In order to reach our goal of financial freedom, we are increasing income and slashing our expenses.  We will be sharing ways that we’ve successfully decreased our monthly expenses in order to help you cut your own costs. 

It seems that my frugal ways have finally gotten the best of me. We are living in the stone ages this week and it is almost funny.. :) Here’s how it all started…

A few months ago I began looking for ways to save money on our phone and internet bill. We have been long time customers of Bell and had generally been happy with the services and discounts we were able to get from them but our bill had crept up too high and I couldn’t get them to lower it to an acceptable amount. I posted here about how I ordered the Magic Jack so I could cancel our home phone line.  The device came in the mail (quickly) and we tried to set it up.  I had spoken to a customer service rep prior to ordering the device to make sure I could port our Canadian number because there was some conflicting information about this on the internet. The lady assured me this wouldn’t be a problem however, when we went to set it up the program would not allow us to make the request to port our number. I spoke to customer service and they let me know that I had been misinformed. I was not at all happy about this but didn’t send back the device right away because we were still deciding what keeping our current phone number was worth to us.  In the end we couldn’t get the device to work properly for us and weren’t very committed to calling customer service and putting more effort into a product we were no longer very happy with. I went to send it back (they had a 30 day free trial) but realized the 30 days was up.  I sold the Magic Jack Plus on Ebay for a bit less than I originally paid for it and was right back at square one.

I googled around for Canadian versions of the Magic Jack that would allow me to port my number. I stumbled on the Talk It which seemed to be just what I was looking for.  I spoke with their customer service department extensively and they made sure that porting my number would not be a problem. I held off and read some reviews and after gaining some confidence in the product I went back to the website to order. As luck would have it, they were running a Spring promotion where I would save $40 on the device and first years subscription. I went ahead and ordered my device for a total cost of $163.82 which included a one time $30 fee for porting my number, $14.99 shipping, the device and first years subscription for $99.98 and a healthy dose of HST. Once again, the device arrived in no time and I had no problems setting it up. We had to wait a few days for the porting request to go through so we used the temporary number they gave us and made a few calls. The quality was excellent and we were quite excited about our Talk It. The yearly subscription that we would be paying for our home phone would now be $60 rather than the $40/ month we had been paying Bell- plus the Talk It comes with great call features like call display that I was too cheap to pay Bell for. Also, I had been paying Bell $5 a month for unlimited long distance within North America and the TalkIt includes unlimited long distance within Canada. I don’t make many calls outside of Canada but if I want to I will have to purchase minutes from their website, a small hassle I’m willing to put up with.

In the meantime, we had switched our internet provider to Teksaavy to literally cut our internet bill in half.  We had activated the new Teksaavy account at the end of March to take advantage of a promotion they were offering at the time but wasn’t using the Teksaavy internet because our Bell connection couldn’t be cancelled until mid-April.  It just so happened that the date of the phone number porting and the Bell internet disconnection ended up coinciding.

On Thursday night at midnight, we lost our internet connection. We weren’t worried because we knew that our Bell connection had simply stopped working and we needed to hook up our new modem and reconfigure our connections to use the Teksaavy internet. Normally I let my husband take care of all of this but since I practically live on the Internet and was going crazy without it on Friday afternoon, I tried to hook up the new modem myself. It was super easy and everything was going well except for the fact that the modem/router didn’t seem to be registering an internet connection…

I knew then what I had done. Why hadn’t I thought of this little issue before making all the changes that I did?! When our phone porting request went through, Bell cancelled our home phone line which meant that we had no phone line for the Teksaavy internet connection to run through making a dry loop internet connection a necessity. Had I known what the term ‘dry loop’ meant I might have figured it out when I was ordering our internet but alas I did not and I did not make the connection (bad pun?) until it was too late.

On Friday afternoon I found myself with a cranky baby, no internet, no home phone and a dead cellphone. I plugged my cellphone in to charge and when it finally turned on I called Teksaavy to see what the heck we could do to get ourselves out of this mess. I should mention that my cellphone has an odd defect that renders it nearly useless for making calls. Almost every time I engage in a phone conversation the screen turns off as soon as the call is connected.  I then have to either wait for the screen to decide to turn back on which could take 15 minutes or 2 hours- I never know- or reset my phone. I can’t even turn off my phone properly when this happens since that would require use of the screen. This has never been a very big deal since I make very few calls with my cell phone and use it primarily for texting but it sure has been a problem this week!  After resetting my phone a few times and listening to some very poorly tuned on-hold radio I got through to Teksaavy and they said they’d have a technician come out to make the dry-loop connection work this coming Friday.

That’s right. An entire week without internet. *tear* Before I get too dramatic I should let you know that we are lucky to be able to tether our computers to our cell phones which is great (when my screen is on…) so I am able to use the internet through that. Also, it just so happens that I had re-activated our turbo stick at the expense of my workplace last month because they needed it for a work function. They ended up not needing it (it was for a backup plan that we didn’t need to use) but still paid for it and I am able to use it now when I need it!

We are still trying to use the Internet much less than we normally would since mobile internet is so much more expensive. Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday and the inactivity on Facebook and Twitter and bear with me if things are more quiet around here until we get this sorted out.  In the meantime, we are revisiting the art of conversation- apparently it was a lost art around here. :) I just keep reminding myself that it will all be worth it when we don’t have to pay Bell next month!

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8 Responses to Slashing Expenses: Lowering Our Phone and Internet Bills- The Saga Continues

  1. Ugh, phone bills are the bane of my existence, so I can see where you are coming from! I’m so, so close in being able to get out of my contract and lower mine!

  2. Christa says:

    My sister also had problems with Magic Jack and sent it back immediately. She didn’t want to try to figure it out and decided to cut the home phone out entirely.

    Glad you found something that works well in Canada!

    • Marianne says:

      Yes- the Talk It has been great and has way more features than what I had before for exactly 1/8 of the cost!

  3. Ouch! A week without internet at your fingertips. It’s definitely a generation kind of thing. I love to go a week without the phone or internet, that’s why we take cruises for vacation!

    • Marianne says:

      he he I’m such a baby. I did actually have limited mobile internet access but it’s very expensive so we didn’t want to use it much. Even with that I still felt completely cut off from the world! I even missed a pregnancy announcement from my sister because of the whole ordeal! :)

  4. [...] sorry for the silence last week everyone.  As I shared in my post about lowering my phone and internet bill, we spent a week without home phone or internet (except for our cell phones) and it was pretty [...]

  5. aemi says:

    Teky or Acanac usually have some good deals.

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