The Friday gathering – Updates and cell phones

By glblguy

I’ve received a number of emails from readers asking about the status of our move. First let me say thanks. I am always overwhelmed at how much you guys care about my life and what’s going on. I also have a number of reader’s who’ve said they are praying for my family and me so that everything goes smoothly.

Update on our move

The closing date is set, October 23rd. The current plan, assuming I find a moving company that provides an estimate within my budget, is to have them load us up on the 22nd. We’ll drive to the mountains that evening and stay at our in-laws place for the night, close early the next morning, then meet the movers at the new house. That schedule will make for a busy few days, but honestly we can’t wait. We’ll spend the next few days unpacking, signing the kids up for school and getting my office set up so I can begin work the following Monday.

Many of you have also asked about our loan approval given the current state of our economy and the credit lock down the banks are going through. Well, to be honest, I had no problems. I am approved for a loan for 95% of my homes value with a 5% down payment. We’ll be putting down more than that, hopefully at least 20% and maybe a little more. I received my pre-approval on the loan with 2 days of applying and signed and returned our commitment letter from the bank last week. Assuming the house appraises, we’re good to go.

Our current home still hasn’t sold. We receive 1-2 shows a week, and our neighborhood now only has 11 homes for sale. We remain hopeful that the house will sell, although the reality of it possibly taking longer than we had hoped is beginning to take hold. Don’t worry though, we’ve planned for that and won’t be in a situation where we can’t pay the mortgages.

I’ve started a few more online stores over the past few weeks in order to beef up my revenue stream. My wife and I have also finally started writing some reviews on her reviews site, Review Mommy. So far they are doing well and are contributing to our plan for alternative income and diversified income streams.

I’ve also signed up for PPC-Coach, a pay per click (PPC) coaching program that coaches you through the process of learning to become a PPC marketer promoting affiliate programs. So far I’m learning a great deal and the information in the program is incredibly detailed. I’ll keep you posted on my efforts and hopefully my profits!

Our cell phones

Here’s where I am hoping you guys can help me out a bit. We currently have cellular service through AT&T. AT&T does not have very good service in the area we are moving to and as soon as you turn off the main road to head the 3 miles up to our house, the service ends. No service at our new home at all. Verizon on the other hand has great service in the area and my real estate agent uses Verizon. When he was at our new home, he had 5 bars of signal strength. So as much as I dislike it, we need to switch to Verizon.

I called AT&T the other day to see what it would cost to get out of our contract early. My wife and I have contracts that expire in 2009, but my son whom we recently added (before we knew AT&T had terrible service up there) has almost a full two years. I called them in hopes that they would let us out early since they didn’t provide good service in the area. I was even willing to split the cost with them. Their answer? “We only waive contracts for military leave or in the event of death. No exceptions.  You might want to consider a signal booster, you can find them on eBay”.

Not the response I expected. So I hung-up, not wanting to “negotiate” with them just yet. I wanted to spend some time researching and also get some feedback/suggestions from you guys on how I should handle this situation. Anyone have any tips for how to get out of a cell phone contract early? If so, please add a comment or contact me directly.

Carnivals this week

I only participated in one blog carnival this week, the Carnival of Money Stories hosted by Funny About Money. Head over, there are some great stories included. This is always my favorite carnival.  It’s never too big and I always enjoy reading the personal stories and perspectives that people share.

The gathering

And now for my favorite personal finance articles from the M-Network and the rest of my blogroll:

Photo by: Mrs. Gemstone


11 Responses (including trackbacks) to “The Friday gathering – Updates and cell phones”

  1. Patrick Says:

    Sorry about the cell phone situation. There are some ways you can cancel your contract without paying any fees – I wrote about it here and here.

    I transferred my contract about 7 months ago by doing an assumption of liability transfer – someone assumed my contract and it was legally transferred. That may be more difficult to do with a few lines (and if you want to keep your current numbers).

