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lamberts-lost-tooth
02-23-2009, 11:28 AM
I am a self proclaimed tightwad.

My wife and I are alike in that matter. In fact, copper wire was invented solely because my wife and I found a penny at the same time. I wouldnt call us cheap, (Although everyone else does). I mean ALOT of people separate the two ply toilet paper to make it last twice as long....right? And asking another couple out for dinner, letting them order first and then whipping out the buy-one-get-one-free coupons so that our meal is "cost-effective" is just , well, sound economic freelancing.

Several months ago in a moment of budgeting epiphany, I discovered that I could combine the cell-phone bills of all those in my family who have a genuine need to text the person across the room, or distract themselves while driving.

By combining my wifes, my sons, and my own cellphone bill, adding unlimited texting, subtracting the amount that we text each other, multiplying the in-area calls by the square root of out of area calls, dividing by the number of people in our "Personal Circle", subtracting those people who mistakenly call me at 2:00 a.m., and arbitrarily picking a number between 1-10....I am pretty sure that I save myself a whopping $1.86. At least that was what was explained to me by the smiling young man behind the counter who was in training to be a used car salesman.

One problem. No where in the sales-pitch do the salesmen EVER bring up the "Teen-age Factor". This is an actual mathmatical theorum that simply states: that by adding a person between the ages of 13-19 years old to any economic equation....your screwed.

I woke up last week to my wife asking me, "Why do we have a $600 phone bill?"

My first thought was "The boy....must die.".

Luckily I awoke enough to come to my senses, go online, see the almost $500 dollars worth of charges on my sons phone for internet downloads, and come to the more rational conclusion of..."UH-OH....its porn...and his mother is going to kill him."

Now my wife comes from a strong German background, and anyone who thinks that the Gestapo was brought down with the end of the third reich has never seen my lovely 5'4 125 lb significant other slip into her best Heinrich Himmler persona. I sometime entertain the thought of "pulling a Pocahontas " and throwing myself in front of the kids to spare them a cruel fate. But one look at my wife in that black trenchcoat and monocle and I usually say "Better you than me".

After my wife interregated...uh...."talked" to my son for an hour and with verification through our cellphone carrier, it became apparant that my son was not the vicim of unbridled sexual curiosity. He is just stupid.

Okay that is harsh, lets say that he was "ignorant" of the fact that accessing the internet on ones cellphone without a pre-paid internet plan, is the monotary equivelant of a Bengals first round pick.

Did I mention that I was a tightwad? I am, sooooo...

If you want to drop a note to my son, giving him encouragement and understanding in regards to his unfortunate situation.....He can now be reached at the retirement community two blocks from our home on weekends and after school. He is the one cleaning off tables and washing dishes after their meals. Otherwise, through the permission of my lovely wife, the commandant, you can visit him at Stalag 14.

PisnNapalm
02-23-2009, 02:16 PM
Is that for real LLT??

lamberts-lost-tooth
02-23-2009, 02:30 PM
Is that for real LLT??

The phone bill and his having to get a job is a reality that my son faces every day after school and on weekends!!!

My wife, as of yet, has yet to wear an SS uniform....(but she can interrogate me any time she wants:wink02:)

SteelMember
02-23-2009, 02:51 PM
I have heard something similar to this and do not have a single doubt in your story. A friend with a 13 year old son, got the phone he wanted with the option of some downloadable games. As advertised, the games were free, but every time he played he would be charged air time. Kids and video games. Well, you can imagine .Needless to say, a similar situation occurred with their bill.

I think he will be mowing lawns until he's a senior. :chuckle:

It seems those damn phone contracts have more fine print in them than the closing of my first house.
Crooks I tell ya...crooks!

fansince'76
02-23-2009, 02:59 PM
Sounds like my 13-year-old stepsister who ran up a $1,000 cell bill one month downloading mp3s. She no longer has a cell phone. My father and stepmother were PISSED.

stlrtruck
02-23-2009, 03:08 PM
Just an FYI - you can password protect the internet activity. I, and my teenage son, were hitting the www button accidently on the small phones we get for free and it was like 10 cents for every brief second I was on and then told the phone to log off the internet. My wife called our provider and they password protected the ability to "ignorantly" browse the world wide web - the good part is that she got to choose the password.

lamberts-lost-tooth
02-23-2009, 03:17 PM
I have heard something similar to this and do not have a single doubt in your story. A friend with a 13 year old son, got the phone he wanted with the option of some downloadable games. As advertised, the games were free, but every time he played he would be charged air time. Kids and video games. Well, you can imagine .Needless to say, a similar situation occurred with their bill.

I think he will be mowing lawns until he's a senior. :chuckle:

It seems those damn phone contracts have more fine print in them than the closing of my first house.
Crooks I tell ya...crooks!

