How much will my cell phone bill be?
July 5, 2006 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Is there an online calculator to determine how much my cell phone bill will be?

I'm on Verizon Wireless, and I'm talking and txt-ing a lot more now that most of my friends are long distance.

Is there a way to determine, quickly and easily, how much my bill will be next month? Online calculator would be nice, but I can do the math if shown how the billing works.

Example: $39.99 plan gives me 400 minutes and 1000 IN minutes.
If I were to talk more than 1000 minutes IN, what happens to the 400? What if I go over 1400 minutes total?

Not to mention that some minutes are "Peak" and some aren't.

Any suggestions?
posted by jacobw to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why don't you call customer service and ask them, since they're really the only ones that can positively tell you their terms and conditions?
posted by kcm at 10:23 AM on July 5, 2006

ditto kcm
posted by edgeways at 10:28 AM on July 5, 2006

You should definitely call customer service, but as a Verizon customer I can tell you this much:

1. The 400 and 1000 minutes are different buckets. They're not ever combined - which means you will be hit with per minute charges if you go over the 400, and again if you're over the 1000. So if you're talking a lot you'd want to be careful. (verizon has lots of plans with unlimited IN, which is well worth it if lots of your friends/family are Verizon customers

2. Peak minutes with Verizon are 6AM-9PM M-F, local to the time zone you are calling from. Any minutes used outside these hours do not count against either your IN or non IN bucket. (read: weekends are *always* free minutes)

But yeah, call Verizon if you want a more exact accounting - they can also use your billing history to suggest the best plan for your usage pattern.
posted by pdb at 10:33 AM on July 5, 2006

This isn't exactly what you are looking for I think but perhaps useful. It's an extension to firefox that shows your current usage in the status bar.
posted by about_time at 10:55 AM on July 5, 2006

Re-negotiate your contract. Verizon now offers unlimited IN calling. For me it was as simple as asking for the new plan in place of the $10/extra/month for IN. They even retroactively knocked two months off. $20 credit. Took a few minutes.
posted by mmdei at 11:48 AM on July 5, 2006

PDB: regarding #2, the peak time is based on your areacode/billing zip, not the location of the call. Which can come in quiet handy if you have a westcoast number and are spending..... some years on the east coast =)

Not so handy in reverse.
posted by mmdei at 11:50 AM on July 5, 2006

But, more importantly, call Verizon and get a better plan. I pay $39.99 a month for the 450 plus unlimited IN calls with the free Nights & Weekends deal.
posted by FlamingBore at 11:57 AM on July 5, 2006

BTW: There is an E in the word Text. *twitches at Verizon marketing*
posted by jeversol at 12:02 PM on July 5, 2006

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