Thursday, March 16, 2006

The phone bill saga continues...

SOME of you who have been by here before might remember the phone bill saga from last year where the Young Wan twittered away the cost of a luxury holiday on phone calls.

Of course these phone calls were made to friends she had just spent all day with in school and with whom she had just walked home. But yeah yeah I remember doing the same, however it was in the days before mobiles and the bills from my teenage were not of today’s ilk.

Anyway I get a monthly phone bill and between one thing and another a couple of bills mounted up just before Christmas.

I made a payment of 150 euro and then made another just after Christmas for, God it even pains me to repeat this, 550 euro, while it was an accumulated bill; it was still for a relatively short period of time.

And I would have preferred to gnaw off my own arm than hand over this amount of money for nonsense chatterings.

Now in fairness this was a combination of the Young Wan and my Mum. I thought the Young Wan’s contribution was sneakily-made on moments when the phone was inadvertently left unlocked.

I bought a new-fangled trendy phone with the handset and base which can be locked with a PIN to combat the first wave of teenage busbyism.

The next bill I received in January was the lowest ever at 15 euro due to me paying an extra 100 euro on what I actually owed. So the bill was really 115 euro.

I hope you are following these figures? It’s easy for me cos they are absolutely etched on my brain, not to mention my wallet.

The next bill from two weeks ago was 150 euro. I was floored. There were many calls, an absolutely ridiculous amount of calls made to her pals and I could not figure this out.

She is allowed to make calls, but I never allowed this many. Had I left the phone off its lock? Despite knowing that I hadn’t I doubted myself.

Then during a lovely conversation I asked her how she was able to make a call to the boyfriend the previous evening.

After some hhmmming and haaaing she admitted that she worked a way around the PIN lock.

She figured out the code before as I used one that I use for lots of things. My own fault I should have known she would have sussed that out.

But while I changed the phone PIN I left the phone base PIN as it was not realising that it is through the base that emergency numbers can be stored.

So she would fancy a call, put in a new emergency call number and off she would go.

One of the things I find mad about this is that she is with me practically all the time, she comes into me after school, we hang about together all the time.

So obviously every time I went to the shops, or had a shower, off she would go to the tune of the above amounts.

Can you imagine the damage she could have done if she came home after school, phoning all those mobiles during peak time? I practically feel faint about it.

And I think that is what upsets me most about this.

I have tried to talk to her, to quantify just what this money could have done being spent on us, being put away as the fee for shared ownership application, loads of things.

I don’t think it is unreasonable for her to understand that as a single parent household, with one income, that is just not fair and wrong.

Until this discovery I was actually looking at finally getting broadband. I have held back until now because I really need to get out of this flat, I need to get our own home and I have felt that getting broadband is admitting I am staying here longer than I would like.

How and ever it does make sense, particularly with Vivo and Skype, though I know nothing about either except that you can make calls over the internet. I intended to find out.

And I say intended because I feel if I do it now that I am rewarding bad behaviour.

Anyway one of the broadband packages I was looking at allows free local and national calls up to 60 minutes. Would I trust the Young Wan to phone and hang up at 58 minutes and then call back.

Quite simply – no.

Ach but sure you know yourself, this package includes digital tv, phone time, broadband and all the possibilities of that, so when I calm down I will probably make the call again.


Britmum said...

The joys of kids... I am not quite at the teenage years yet but somedays I feel like I am. Besides didn't you know that money grows on trees.

Omaniblog said...

It would be wrong of me to suggest what you should do: you haven't asked me.

But let me tell you that when I was reading your description of the inginuity of your won, I thought what a brilliant upbringing this one is getting: she is getting round obstacles with intelligence; her mother deserves a pat on the back.

I worked out how much my kids were costing me on "unnecessary" items. I translated that into a "pocket money" amount and allocated that to them. I increased their pocket money form about £2 to about £55 a week. Then I charged them for all unnecessary expenditure.

I made money that way.