He actually was getting very upset because the video his church youth group filmed and was on youtube, wouldnt down load...so he tried over and over again...(verified this of course:chuckle:)

He didnt know that I have blocked video downloads from his phone...and I didnt know that he still got charged for internet use!!!!:doh:....I am talking with the carrier now I am hoping I can talk them down on the bill.

lamberts-lost-tooth
02-23-2009, 03:27 PM
Just an FYI - you can password protect the internet activity. I, and my teenage son, were hitting the www button accidently on the small phones we get for free and it was like 10 cents for every brief second I was on and then told the phone to log off the internet. My wife called our provider and they password protected the ability to "ignorantly" browse the world wide web - the good part is that she got to choose the password.

Thats what I was discudding with my provider...I think he was getting nailed per kb....Their argument is .."You blocked downloads but not internet"...My argument was..."so what is the point of blocking downloads if I still have to pay for them?...thats like putting me on a diet but still charging me for the food I cant eat!!!"

They have since backed down...and so far said they would charge him a flat $29.99 rate for monthly internet use and grandfather it back a month with elimination of the larger bill. I'm a pretty determined hard-headed person...and am still trying to get them to drop the monthly fee.

Of course, my son doesnt know ANY of that...and he will still work as a punishment for downloading without permission and causing this whole mess!!!!

PisnNapalm
02-23-2009, 06:03 PM
Good to hear that they have at least knocked it down from $600 to $30. Kudos to you for hot telling him about it and making him work it off.

This sort of thing happened to me as well. Around Christmas 2007 I downloaded Guitar Hero to help alleviate my boredom over at my mother in laws. My wife and all the women were yacking and I was stuck in the family room with all the kids and tv with no cable. :(

So I downloaded Guitar Hero and found out it was a fun game. What I didn't realize at the time was that I was getting hit up at a rate of about $2 per song download. The kicker is that the game only stores 2 songs on the phone at a time. So.... It adds up PDQ. My next bill had $120 added to it for data usage. Yeah I was pissed.

That week I signed up for the $15 unlimited data usage plan. I still play that game a lot but now I also web surf from my phone.

devilsdancefloor
02-23-2009, 07:44 PM
wow 600 bucks and he is still alive! My wife would say see see it isnt that bad. My 16 yr old daughter got into texting and i told her no texting it isnt with our plan. well our next bill had 150 bucks worth of texting and i took the phone away for 4 months. And she paid me back the money for not listening to me.

HometownGal
02-23-2009, 07:54 PM
WOW Perry!!! :jawdrop: I think I would have skinned him alive! Thank God I raised my kids in an era before cell phones (though they tied up my house phone for hours on end after school until I got home from work - I actually had to unplug both phones many times and hide them in the bathroom closet until they went to bed).

Geez - how did all of us 70's kids survive without cell phones? :noidea: :chuckle:

You definitely took the right approach - kudos to you and the lovely Mrs.! :drink: Me thinks the boy definitely learned a very valuable lesson here. :hope:

hindes204
02-23-2009, 08:11 PM
Had to go with an unlimited plan...i have a 15 year old step daughter and a 13 year old step son, between the two of them they reach almost 20,000 text messages a month

steelerbackr4life
02-23-2009, 08:26 PM
LLT you definitely can get some if not all taken off that bill. The cell companies do it all the time.
I know I have 5 cells on my plan 3 of them belong to tennage girls :banging:

SteelCityMan786
02-23-2009, 08:50 PM
One more reason why I chose to limit my cell phone activity when I first received one. Especially because of the fact I didn't want a kicking in the butt.

I have limited texting which is no biggy for me. What I do is budget what I use per week. Say for example I have 400 texts(Just a hypothetical number). I would use no more then 100 per week and adjust for future weeks accordingly such as cut down on it the next, or feel free to use more the next. I have only been over 1 time. It's a record I'm pretty damn proud of.

SteelCityMan786
02-23-2009, 08:51 PM
Had to go with an unlimited plan...i have a 15 year old step daughter and a 13 year old step son, between the two of them they reach almost 20,000 text messages a month

:jawdrop: I'm no where near that in a week.

MACH1
02-23-2009, 09:02 PM
Pre Paid Phone.

When they run out thats it till next month. :noidea:

hindes204
02-23-2009, 09:08 PM
:jawdrop: I'm no where near that in a week.

me neither....but you should see them in action, its ridiculous....it sounds like a damn typewriter when they are texting

SteelCityMan786
02-23-2009, 09:57 PM
me neither....but you should see them in action, its ridiculous....it sounds like a damn typewriter when they are texting

LOL! That's one more reason why if I am texting a person that much, I'd rather just call them and save time.