Internet Service Math

When we moved in November, we had said we would put up with dial-up as long as we could, because Verizon basic phone service was almost twice as expensive as what we had at the apartment with AT&T. We signed up with a $4/month dial-up provider, and were delighted to find such a low price, with no connection issues at all. But, there was the issue of how painfully slow dial-up feels after getting used to a high-speed connection. Finally, we researched it a bit more, and decided to go with DSL.

The original thought was to get "naked DSL"- DSL without a landline phone (without a phone number). That way, we'd be paying for just the internet service, and not the phone line, which we use very rarely because we do have 2 cell phones. So, Josh signed us up for the current DSL deal, and planned to cancel the landline phone once we were sure everything was working happily. Well, when he called to cancel the phone line yesterday, the lady on the other end of the line told him that he signed up for the DSL-with-phone-line deal, the naked DSL is twice as expensive... so here are our choices:

  • Landline phone ($29) + Dial-up ($4) = $33/month
  • Landline phone + DSL = $39/month after taking into account all the special "bundle" deals, modem equipment included, for the first year
  • Naked DSL = $35/month + charges for the equipment we've already been sent, which will presumably be more that $48 ($4/month)
We don't really care if we have the landline phone or not, but I think, mathematically, it's going to make sense to go with phone + DSL for the first year, because of the equipment charges, then switch to naked DSL at the end of the 12 months. This is all more expensive than phone + dial-up, but only marginally so, and the benefit is worth the extra $6. And, on the upside, we saved money the few months we did put up with dial-up! And, you know what this means, faithful blog readers- more pictures, more often! No more waiting for an hour or more for my picture albums to upload!

Now to figure out what to do about the cell phone. I use only a handful of minutes each month... so far this month: 50 minutes, and half have been mobile-to-mobile. But, that's for another day.

More frugal tips!


Matt said...

Yeah... for someone who doesn't need a landline, the startup cost for Internet connectivity is ridiculous. Dial-up is on its way out. Unless you were paying your last $30 a month for the phone and Internet, it's not justifiable to put up with dial-up just to save a couple bucks.

We used to live across the street from a woman that I set up with Netzero, and the connection speed for email, job searching, etc. online was so slow that it was more productive for her to stop at the library on her way home from work than to dial in at home.

The last time I looked (2-3 years ago), naked DSL wasn't even an option in the Indianapolis area, so that's cool. Too bad Josh didn't have the complete details about it going into the whole thing. It seems like keeping customers uninformed is the main strategy for telcos to make a profit these days. It's shameful.

Beth @ The Natural Mommy said...

I had to argue quite a bit with the representative to get my $25/mo naked DSL plan. I searched until I found it online, all the while IMing with a representative to help me find it.

She kept telling me no such cost existed for naked DSL. I had to pay at least $40, she said. I didn't believe her and kept looking, finally finding what I knew in my heart to be true.

Even after I found it, she continued to tell me I was wrong, mistaken, misunderstanding, delusional. Finally, we were looking at the same webpage and she apologized profusely.

It seems the representatives are not told of Internet-only specials (and by that I mean, when you purchase your Internet ON the Internet.)

So long story not even remotely short, I got naked DSL for $25/mo. It's only for the first year. next year it goes up to $35/mo. Or I could cancel. We'll see what next year holds!

(And it's Verizon, by the way.)

Joanna said...

Matt- My dad works for one of those telco companies, so I'm not allowed to complain too much :)

Beth- that's very interesting. I wonder if we should call back... I just figured that the customer service people were supposed to discourage anyone from dropping their phone line, ever. Naked DSL definitely gets them out of some longer-term revenue from the landline phone service. We're on a 'we'll see what next year holds' holding-pattern too, as we got an internet-special thing, and our cost will go up after a year.

ashley @ twentysixcats said...

We were going to switch to naked DSL - ours was $20/mo - but then they wanted to charge us like $10/mo more to hook up multiple computers. We were frustrated and decided to keep with the cable modem, since it evened out to about the same price. I must admit I'm surprised though - I thought last time I talked to you, the dial-up was working just fine?

Joanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.


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