Posted by: thesavinghabit | August 12, 2010

Don’t Get Ripped Off!

I know that may seem like an odd topic for an article on saving money. However, in my experience, it is very important to remain watchful so that you are not ripped off! Let me explain.

I recently contacted my telephone provider, who also supplies my internet and cell phone services. I wanted to see if they were offering any other service plans that would save me some money. I have found that every few months they change up their service plans and there might be something better available. They advised me of a plan that was supposed to cost less, and they had a free promotional offer which included free installation. I agreed to switch. During a call to technical support after everything had been completed, I found out that this new “plan” was digital phone service via a modem. So, if I lost power, I no longer had any phone service. After the experience we had during the last hurricanes that hit our area, this was not acceptable to me. To make a long story short, I eventually ended up making them switch me back to what I had before – a traditional landline and DSL internet service. They never once mentioned any cost to me for switching back. I received my first bill from them for the initial switch and it included a $149 installation charge. I immediately called and, after about thirty minutes of my time, was told the charge would be reversed. Later I received a “late notice” for the $149 fee. This required another phone call, and another 45 minutes of my time to get it corrected. Then, after switching back to what I originally had, I received another bill with another $149 installation charge! At this point I had spent probably four hours or more of my time on the phone with technical support, billing, etc already. I was almost tempted to just pay it and be done with it. However, we simply don’t have $149 to throw away, and even more it was the principal of the matter that I refused to ignore. So, another hour of my time on hold with a representative to get that charge reversed. Let’s hope it truly IS reversed so I don’t have to go through this yet again! My diligence in reviewing bills saved us over $300 (adding in taxes, etc).

However, I wonder how many people don’t pay attention to their bills and just end up paying fees like this? I have had various services charged to my home phone or cell phone accounts. When I call the number given, they try to tell me that someone in my house signed up for this special voice mail service or various other things. All of which I know is not true. Occasionally we’ve had unrecognized charges on our credit card bills. It turned out that someone had stolen our credit card number even though the cards were still in our possession. Again, how many people never review their bills and just pay the charges? I also found out that my telephone service provider can change your account to require a password to make any changes to it, which has prevented these unwanted services from being added. You may want to check into that as well, especially if you have children who might put your phone number in for something online, not realizing they are “authorizing” a charge to your phone. I cannot urge you enough to be diligent to review every bill before you pay it. It could save you a considerable amount of money each year.

Now, on to the deals this week!

Know the Lingo
BOGO – Buy one, get one free
SS – Smart Source (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
RP – Red Plum (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
PG – Proctor & Gamble (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
GM – General Mills (occasional coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
Blinkie – coupon dispensers in stores
Peelie – coupons found on products that you peel off
Hangtag – coupons found hanging on bottles
All You – Magazine sold at Walmart or via subscription

Back-To-School Shopping
Before we start on the grocery store deals, don’t forget that this weekend is the Tax-Free Back To School Shopping. I found a great list recapping where the deals are for each type of item over at BeCentsAble.

Whole Foods: Click here for their coupons. If you prefer to shop at Publix, they should accept these as competitor coupons.

Publix Greenwise: Click here for their weekly ads.

Many thanks to IHeartPublix.com for their great tips on shopping at Publix!

For Publix ‘Super Deals’ for 8/12-8/18, please click here.

For Publix full sale list with coupon match-ups for 8/12-8/18, please click here.

For Publix ongoing sale list, please click here .

For Publix Advantage Buy Flyer sales, please click here.

Renita’s Favorite Money-Saving Sites
http://cvssimply.blogspot.com
http://www.specials.publix.com
http://www.iheartpublix.com
http://www.iheartwags.com
http://www.iheartcvs.com
http://www.cvsdeals.gather.com
http://www.grocerydeals.gather.com
http://publixpennypincher.blogspot.com
http://www.southernsavers.com
http://freefrugality.blogspot.com
http://getadealdude.com

E-Book now available!
I’m excited to tell you that my book is now available as an e-book! So, you can save money while you learn to save even more money by purchasing an e-book instead of a traditionally bound book! For more information, please click here.

Renita is a resident of Palm Beach County, and author of “Wow! You Saved How Much?” For more information, visit her website at http://wowyousavedhowmuch.com.

I grant permission for every reader to reproduce on your website the article you are now reading but copy this article, without any alteration whatsoever. Include the copyright statement, too, please.

“Copyright © Renita R. Perrone All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article on your website without alteration (excluding the weekly deals) if you include this copyright statement and leave the hyperlinks live and in place.” http://wowyousavedhowmuch.com

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