Monthly Archives: July 2006

20 Savings Tips And Counting

If you’ve missed it, I’ve been running a post about the very, very best money saving tips. Well, the post now has 20 tips, from bloggers all around the personal finance blogging world. Please check out the original post here:

Money Saving Tips Link-A-Thon

If you have a tip, please leave it in the comment field of the post above.

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Dish Network : Problems, Frustrations, Resolutions

A few days ago I called Dish Network to see if I could get a discount on my Satellite service. I thought everything had gone fine and dandy, but, alas, the attempt to get a discount hit a snag or two.

Original Package Costs: PVR120 channels plus Atlanta Locals = 53.99 + 5.99 = 59.98
Discount Package Costs: PVR120 channels plus Atlanta Locals = 43.99 + 5.99 = 49.98

(Both packages would also have taxes)

So, I was going to save 10 dollars a month for 10 months, for a total savings of 100 dollars. Yay! Right? Not quite…

First, Dish Network messed up my entire programming package by CANCELING my Atlanta locals, and replacing them with local channels that are closer to where I actually live. Yuck!
So, I called to get my Atlanta locals back, and guess what? I no longer “qualify” for Atlanta locals. My address requires that I have locals that are closer (because they are available). Now I am stuck with the cheesiest local channels EVER!

(By the way, Dish Network uses outsourced phone operators, and I had to change operators 3 times before I finally spoke to someone I could understand…)

So… Here’s where I stood, after the mix-up about the locals:

PVR120 with crappy locals = 43.99 + 5.99 = 49.98

But, that’s not all folks…

When I got my bill from Dish Network, there were literally dozens of charges, subtractions, charges, subtractions… I could have interpreted a Sanskrit poem with greater ease than it took me to figure out my satellite bill.

AND… You guessed it… Instead of a discount, my total due was actually 3 dollars HIGHER than it was THE MONTH BEFORE. Seriously. No discount, no Atlanta locals, a PBS channel that I did not order, Crappy locals, AND they over-charged me. Arrgghhh….

Back to the phones…

This time, I decided to go on the offensive. I told the FIRST “heavily accented” operator that I was going to cancel my service if I was not IMMEDIATELY transferred to a service manager. Thankfully, I was connected in less than 30 seconds to a higher level service associate who spoke perfect English. Yay!

I explained, very, very slowly, my entire history as a customer of Dish Network. The woman I was talking to was very professional. She listened to me, took notes, and responded rapidly. She was, however, unable to re-connect me with my beloved Atlanta locals. But, she was able to fix my bill, remove the PBS channel, and give me and ADDITIONAL 3 months of 10 dollar discounts. So, here is the final breakdown:

PVR120 + Crappy Locals = 43.99 + 4.99 = 49.98 for THIRTEEN MONTHS

Hassle Level (1 -10): This was a solid 7. I had to make 5 phones calls, stay on hold for a total of at least 30 minutes, and talk to 11 different people.

Was it worth it? Ummm.. Yes and No. I am super glad that I will be saving 130 dollars over the next 13 months, but I really miss my Atlanta locals. Perhaps I should have left good-enough alone.

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NCN Land Updates….

As always, there’s a ton of stuff happening here in No Credit Needed Land:

The latest episode of the No Credit Needed Podcast can be found here.

I have posted tons of new and updated charts over at the No Credit Needed Network page here.
(The NCN Network now has 36 members! Please, come over and join up today!)

So far, 16 different personal finance bloggers have posted their very, very best money saving tips here, at the link-a-thon post.
(If you have a super duper money saving tip, please leave a comment and I’ll add it to the growing list. And thanks to all of you who have commented thus far!!!)

I will be moving to dedicated hosting (I hope) very soon. If you have not done so, please see this post about updating your links / bookmarks to the various No Credit Needed Sites.

Lastly, I still have a few ING Direct referrals left to give out. Please see this post about how to get $25.00 when you sign-up.

Whew, enough self-linking love. I’ve been away so much this summer, and I have missed being able to post daily. I will be getting back in the groove, and I want to thank you for hanging out with me.

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Emergency Fund Invasion

Well, well, well. Things were going so very, very well. And then? And then? We had an emergency. A 1000 dollar emergency. We actually had 2 emergencies. One involved a medical need, the other involved an automobile repair. So, I had to dig into the 13K in our emergency fund. I am very, very thankful that we HAVE the emergency fund. Why? Because, if I did not have an emergency fund, I would have had to have used my credit card. Yuck! So, we used some of emergency fund savings, paid for the medical need and the automobile repair, and moved on. No interest to be paid. No bills to worry about. No middle-man.

(Why does it seem to hurt more to spend 1000 dollars that you already have, as opposed to using a credit card to charge 1000 dollars?)

Just a brief note:

I have made several updates to the No Credit Needed Network. We now have 36 members. Yes. Please click over and check out what we’ve been up to.

I should have a new podcast up by Tuesday afternoon. Please check the No Credit Needed Podcast for more info.

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