I’ve been wondering why for ages my phone bill was going up and up. It was never the rate it is now, even when I was calling England all the time. So I decided to do some investigating and I was shocked and slightly appalled at what I discovered. I am certain this information will be valuable to many of you especially with the cost of everything going through the roof.
I belong to AT&T for both my local and long distance plans. I use to love AT&T, and I discovered that I should call them every 6 months and ask them what new offers and or plans they had that would benefit me. I would get a lower phone plan every time I called. This should work for other phone companies as well. Once you have been with your phone company for some time, they have the ability to see your records and see what best fit your needs. But wait there’s more savings!
Looking over my monthly phone bill, under “Monthly Service” I went over each and every item with the telephone operator asking what was mandatory and what was an option for removal. The only thing I was able to remove was the “LINE BACKER” at the time was the rate of $6.99. This “LINE BACKER” service is a fee used to cover the charges of if anything in your house is bad with the phone and has to be replaced. If something inside your house is wrong with your phone line it cost a fee of $50. Let’s do some math here. $6.99 x 12 is $83.88 a year! If you remove the “LINE BACKER” you can always add it back later. So let’s say you do indeed have a problem in the house, call the phone company have them add it to the bill and wait a while for it to apply. In the mean time if your line is indeed horrible, use your cell phone or call a friend to investigate. Most the time it’s just a jack that needs replacement which you can do yourself anyway.
So let’s see the savings so far is $83.88 a year. Excellent, but I still felt there was more out there for people to use. So I asked the operator again for assistance. “My father is retired; don’t you have any savings or discounts for old peeps?” I slightly joked. “We sure do, we have “Lifeline”. Hmm wow I had actually got told about something I felt was a secret. The operator gave me the number and I called for the information.
Each state has their own number, laws, and rules regarding Lifeline. I’m in Ohio. The savings in Ohio is about $12 off your monthly phone bill I believe. Again, let’s do the math 12 x 12 = $144 a year! That’s a total savings of the previous $83.88 added to the $144 equals $227.88 a year!
Lifeline is a service for low income individuals. Program eligibility is having one of the following programs, food stamps, Medicaid, SSI, Disability assistance, SSDI, HEAP, TANFU, Free lunch Program at schools, Section 8 assistance. If none of those are an option, you have the option to apply because of low income.
When you apply you have to fill in a form with proof of income and or assistance you may be receiving.
You’d think I would have stopped there, but I didn’t, as not everyone can meet the Lifeline requirements.
When you call about your plan don’t be quick to give in to accepting “I’m sorry that’s all we have.” I was on one rate plan which was 10 cents a minute with a monthly charge of $4 something. They offered me the same EXACT plan for the monthly fee of $2 with the name of nationwide one rate plan. 4 x 12 = 48 / 2 = $24 verses $48 a year is worth the discounted savings.
So be sure to sit down with your telephone company’s operator and ask what they can do for you.
This was previously published on Yahoo! Network about 7 years ago.