Monday, January 16, 2006

Can You Hear Me Now?

The mailman dropped my Verizon bill in my parents' mailbox on Saturday. My dad, fresh from the hospital, called me yesterday to tell me it was waiting for me. He reminds me, quite often, of the mammoth pile of mail that constantly waits for me at their house. Junk, credit card applications and insurance information will pile up around the one magazine and two bills I get in the mail each month, waiting to be gone through and disposed of. And every time I visit my parents, I dig through the pile for my credit card statement and my cell phone bill, leaving the rest of the junk in the pile, claiming that I'll get it all "next time."

Last night, while Billy and I were visiting my parents, my dad used the "I just got out of the hospital" card and convinced me to go through all of the mail they'd deposited in the overflowing basket used just for my mail. I separated my bills from the wasted paper known as credit card applications, and set to shredding the items I knew I didn't need.

After that was done, I opened my Verizon bill, sure that it would be somewhere around the $50.00 I spend every month on my cell phone. I'm not a big talker when it comes to the telephone. Although it is my only phone (There is no land line in Billy's house OR my own), I use it mostly to coordinate plans with friends and to call work. Or so I thought.


WHAT? My eyes scanned the twelve pages of detailed billing information, searching for a clue as to what happened. Surely, my phone number had been pilfered, and someone was using my Verizon account and/or phone number to call sex lines or Madagascar or something.

But no. There, in very fine black and white print, was an itemized list of all the calls. And, though few phone calls on the bill topped four minutes, there were a ton of calls made, and they were all made by yours truly. Billy, my mom, my house, my friends Pollo and Nancy & Alex and Melanie and Kelly. Both jobs. A few restaurants, when I called ahead for takeout. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I have three hundred free daytime minutes. I have never, ever gone over that allotment.

This month? 742 minutes used! That's 442 over my free minutes! I can't believe I yapped that much on my silly little phone in one month. I was disgusted with myself. But I figured there must be some mistake.

So I called Verizon this morning, hoping that the answer would be a simple "Whoops! We messed up and charged you for calls that were supposed to be covered under your plan," or, "Whoops! Our computers malfunctioned and added incorrectly. You only owe us $42.91."

I imagine that it comes as no surprise that Candice, the friendly Verizon rep I got on the phone, said neither of those things.

"Just looks like you went over your minutes, hon."

Yeah. I see that. She suggested I sign up for another year of Verizon service, then they could adjust my bill down to just over $100.00. Thanks, Candice. But I'll pass.

I hung up and I wanted to cry. I couldn't believe I'd gone that far over my minutes, racked up a cell phone bill that high.

So what did I do?

I went outside with a cigarette, and, in a ten minute conversation, told my mom how pissed at myself I am for going over my minutes. And what did I use to make that call?

Why, I used my cell phone, of course.


kate said...

that reminds me that i have to upgrade my plan. i'm using my cell way too much lately and don't want to get a bill like yours. lol. sorry.

God's gift to women (with really low standards) said...

It's not that expensive even if you do call a sex hotline in me.

Doug said...

I have a cingular plan that gives me 1000 anytime minutes, free nights (after 9PM) and weekends. Since my entire family is on Cigular, all calls to thier cell phones are free. Now if only Napkin Girl (see my posts) would get Cigular, I'd be Golden. I even used my phone a little bit in Germany and the bills were not that bad.

Kristi said...


I'm sorry, but that lst bit is funny!