My Not Textacular Cell Phone Bill

Posted by Mrs Money on September 17th, 2010


So sometime last month I made a call to Verizon to add text messaging onto our cell phone plan.  We didn’t have any type of text messaging plan so every time we sent or received a text message we were getting charged 20 cents.  For example, when I texted Mr. Money and he sent one back we’d be getting charged 80 cents. 20 for me sending, 20 for him receiving, and vice versa.  Total rip off, right? That’s why I thought a plan would be worth the money.

I talked with a very friendly representative who informed me that for just $10 a month I can get unlimited mobile to mobile messaging with Verizon phones, plus 500 text messages to other providers.  I told her to sign me up.  The month goes by, I’m happily texting my hubby, friends, sister, etc.  On Friday when I came home, in my inbox was my Verizon bill.  $100.20.  My previous bill was only $70.39.  My bill jumped almost $30 in one month!  Of course I freaked out, pulled up the history to see what was costing so much, and that’s when I realized what was going on.  The $10 a month only includes my line.

Yep, I had been sending Mr. Money all kinds of text messages thinking it is not costing either of us anything because the lovely rep with Verizon didn’t inform me that the $10 plan I thought would cover both lines didn’t.  I made sure to ask her a few times if I decided I didn’t want the $10 a month plan if I could drop it at any time and she did say that is true.

I’m not sure what I should do now.  I’m thinking about calling Verizon to see if they will do anything about the charges ($9.60 on Mr. Money’s line alone).  I’ve been a customer for seven years.  My contract is up with them, meaning I could switch to a new cell phone provider if I chose.  I’m thinking about looking into another service provider.  At the very least I think I am going to call and drop the text messaging plan on my phone and block texting on both.  That’s something we can live without.  I can see where Verizon would say it’s my fault because I didn’t ask, but at the same time I feel the rep should have explained it a little more thoroughly.

What do you think I should do?  

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19 Responses to “My Not Textacular Cell Phone Bill”

  1. Chris says:

    If both phones are under the same account, then it should of been better explained that it was only for one line and not for the whole account.

    All in all I think you could get a better plan that includes decent amount of talk time, unlimited night/weekends & text for less than what you’re paying now. Depends on what’s available in your area.


    Mrs Money Reply:

    Chris- That’s what I think too. It’s a family share plan so you think the text plan I had would have included both lines.

    I need to look at other providers. What’s really sad is that we are on the lowest plan with them plus we get 20% off! Crazy.


  2. Kacie says:

    What a pain! The phone companies seem to make tons of money from texts. It stinks.

    Do you *have* to renew your contract? What happens if you don’t? Do they drop you, or does it go month-to-month?

    I’m with AT&T and someone told me that I don’t have to renew — it’ll go monthly. If I let it go that long, they have an incentive to offer me a better deal.

    Might be worth looking into!


    Mrs Money Reply:

    I don’t have to renew our contract. We are going month to month now and they are always sending me postcards, email, mail about how we can get a free upgrade if we extend our contract. I don’t want to do that right now. I think I’m going to shop around. It can’t hurt. 🙂


    Chris Reply:

    It’s true, the companies make a ton of money off of texts. It’s costs them very little to send/receive texts, much less than a call or data.

    Might want to check out:

    I was able to get a decent plan that only had a few months left. I was able to “try out” a different carrier and a few months later I was able to get out of it (coverage sucked in my area) when the contract was up. Might be worth a look.


    Mrs Money Reply:

    Thanks Chris! I’ll have to check them out! Thanks for the link!


  3. Kristin says:

    I feel for you! I’ve had a couple big bills when I was commuting one hour to school. I have switched providers and the bills are MUCH better. US Cellular is pretty good about switching extra services on and off at any given time. Maybe you could call the company and see if there is a way they could add Mr. Money to the plan as well for the previous month. Or you could do the “Oh my gosh! I don’t have the money (or my husband’s hours got cut due to the economy), is there anything you can do to help me?” Maybe pull on their heart strings a little and make them feel guilty for not thoroughly explaining the plan to you. Hope everything turns out ok.


    Mrs Money Reply:

    Kristin- That is a great idea. I think I am going to look into other providers as well. Thanks for the tips!


  4. Ficcionista says:

    Fortunately i do not know that reality. In my little and lovely country text messaging is a part of any plan from any service provider, we do not chose if it comes with the plan or not, we just chose to use it or not. The better part of it is that we only pay to send text messages, we never pay to receive them.
    Heck, that’s unthinkable. It’s like paying to receive your e-mails or even your mail. Just imagine having to pay for each and every letter, postcard, bill, etc. that you receive.


    Mrs Money Reply:

    That’s what I am saying! I think it’s so silly. It kills me that we were getting charged twice for sending and receiving! Craziness.


  5. Miss M says:

    We pay $10 total for theat same text plan on two lines, not $10 for each line. We’re with verizon as well. Maybe they made a mistake?


    Mrs Money Reply:

    Hmm, I don’t know. I know that I am just so mad now that I’ve dropped it and blocked it, lol. That is not a necessity. 😉


  6. Amber R says:

    Hi, if you are thinking of shopping around, might I suggest a national cellular company called Consumer Cellular? (Full disclosure: I work with them) They offer no contract cellular plans starting at just $10/month. Because there are no contracts, you can change your plan as often as you need with no penalty.

    Therefore, you won’t get any surprises on your next bill because if you are texting or calling more than usual, you can simply bump up your plan and you never have to pay those ridiculous overage charges. Conversely, if you are using less than usual, you can reduce your plan to avoid paying for minutes you don’t need. Plus, Consumer Cellular offers a money-back guarantee on the first 30 days or 30 minutes of use, whichever comes first. If you don’t like the service for any reason you can cancel and get your money back—no questions asked!

    See more at Good luck on the rest of your cellular search!


    Mrs Money Reply:

    Amber- Thanks for that link! I will definitely look into a plan. I hate to switch but I hate wasting money even more!


  7. jen says:

    I switched from Verizon to Tracfone about two years ago and I’m glad I made the change. I spend about $40 every three months to add more airtime. I have saved a ton since I switched. It would depend on how much you use your phone, but it has worked well for me. My husband and I text each other quite a bit instead of making calls since it cost less. You must have been upset when you saw the bill. There is nothing worse than getting a surprise on a bill!


    jen Reply:

    Also, when I add airtime to my Tracfone I simply shop through Swagbucks and get 2 Swagbucks for every dollar I spend on minutes. I usually just buy a smaller bundle of minutes, but I have the “double minutes for the life of the phone card” which was well worth the money. They also run promotionals where you get a few extra bonus minitues so I also try to catch one of those deals as well. My Tracfone has worked well for me both with service and price.



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