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Cell Phone Overages – A Hidden Cost of Moving

Written by Nickel - 8 Comments

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After six years of regular cell phone usage without going over our allotted minutes, it finally happened… During the month of May, when we spent an awful lot of time conversing with two realtors, two closing attorneys, our mortgage broker, as well as numerous friends and family members regarding our move, we racked up 113 minutes in overages.

We use Sprint PCS (mainly for the 20% discount that I get through work) and, unfortunately, we hadn’t upgraded to one of their ‘Fair and Flexible’ plans that come with cheap extra minutes. Thus, instead of paying just ten cents for each extra minute (actually $5 for each additional block of 50 minutes), they stuck us for an extra forty cents per minute — yup, that’s $45.20 in overages, not including taxes. Oh well, that’s water under the bridge at this point, and I’d have to say that the convenience was worth it. But still… If you’re in the midst of moving, this is something to watch out for.

For what it’s worth, we have since switched to a Fair & Flexible Family plan that costs the same as our previous plan, but offers a bit more in the way of shared minutes (550 vs. 500) along with free roaming. We also got a few other perks that we had already collected over time, but which now come standard (free PCS-to-PCS calling, free nights and weekends starting at 7 PM). Oh, and I did e-mail customer care asking for a reprieve on the overages charges — no reply yet.

For more information on moving, check out my Roadmap for a Successful Relocation.

Published on July 6th, 2006 - 8 Comments
Filed under: Moving

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Don’t email, ask them when you called up… but that ship may have already sailed since you’ve changed your plans.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 6th 2006 @ 8:53 am
  2. Actually, Sprint rocks in this regard… They take pretty good care of their long term customers, and I just received an e-mail saying that they’d issue me a credit in this case (details to come in a followup post).

    Comment by Nickel — Jul 6th 2006 @ 10:07 am
  3. We use Verizon and had the same issue when we moved, but Verizon lets you upgrade your plan to a higher tier for a month and then downgrade, and they even allowed us to do it retroactively.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 6th 2006 @ 11:16 am
  4. you ppl and your cellphone addiction. . . actually, it doesn’t sound like you talk tons. . . but, I do hope you’re using a hands-free set up (and that you are keeping the actual phone OFF of your body when talking. . . i.e., NOT clipping it to your hip or whatever):

    for me, the “convenience” is fully negated when a BRAIN TUMOR is the trade off. Granted, I have a prepaid Tracfone Nokia 1100 (FW finance forum has some archived info about how to get these for ~$5) and I carry it in my car’s glovebox (for emergencies). . but, I HATE when I have to place those devilish devices directly against my noggin. . .

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 6th 2006 @ 9:53 pm
  5. btw. . . here are some links to the FW threads I mentioned (if anybody’s remotely interested in just going the *emergency phone* route). Some say $21. . . others, $5. Obviously, YMMV.

    FYI, tracfone’s customer service is awful. T-Mobile is also a good option (plenty of info on FW too) for those in the coverage area who use sporadically.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 6th 2006 @ 10:38 pm
  6. I also went over our minutes when we were moving – last July 4th. (We thought that holidays were included in free weekends – they thought not.)

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 7th 2006 @ 10:08 am
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