never gone over.

My math says that $240-60 (2x$30 data charge) divided by 3951 minutes is 4.5 cents/min.  If we switched to, say, PAYG Tracphones, they charge $30 for 200 min, or .15/min. 

We also get unlimited texts, and last month collectively sent 1200 texts.

Is this really a dreadful deal?  Or are we doing ok?

Daley

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2014, 10:32:11 AM »
You should read this, and by the time you're finished, you'll not only answer your own questions but know how to best optimize.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/

SDREMNGR

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2014, 11:00:29 AM »
You started with "Verizon" so the answer is no. 

I had it for 12 years and then switched to T Mobile.  Sure the coverage is not as good (although it's actually better at my house and office so that's all that matters) but I got free international roaming which came in handy while travelling.  But coverage was really spotty.

plantingourpennies

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2014, 11:32:00 AM »
If the 2GB is combined usage across the iPad and smart phone, looks like switching to Ting would run you $146+taxes and fees.  That's using 4K minutes, 2K text messages, and 2GB data across 6 devices. 


hybrid

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2014, 12:02:25 PM »
You started with "Verizon" so the answer is no. 

Big +1. Had Verizon for years (the wife did not want to switch out of concerns about call quality, which were justified several years ago), couldn't get off their shitty plan fast enough. After they royally gouged me on a texting bill (silly me, I thought 5000 texts for a teen was plenty for one month) after being a loyal customer for several years, I vowed to steer as many potential and current customers away from those rat bastards as possible. They may have won the battle, I'll win the war....

The only time it is permitted to use Verizon and reasonable in the same sentence is to say "I'm thinking of dropping those rat bastards at Verizon, does this sound reasonable?"

hybrid

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2014, 12:10:56 PM »
You should read this, and by the time you're finished, you'll not only answer your own questions but know how to best optimize.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/

Daley is of course right, and even if you don't fully optimize after reading the guide (as it can be hard to get the whole family on board, speaking from firsthand experience) you should still be able to get a muuuuuuch better deal than what you have now. A T-Mobile basic family plan for four phones includes unlimited talk, text, and 500 MB per phone for $100 plus taxes and fees (call it $115). That's a boatload less than Verizon and a lot more than what you will find in the guide, and you will have to get phones that work on the T-Mobile network. I pay 101.99 after federal discount for four lines, and my adult daughter pays for her portion, so call it $77 for 3 lines. And no overages ever. EVER.

NinetyFour

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2014, 12:34:41 PM »
You might want to check out the Savings Calculator on Ting's website.

greenmimama

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2014, 12:39:23 PM »
I wish I didn't have to have Verizon, it's literally the only carrier that we can get coverage at our house.

I can't wait to switch to a better plan even using the Verizon through Daley's thread.

nordlead

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2014, 01:16:03 PM »
I wish I didn't have to have Verizon, it's literally the only carrier that we can get coverage at our house.

I can't wait to switch to a better plan even using the Verizon through Daley's thread.

Get a VoIP phone, for home phone calls, and use a messaging program, like Hangouts, for texts, and Wifi for data. I have almost no coverage with Sprint at my house, but people call my Ooma home phone that only costs me $5 in taxes per month. I have Sprint coverage everywhere else I go, so it works out fine.

Home Internet, Home Phone, and 2 smartphones costs me a grand total of $65/month.

SDREMNGR

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 01:47:08 PM »
You should read this, and by the time you're finished, you'll not only answer your own questions but know how to best optimize.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/

Daley is of course right, and even if you don't fully optimize after reading the guide (as it can be hard to get the whole family on board, speaking from firsthand experience) you should still be able to get a muuuuuuch better deal than what you have now. A T-Mobile basic family plan for four phones includes unlimited talk, text, and 500 MB per phone for $100 plus taxes and fees (call it $115). That's a boatload less than Verizon and a lot more than what you will find in the guide, and you will have to get phones that work on the T-Mobile network. I pay 101.99 after federal discount for four lines, and my adult daughter pays for her portion, so call it $77 for 3 lines. And no overages ever. EVER.

You get 1 GB at 4G with the low level plan.  Everyone got upgraded for free about a month ago.  If you didn't, you should call T Mobile.  Net of phone costs, the family plan for 5 of us is $110 plus taxes, about $125.  I figure it at $25/person plus cost of phones.  That comes with unlimited calls, texts and 1 GB 4G data and then "unlimited dial-up slow data."  The data after the 4G limit is pretty useless but the 1 GB is plenty for me.

