Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's My Bill in a Box

As soon as I thought of this title, I immediately thought of this: Dick in a Box. I'm sure most people have seen this Justin Timberlake skit from Saturday Night Live this past Christmas, but if you haven't, and you're not offended by off-color language, it's really hilarious.

Anyway...this post isn't about an Emmy-winning Saturday Night Live digital short, it's about my cell phone bill. My cell phone bill from AT&T, that came to me in not an envelope, but a BOX. A Priority Mail box no less. It cost them $4.60 to send me my bill, which I find a little bit ridiculous. So here's a little lesson for everyone:

Here is a cell phone bill:

Here is a cell phone bill on steroids. Any questions?

Well, maybe just a couple. The first one being, is it really necessary to spend $4.60 and kill three trees just to send me my cell phone bill? Why is it so big, you ask? Well, because they insist on listing every single incoming and outgoing phone call AND text message individually, of course. I have a teenager, and an almost-teenager. Although I must admit, the almost-teenager doesn't have much to do with the size of this bill. I will say, thank goodness since Cingular has been taken over by AT&T, they've come up with a family unlimited texting plan, where we all get unlimited texting for $29.99 a month. In my house, this is a bargain. How many text messages did Danielle have last month? *Drumroll* 9,091!! Yes, almost 10,000 text messages in one month! I realize those are both incoming and outgoing texts, but holy crap.

So me being me, I decided to do some math. I like math actually, as long as it's not geometry. Just keep your damn triangles away from me, and we'll all be fine.

Basing my calculations on a 30-day month, there are 720 hours in one month. Subtract 7 hours a day (this is an average, a little less on weekdays, more on weekends) for sleeping, which is 210 hours, bringing our total down to 510 hours. I also subtracted the hours a day she spends at school (5 days a week x 4 weeks), which is 140 hours a month, bringing the total hours down to 370. 370 hours a month when she is not sleeping or in class. 370 hours is 22,200 minutes. Divide that number by 9091, and you get 2.44197558. Yes, that's an average of one incoming or outgoing text message every 2.44 minutes that she's awake or not in class. Is it just me, or does that seem insane? I realize that a lot of them are just "ok" or "lol" or whatever, and that she can send about 30 one-word messages in 60 seconds, but come on.

In any case, I called customer service and said that I didn't want them killing three trees every month just to send me my bill. I already pay the bill online, I can see it online, and I see no point in getting a big box of paper every month. The idiot lovely customer service rep stammered that I should go to my account online, and check some box to opt out of the paper bill. I hung up the phone, went straight to the computer, and did just that. I feel like calling Al Gore now and telling him that I've just done my part to save the environment.


Lish said...

Wow...I am someone could send that many texts...or any at all.

Maybe it's our small town culture here, but Paige doesn't even have a cell (though she's getting added to our plan this Christmas) let alone text.

Good for you for opting out! I've done that with alot of bills and pay everything online now too.

Shelley said...

You know, a year ago it would have floored me too. When I put 1000 text messages a month on her line, I thought well of course, that's plenty. Then when she went over that, I was shocked. Then for another $5 a month, I could go up to 3000. Well, surely that would be enough, she'll never hit that number. Oh, how wrong I was. I got really tired of having a coronary over how much my cell phone bill was going to be every month. And I got tired of her going "But mom, I can't help friends are texting ME." Which, she sort of has a point, but still. That's about half of them. But then AT&T finally came up with this unlimited for everyone thing, and my cell phone bill has gone DOWN. Well, they use a lot more paper, but my cost has gone down. Finally. It's amazing how your perception of "normal" changes depending on the circumstances, you know? :)

LIBSMOM said...

The site looks fantastic! That's the closest thing to fall foliage I'll ever see!
Ian gets tons of text messages too. I always want to see the bill so I can figure out who exactly he's talking too but with THAT many incoming texts, I'd go blind trying to figure all that out!!
Love the hand holding shot at the zoo BTW!!

Anonymous said...

That's amazing!!! This is why I'm reluctant to get Megan a cell phone. D is bad enough with his Crackberry! Heck, I had to take Megan's laptop away for a while. One day she was up at 6am and I realized at 3pm she hadn't moved from that computer. I told her to put it away and she put it down and turned on the TV. I told her anime was anime whatever medium she was watching it on!