Today’s guest post is from Bob Lepp, a consultant who examines your telecom and utility bills and finds ways to reduce your costs, either with the same supplier or by changing suppliers.
He’s saved almost $15,000 for his first 28 clients. He takes one third of the first year’s savings as his compensation. A similar service, Cut My Costs, takes 40 per cent of the first year’s savings.
Bob’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his views below.
Look closely at your Bell phone bill every month. If you have bought an â€˜Anytime Block of Timeâ€™, or any long distance, eliminate it right away.
Bellâ€™s design hides what you bought and for how much, thus falsifying the savings. Let me explain.
1) You cannot determine what you bought. There is no size of the â€œblockâ€ you bought. It may be 100 or 1,500, the bill never tells you. The â€œper minuteâ€ rate is buried in the usage chart.
2) Thereâ€™s no total plan price. Thereâ€™s a block price, but you pay more. You will see â€œ1 Network Charge $6.95â€, the second plan component. When questioned, Bell says â€œEveryone pays that standard charge.â€ It is really just Bell-speak for â€œextra profitâ€.
3) Check the usage on every call. Date, time, place, number, duration, cost. But thereâ€™s no total of minutes used. That space is empty in the chart. Given the total, youâ€™d divide it into the sum of Block plus Network for a minute rate. And that is why Bell does not add it up.
4) Check â€œSavings and/or Discountsâ€ columns, youâ€™ll see the old mileage-based rates, 10 cents close by, 79 cents to BC. These are rates no one should pay, but Bell chooses high rates for comparison. They need â€œsavingsâ€ so badly they do it by the minute in the usage, then total up and state it FOUR times under â€œUsage-Summaryâ€. But no â€œtotal minutes usedâ€ OR â€œunusedâ€ from your expensive plan.
5) Bell does NOT add in the plan and Network Charge as costs when calculating savings. Nope, theyâ€™re ignored. First, they charge an inflated .79 cent rate, now they leave out fees REQUIRED for the deal. EVERY invoice says savings were made. Every one. Because every plan is â€œfreeâ€ of costs, according to Bell.
Bell forbids us from calculating savings, since if we did weâ€™d cancel the plans immediately.
Why? Rates used for comparison are not applicable to anyone, unless that person failed to say: â€œI want your no-charge â€˜no planâ€™ long distance planâ€.
Smart customers making few calls remove ALL long distance plans, asking instead for the free one, charging ONLY for making calls.
No calls? Pay nothing. Make calls, pay 25 cents a minute anywhere in North America, not 79 cents. Bell charges $2.50, once for that entire month, regardless of minutes used. No â€˜Network Chargeâ€™ applies.
Next month, start all over, make no calls, pay nothing. Florida for 5 months? No fees. The most you should pay Bell is 25 cents, plus $2.50 across all minutes that month. They wonâ€™t tell you that, unless asked.
We contacted Bell President George Cope at: email@example.com, suggesting the formula needs correction. The bill should total the minutes purchased, total our usage, and suggest better plans based on usage.
The reply? Chris, employee MYCVAS, called with bad news. Nothing will change, the calculations are identical for everyone, ours is no different.
Would they fix the calculations? No, he said thereâ€™s nothing Bell can do, because â€œour systems are so old only 3 people can change them. Changes cost lots, millions, for even the smallest change.â€
How can customers find out the true savings on their plans? Chris expects customers will call about an unclear or wrong bill. Then, a better plan is suggested.
Regular readers know you speak to Loyalty about cancelling and then they throw money to retain you. Thatâ€™s their job and theyâ€™re rated on how many customers they retain with better deals.
Every Loyalty agent wants to keep customers after mentioning â€œcancelâ€. But Bell cannot automate the real savings suggestions onto the bill itself.
Call Bell today, question every charge, every line item, document each, what it covers, start date and end dates for contracts. Ask for lower fees. You are paying too much, you want to pay less.
They welcome your call and will give discounts just for asking. â€œIâ€™d like to know I am paying the least before I decide to cancelâ€ is a good opener.
Bottom line: No Bell LD package is good unless you can calculate your true minute cost easily. Then, get direct dial LD for 3 cents with Rapidtel Easyvoice.
Get off the Bell â€˜regulatedâ€™ line. Go â€˜unregulatedâ€™. Get basic Home Phone Lite for $14.95, INCLUDING Touch Tone and 911.
Get those missing bundle savings for TV and cellphone services that â€˜regulatedâ€™ lines donâ€™t get. (Get $5 off phone for TV, for cell, for internet, again for an LD plan over $5. Itâ€™s all there for the asking.)
Savings are for 12 months, so call back just before to renew your deal. Otherwise, your discounts end and you pay full fare.