Friday, December 31, 2010

Reading the Fine Print

Here is a money saving tip I just learned the hard way: Read your contract closely before signing!

My wife really wanted an iPhone for a long time now. I had grown tired of Bell for several reasons and when I got my Blackberry I did so through a friend of mine at Rogers. I figured I'd save some money by getting a couples plan, but because we signed a 3 year contract with Bell, I knew getting out of it was going to be expensive.

I was told that canceling even 1 day early was going to cost me the minimum cancellation fee. So I waited until the contract expired (November 27th) before getting a couples plan and an iPhone at Rogers. Rogers took care of the phone switching which is supposed to cancel the contract, so you can imagine my surprise when I got notice that my phone was cancelled on December 27th.

I called to ask what this was about and it turns out that after the 3 year contract expired it automatically went into a month to month contract. To get out of the month to month contract I needed to give them 30 days notice. As hard as I tried (maybe threatened a little) I realized I wasn't going to get out of paying 2 phones in one month. Even though I couldn't use the Bell service if I wanted to because the number was switched over.

I'm usually pretty good at reading my contracts before signing, but in my defense it was 3 years ago that I signed. Plus this was the second contract with them, so I didn't read the second one as close as the first. Also, it just didn't make sense to me that if I transferred my number the number after the contract expired, I'd automatically be in a new contract.

I knew a year before the contract expired that I wasn't going to renew with them, so I guess I should have double-checked what I needed to do to end the "expired" contract. Still boggles the mind, but lesson learned!

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