Friday, May 23, 2014

Don't Look Behind the Curtain

The curtain is the one that revealed the Wizard of Oz wasn't so wizard-ly after all.  In our case, if you find a good bargain in wireless, don't mess with it.  Today's biggest bargains are found by switching from one of the main carriers' plans to one of the bargain prepaid operators.  You could save as much as 50%.  This is a big deal when your monthly bill goes from, say, $90 to $45.  Be aware, these bargains come at a price.

Savings come from dealing with these companies in the cheapest way possible, either online or with offshore customer service.  Sometimes you need to ignore the little annoyances, including the ones that cost a few dollars.  One reader shared his story about dealing with one of the America Movil companies.  He was thrilled to have a big gob of Data for, say, $45 per month, and all the Talk & Text he could eat, only to be surprised that taxes were added.  Now he's closer to $50 per month.  He then took advantage of a $2.50 discount for Auto-Pay and found himself paying closer to the expected $45 per month.

Our friend then bought a new phone and found out it took a different size SIM.  He wasn't too put off about having to PAY for a new SIM, but later he found he was charged for "FREE" Shipping.  He called to complain and the carrier was happy to credit his account by adding one week of service.  He thought that was a good deal until he was notified that his Auto-Pay took place on the old date.  He called back to have them correct the Auto-Pay date which they were happy to adjust.

So far, so good, right?  Nope. When you change the Auto-Pay date you lose the $2.50 Auto-Pay discount.  That was a "promotion".  Our boy realizes dealing with the "alternative" carriers is different than dealing with the major carriers.  Getting a bargain does have a few "costs".  Just don't look behind the curtain.  Come Toto.

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