Friday, April 18, 2014

My Mama Told Me, You Betta Shop Around

This won’t take long today. As usual I have a little something to get off my chest. While I do a lot of creative things that act as my bread and butter, I also work a part-time job that supplements my income. Now exactly where I work is of no concern, you'll all probably figure it out in just a moment. But the things I've heard and the problems I've come across while doing this job are absolutely dumbfounding to me. If you are buying or signing up for anything such as satellite TV, mobile phone or home phone service, or internet service, why would you sign on the dotted line without reading the contract first? What makes people believe that the offer they saw on TV is the best offer they could ever get? Need an example, ok.

 *Sign up now for our phone service and get this (insert favorite phone brand here) for free and pay only $45 a month.
*Get (insert favorite TV service here) and pay 35% less than (other TV service).

 AFTER you get it you realize that said mobile phone service requires a certain two year plan with ridiculous termination fees, only certain phones are available with this offer, plus you have to sign up for this, that, and the other as well. NOT ONLY THAT, but you find out that the competitors TV service is normally $115 a month. 35% off that means a bill of somewhere around $71-$75; without taxes. And then people like me get the fun job of having to hear people like that call in and complain. "I was never told blah blah blah', 'Why is my bill so high', I should be let out of my contract because I was misinformed', and the annoying and most pathetic one, ' I feel unhappy so what are you going to do for me as a customer, what will you give me"? Now you want something because you feel you deserve it for not doing your job. All because no one took time to read the fine print, ask in depth questions to more than just one person, and most importantly, LOOK FOR THE BEST OFFER. 

 People if you want to stay out of debt, afford the things you want and skip the headaches,  you've got to get past the introductory prices and new customer offers and look at what it’s going to cost you down the road. And never look at just one company or speak to just one person at that company. For instance, when I was looking for a mobile phone the first thing I did was look at coverage. Where I live, most carriers were eliminated. Of the ones that were left, I spent almost a month comparing. That included me calling the store and asking them about the plans and prices. I made sure to ask them what this will cost me after the one year. Then I called that company's sales department and asked them the same things. THEN I called their regular customer service and asked them. A lot of times I got three different answers, so naturally they were eliminated. I went with prepaid in the end because I could up or downgrade at any time I felt like, I paid one flat fee with no surprises on a bill every month, and everything is unlimited (with great coverage). Do I have the hottest phone, No. Do you, Probably. Does you bill go up and down monthly and are there sometimes hidden charges, More than likely. Do I have that issue, NOT! When it comes to my satellite, was I told one thing during sign up and then shocked by my bill later (even 12 months later after I was no longer a new customer), again NOT!! I went beyond the introductory low price and calculated all my bills using the regular price, plus tax, plus overages, plus ppv, and equipment. Needless to say I always paid less than what I budgeted for. When you have to start calling these places and complaining and arguing about something you could have fixed; a look at your bill, research online and from existing customers, asking the hard questions; you just give away your power and you're left at the mercy of someone who can only do so much within company policy and that includes managers. And threating to cancel; WHATEVER; you don't want to pay the termination fee so stop lying. Not to mention you'd have to go through this all over again at your new company because it's a sure thing you didn't learn the first time.

Let's face it, these companies advertise new phones like they advertise cars, a new one every second. And the mobile carries and satellite companies and so on, they love that consumer need; that need to have "it" now, and have "it" be better than someone else's. And some of you out there will always fall into that trap if you can’t do your homework. It's worth it in the end to do what is necessary to get the best for your wallet and your family; not what's best for your image. As always shoppers, stay in Faith, stay Blessed, and stay Happified.

ta ta for now

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