7 On Your Side:On Vacation? Stop Paying For Services You Don't Use - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

8/6/07

7 On Your Side:On Vacation? Stop Paying For Services You Don't Use

Photographer Yun Gen Yang is always on the go...camera in hand.

To stay connected, he pays big bucks to have internet service and tons of minutes.

"My phone bill a month usually costs me about $120-$130 dollars," says Yun.

And that's money he didn't want to waste while traveling recently in Asia without his cell. So Yun used a little known savings trick called a temporary service suspension.

"I only needed to pay $15 a month. I was able to save about $100," says Yun.

Kelli Grant with smartmoney.com adds, "You can use these sorts of service suspensions for internet, cable, land line phone, wireless phone, satellite TV."

Grant says just call and ask providers to deactivate any services that won't be in use for the amount of time you're away.

"They shut everything down, but it saves all of your settings. In the case of your phone, you still get to keep your number. Cable, you still have all your packages," Grant explains.

And you get a big break on your bills! Here's a breakdown of what providers offer: suspending service with Cingular/AT&T is $10 a month for up to six months.

T-Mobile is also $10 a month but if you're gone less than 30 days it's free.

Verizon wireless charges a $15 deactivation fee and will suspend service for up to 90 days.

Their TV, phone and internet services cost $10 to deactivate, plus $10 a month.

If you're an Alltel customer, they do not offer a temporary service suspensions.

And for satellite customers: Dish Network charges $5 a month for up to six months. DirecTV is free and suspends service for one week to nine months.

"Companies that offer land lines, cable, and internet really want you to be gone for about four weeks. If it's like a satellite TV or a wireless company, they tend to have lower limits or no limits," says Grant.

When shutting off your wireless, keep in mind your carrier may extend your contract by the same number of days as the suspension.

Yun says that didn't bother him the savings were worth it.

"Next time I go away for a long period of time, definitely I will suspend my phone again," says Yun.

You can't suspend your service forever but make sure when you call to deactivate you let your provider know the day you'll be returning so that everything's back on when you get home.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

 

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