Whopper of a wireless bill

Got my Cingular Wireless bill today and it was a shocker – $179.80. Yikes! I was expecting some roaming charges from our Europe trip, but this…ouch!

It breaks down something like this:

  • We have a $39.99 plan + $19.99 for an additional line + $25 for unlimited Internet on my Treo and then there’s all the stupid service charges, taxes, and fees that they always layer on top – right there, that accounts for $95. Damn, that’s a lot right there. Nicole is trying to talk me out of the unlimited Internet on my Treo – which sounds pretty rational, except for the fact that I’m a geek and what’s the fun of a Treo without Internet?
  • About $38 of roaming charges from 29 minutes in Italy and Spain at $1.29/minute – the worst was a 7 minute call that cost us $9 (bringing us to a total so far of around $133). We could’ve saved on these roaming charges by purchasing and using an Italian SIM card, but we honestly didn’t expect to use enough minutes for it to make much of a difference.
  • $46 of roaming charges for 2,334 KB of data access (my unlimited Internet is free in the U.S. but costs $0.02/KB abroad). There was one particular day where I used a lot of data trying to look up rental cars and credit card companies on the Internet for a friend who had a bit of an emergency(lost a credit card) – in retrospect, we should’ve made the drive into town and found an Internet cafe. There was also a point in the trip where I remember discovering, to my dismay, that XpressMail and/or VersaMail were auto-checking for mail at I-don’t-know-what-interval, which means that they could’ve been pulling lots of data while the phone was sitting in my pocket. Next time I travel, I’m going to make very sure that those auto-checks are all turned off.
  • And that brings us to a grand total of around $180. Sigh…

4 thoughts on “Whopper of a wireless bill

  1. Wow. $25 for data? For some reason, i keep thinking i’m only paying $15.
    Yeah, just checked my bill. I’ve got the PCS Vision Professional Pack (which makes me think i should be wearing fishnets on the streetcorner, but that’s probably a personal problem) with is $15/month.

    I’ll note that I *don’t* have a GSM phone though, since it’s usually cheaper for me to rent one for as infrequently as I need it, so that might have some effect on what I’m paying.

  2. Yeah, Cingular’s data, like everything else, costs more money than everybody else. Cingular has the best coverage (because of the AT&T merger) and they know it. I played with T-Mobile when I first got the Treo which had $10 unlimited Internet if I recall correctly, but the problem is there were tons of dead spots, including lots of areas of the work campus and the entire area of South San Jose where my wife’s parents live. You can easily see these dead spots, in fact, if you look at http://compass.t-mobile.com/, another thing that I liked about T-Mobile.

  3. I don’t know if this will help you feel not too bad. We have 2 Treo 650’s. So double all those expenses usually.

    39.99 for Family Talk 450 plan + 19.99 for additional line
    35.99 for PDA Connect (faster speed) + 24.99 MediaNET unlimited (for hubby)

    We had a few months of going over our minutes and then taxes, and we were getting bills in the 300-400 range. Absolute insanity. I know have the hubby checking his minutes ALL the time, and I do too. We’ve finally got the bill down to something more manageable. Still overpriced.

    Once our contracts are up, I’m going to check out Sprint. (another year and half :-\ )

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