    I think you may have a case for canceling without paying though – if you can’t receive reception you can fight it. Try calling AT&T and requesting they have someone come out to your house to verify you have no coverage. If that doesn’t work, request to take them to arbitration (I think most contracts state you can’t sue, otherwise I would recommend small claims court). Basically anything is worth trying at this point – cancellation fees are too high to surrender without a fight.

    Good luck and good luck in your new home! :)

  2. glblguy Says:

    Patrick, thanks for including your links. I knew one of my fellow M-Network buddies wrote about this, but couldn’t recall for the life of me who it was! I’ll check them out and try the suggestions you provided. I did forget to mention, they did offer the transfer option, so I thought I might put an offer out on Craigslist to see if I had any takers.

  3. That One Caveman Says:

    The Consumerist has all sorts of ways to get out of cell phone contracts for free. The best way to do it is wait for a “minor” fee price change and get out using the “material change” clause.

    There are other sites that allow you to sell/trade cell phone contracts that you may want to look into.

    Good luck on that. I’ve used Verizon since I got my first cell phone in 1998. Yes, they’re not the best or friendliest company in the world, but they’re good enough.

  4. RT Says:

    I had this problem with Sprint when we moved to our new house 3 years ago. After a few frustrating calls, we ended up having to paying a fee to end the contract early, even though we only had a few months left on the contract. The fee was less than 3 months of service, but only barely.

    Their suggestion after the 5th call was to set the phone up for roam and offered to waive roaming fees, but at that point I was so fed up with their customer service that I didn’t want to have to deal with it.

    We’re currently with Verizon because they seem to have the best coverage in remote areas.

  5. David Says:

    Just keep calling them and telling them you dont have service. Eventually someone in retentions or a supervisor will cancel you – persistence is key. Thanks for the link.

  6. Melissa Says:

    My suggestion is to go into your local store. They often will waive it for you. My friend just moved to a place with no coverage, went into our local AT&T store, and they let her cancel her contract because they knew there was no coverage there. All of the other stores in town let her take a “test” phone out to her new home to see if they had coverage.

    It might not work, but it’s worth a try!

  7. Carol Says:

    If I’m not mistaken, I believe that a federal appellate or supreme court recently ruled that early termination fees for cell contracts were not permitted. It would be worthwhile to check into that.

  8. GoingGazelle Says:

    I’ve helped more than 1 FPU student out of a contract. I’d call back and get another rep. The moved out of your coverage area usually works. If that doesn’t work then your best alternative is to ask if they have changed your contract recently. Then refuse to accept the changes. Last time I did this they raised TXT message from 5 cents to 20 cents. All he had to do is deny the change to the policy. There is a clause that you can cancel without any fee if they change the terms and you don’t agree to it.

    The transfer your service sites have decent reviews. I’ve known a few people who do this too.

    This is why I say cell phone companies are evil. Jack up the price of a phone to ungodly high rates. Then claim this contract is backing up the cost of the jacked up phone. Then just make a change to your plan and reset the contract clock (even though the phone has more than paid for itself).

    Cell phone companies are almost as bad as alarm companies for backending fees and breaking the contracts.

  9. Frugal Vet Tech Says:

    When we got our first cell phone plan, there was a (very small) potential we’d be moving to a place Sprint didn’t have coverage. When we asked them what would happen if we did move, they said we would be able to get out of the contract with no problems because they wouldn’t be able to offer us service there (i.e. hold up their end of the deal). When our Sprint contract was up (we ended up not moving to the no-coverage place), we dropped them like a hot potato and went with Verizon. We were not impressed with Sprint, but we’ve been quite happy with Verizon – better coverage, better service, better people to deal with.

  10. Justin Says:

    Carol,

    You are mistaken.

  11. Hannelore Burhans Says:

    It is a very actual theory that the planes that hit towers 1 and 2 were remote drones. If that sounds improbable to you, you need to read the declassified Operation Northwoods PDF. It was unclassified under the Freedom of Information act in a mass of thousands of documents. Your government contrived to hold synthetic funerals for counterfeit victims of a fake plane crash in the 60’s!

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