*I should state that I am long TMUS.  Please get bought up!!!

Weedy Acres

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2014, 02:30:25 PM »
OK, I have to admit that I'm one of the "worried about coverage" Verizon people.  I've been in a few situations where I had access and others did not, like a week-long family reunion where the non-Verizon-ers in the family (mostly AT&T-ers) had no cell phone access for the duration.  3 of the lines (and the ipad) are for business use, and all my vacations are working vacations, so it's got to be reliable.  Short of switching over to T-Mobile or Ting (Sprint), how can I test whether it'll work for me and the other 4 users?

I did read the Superguide, btw, but the ipad thrown in the mix (see separate thread) and the mix of smart and flip phones, plus REALLY wanting to stay with Verizon's network, made it more complicated than a one-time read seemed to give me.  I'll go back and read it again.

Weedy Acres

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2014, 04:33:33 PM »
OK, re-visiting the Superguide, it looks like about my only (recommended) option if I want to stay on the Verizon network is Page Plus.  The cost is:
4 flip phones: $30/mo each (everyone's at least 500 min/mo)
smart phone: $40/mo with 1GB data (currently have 2 GB) or $55 for 3 GB
IPad: stays on Verizon for $30/mo
Assume 12% taxes, that's a total of $213/mo.  Not a compelling case, quite honestly.  I mean 30 bucks is 30 bucks, but it means the inlaws go on their own and pay $10/mo more each.

If I'm willing to try Sprint, I could do Ting.  Costs are:
$140/mo for 5 devices, XL minutes (plus 2000 extra at .019), L texts, and XL data
IPad stays on Verizon
With 12% taxes, that's $190/mo total.

So if we were willing to give up Verizon, we'd save $50/mo.  Again, nothing to sneeze at, but I guess I thought it would be more compelling than a 20% savings.   I'm seeing people around here slashing >50%.

Am I looking at this wrong?

Daley

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2014, 04:51:10 PM »
I'm seeing people around here slashing >50%.

Am I looking at this wrong?

Remember to look at the guide in a holistic manner. You can cut mobile needs further through offloading time and services to communications technologies that cost less to operate.

Start by asking yourself where the bulk of those mobile minutes are used. Who you talk and text the most with. What you're actually using data for. Look into bringing back a home phone line using a VoIP service. Exercise moderation in communications and prioritize. Figure out why you need so much bleeding data and how you might be able to save on that front.

You want the sort of saving you see others here rolling around with, you have to rethink how you use your devices. Doubly so if you're looking to save money while staying on Big Red's network. If you haven't already, maybe consider reading the full and unabridged guide at my site instead of the trimmed one here as I go into far greater depth and detail with a lot of these points.

GregO

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2014, 04:56:32 PM »
Just in case you missed it, Ting roams to Verizon if there's no Sprint coverage.  No data usage when you're on Sprint, but you could still get phone calls for business, etc.

Rezdent

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Re: Is my Verizon bill reasonable?
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2014, 05:31:38 PM »
OK, re-visiting the Superguide, it looks like about my only (recommended) option if I want to stay on the Verizon network is Page Plus.  The cost is:
4 flip phones: $30/mo each (everyone's at least 500 min/mo)
smart phone: $40/mo with 1GB data (currently have 2 GB) or $55 for 3 GB
IPad: stays on Verizon for $30/mo
Assume 12% taxes, that's a total of $213/mo.  Not a compelling case, quite honestly.  I mean 30 bucks is 30 bucks, but it means the inlaws go on their own and pay $10/mo more each.

If I'm willing to try Sprint, I could do Ting.  Costs are:
$140/mo for 5 devices, XL minutes (plus 2000 extra at .019), L texts, and XL data
IPad stays on Verizon
With 12% taxes, that's $190/mo total.

So if we were willing to give up Verizon, we'd save $50/mo.  Again, nothing to sneeze at, but I guess I thought it would be more compelling than a 20% savings.   I'm seeing people around here slashing >50%.

Am I looking at this wrong?
I was very worried about coverage when I finally got up the courage to dump Verizon for Ting.  Sprint users didn't seem to get good signal at my house.  That might have been their phones were older?  I moved only one device at a time because I was so worried.
I have seen a slight drop in speed but not more dropped calls or anything.
I'm also a heavy data user so the difference for me is about $70/month savings.
I love paying for only what I use. I would have done even if it cost more (goodbye Verizon and good riddence)  I know that if I have a spendy month elsewhere I can just cut back.