This week we’re going to talk about writers and money.
Mostly, we’ll talk about not having any because that’s reality for most of us.
Forget the clichés about how writing in a garret or a ditch lined with beer-vomit fuels us creatively. Poverty sucks. Worrying about income and outgo all the time drains us creatively. As a guy who’s basically been unemployed for two years, I have a lot to say on this subject, but let’s start by saving you $1,200 a year or more with one phone call.
You use the Internet for research (I hope). Call whoever supplies you with TV, Internet and your phone. I did this last week. I started the conversation with, “When I leave Bell, do you guys come get the satellite dish and leave holes in my shingles or how does that work exactly?”
“Why would you want to leave Bell, sir?”
“Because I just found out a buddy of mine in the same neighborhood with roughly the same services is paying $100 less a month than I am!”
This is true, by the way. This isn’t about scamming any company. It’s about solving the problem of being overcharged.
The guy I spoke to in Billing was befuddled as to what to do with me so I took the direct approach and said, “You want to transfer me to the Retention Department now.” That’s where the magic happens. The people in Retention are authorized to massage your bill and squeeze out money and happiness for you. The communications market is becoming more competitive and they don’t want to lose a customer.
Next I spoke with a helpful fellow who went through my communications package with me. I was paying for ten features on my landline. I don’t even know what those ten features could be. I dumped all but voicemail and caller ID.
If it were up to me, I’d dump the landline altogether, but we have to keep it so obnoxious telemarketers can harass us about buying gold and cleaning our air ducts. I also dropped my long distance plan. Use Skype for long distance. Skype is free.
We’re on the net constantly so there were no services to reduce. However, Retention guy “put a promo on it”. That means he knocked $6/month off the price because I bothered to call. That’s $72 a year on one component of the monthly bill, just because I said my bill was too high (which it was.) We also edited down the satellite package. Everybody gets a lot of channels they don’t watch. Kill them.
We haven’t noticed any loss of services or channels, but that one phone call (which took about half an hour) knocked those bills down precipitously. I haven’t got the first bill yet, but I will save about $1,600 in the next 12 months. Your mileage will vary, depending on how much you’re getting screwed to the wall by your service providers already.
In Canada, we no longer have pennies. Sure, a penny saved is a penny earned, but I’m talking about a significant amount of dough. I “earned” $1,600 in half an hour. Make the call.
Part 2 of this week’s series for writers will be about Writing and The Day Job. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, if you’re reading This Plague of Days as a serial, Episode 3 is out now!
~ I’m Robert Chazz Chute. I wrote a couple of books about an autistic kid versus the zombie apocalypse. Sure, that sounds ridiculous, until you understand that it’s also an international thriller and a Latin primer. This Plague of Days, Seasons One and Two have both achieved bestseller status. I’m still broke, but that will change.
- Wired to spend: How alluring tech add-ons are hiking our expenses (business.financialpost.com)
- Why It’s So Hard To Get Rid Of Your Landline (buzzfeed.com)
- 5 Tips For Saving Money On Furniture (debtconsolidationusa.com)
- Some Little Tips For Saving Money (debtconsolidationusa.com)
- 7 Tips And Tricks For Saving Money (debtconsolidationusa.com)
- Should authors have a thick skin? Ben Gorman offers advice. (theselfpublishingjourney.wordpress.com)
- 5 lingering (and silly) tech fees we shouldn’t still be paying (pcworld.com)
- Tips on handling a bad review (suzannesteelesblog.wordpress.com)