Reviewing the Monthly Bills

Isn't it amazing how many bills are really generated a month for household expenses?

First off, we do have cable, satellite radio, internet, landline, cell phones, exterminators (it's south Florida, folks), pool service and lawn service and the list goes on. And I know, all these items right there do NOT need to be part of the household budget, but here, they are.

Some bills stay the same, like the exterminator, pool and lawn guy.

Others fluctuate, like the electric. Which, thankfully, is finally $270 for the month (after peaking out at $450 a few months ago), and the land line, which really, should stay the same, but once in a while someone (ahem) calls their mommy on that instead of the cellphone on a Saturday morning (which by the way, the cell is FREE long distance AND FREE time, especially on a Saturday morning).

The cable bill SHOULD be the same each month too. Except when you change your service, like we just did.

AND that is when you need to scrutinize it. Very. Very. Carefully.

There were so many charges and credits that I immediately said No Way.

1. I added 3 HD boxes. $8.50 a month additional (yeah, excessive, I know, but this is the one thing Hubby truly enjoys AND he did just buy the new toy). This, I hope, will keep us home more frequently and provide cheap'er' entertainment (hey, the remote has a netflix button that takes you STRAIGHT to netflix, no more jockying around with the Wii to get it up).

2. I've been on the same basic "starter" program for so long, that I felt the need to ask the guy at the counter if there was any kind of special going on that we could switch to. Well there was, $69.99 for the internet and cable (as opposed to $99 we were currently paying). I opted out of the phone program. So he switched me over to that.  Which technically, should have put me at the same amount I was currently paying since I added on $25 in monthly boxes. (FYI, I'm truly curious as to how much it is for premium channels, you know, HBO, Showtime, etc. but afraid to look).

Ummm. No. The bill was $150 plus.

Review. Review. Shake head. Review some more. Ahhh. Installation? Internet installation? $99? Really. Oh there, it's credited.

$25.90 installation times two. Really? I don't think so. Review. Review and review. Hmmm. There's a $51.90 credit, but nope, that's not it. (At this point, I'm getting angry because why would I have TWO installations and not three if I got THREE boxes?)

I finally called. I hate calling Comcast. They are soooo scripted and well, just not right. Not to mention, after we had to switch to those dopey little digital boxes, we had so many problems with outages that my call log is probably an hour in the making to load on their system.

Anyways, I was asked five times, if I did NOT have someone come to the house to install the boxes.

Uh. No. I'm sure I would remember that because we spent a WHOLE weekend and into the week too doing this.

Finally, the customer service dude says that he will submit for the removal of the charges. I had to repeatedly ask how much the credit would be.

"Oh, not a credit. We will remove the charge. Um. Hold on, let me see how much it will be" ??? "$25."  "$25.08". Oh my ... I finally told him how much it should be ($51.80).

My point is, not to bash Comcast (well, maybe a tiny bit) but to say that you need to review your bills each and every month.

The phone bill at work for the elevator? We have it restricted toll access as we had a problem where people were making long distance calls on it (yes, really. People who didn't have permanent addresses were using it). So we pay $9 for that. Then AT&T started charging a minimal long distance fee of $12 a month (includes tax, fees, etc.) ... 2nd month in a row I've had to dispute it. This last month they also charged us a fee for changing our long distance provider. Yeah, amazing, huh? They can't tell me how or why this keeps happening, but now that I'm aware of it, I will keep following up.

So even IF your bill is within $5 each month, review. And call if anything seems odd, or you have any questions. Seriously.

Linking up with Frugal Fridays because paying $50 for something you didn't have or need is totally NOT saving money!

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