Help Me Hank: Numbers Game
With his two daughters away at college, John knows keeping in touch with them is crucial. So at home in Merrimac, Dad bought each daughter a cell phone. Their phones did have exchanges from the nearby town of Lawrence, but they were still within John's local calling area...
"It was a great plan."
Bottom line -- even if his daughters were geographically long distance, his calls to them would be free.
"Everything was working fine."
Five months later though, look at his home phone bill and whoa, these are calls that used to be local and used to be free. He was charged for every one.
"I just couldn't believe that."
John called the phone company to find out why. He was told local calling areas were being downsized and fewer calls to cell phones were considered local.
"It was just frustrating."
But, the wireless company told him, "no biggie, we'll just get you new cell phone numbers from your new local area." O.K., Kind of annoying to change the girls phone numbers, but better than paying long distance. And that's when John heard about problem number two.
"They said there were no local numbers available."
No numbers? This was their idea! He called and called customer service, but always got the same answer. They were still within John's. No new numbers, same old bill, so John made one more call.
"I got in touch with Help Me Hank."
The phone company told us the rush for cell phones caused a run on cell phone numbers and they simply ran out. We told them if they can't provide what they offer, that shouldn't be Johns financial burden.
And soon after, John was a winner in the numbers game. His daughters phone exchanges moved from long distance Lawrence to local Haverhill and his phone bills moved from major to minor.
"I'm pretty happy. I'm glad I got the numbers. I just don't want to see anyone else go through this."
So check your home phone bills, it could be you're also getting charged more than you expected for calls to cell phones. If so, call your wireless phone company and get your number changed.