Keeping up a blog is actually quite a bit of work. Pictures in particular, even as unorganized as they often appear on this page, take a long time to work with. There are lots of perks however, and our kids should have a pretty nice record of their childhood.
One perk I haven't yet taken advantage of is being able to rant to an audience. Although we aren't exactly trying to promote our blog, we do have a number of people who stumble on to this site.....which means a least someone will listen to me....so here it is.
If you are like me, you probably don't scrutinize your telephone bill too much. I think they are made especially difficult to understand for that very reason. Now that I have my internet and television bills on the same paper, but on different billing cycles, it becomes tough to know exactly when and what I am paying for. Maybe this is the reason that Telus (our only local phone company) thinks they can get away with a $2.95 "LD access charge". I would never even have noticed this, except that Telus overcharged me by $50 last month, so I took a closer look at the bill. According to the company the "LD access charge" is levied on my account because the cost of providing long distance access is increasing. Because I am not signed up for a Telus long distance plan (which cost a minumum of $5/month to have the right to pay long distance rates which are at least 3-4 times higher than calling cards), I am now charged this access fee whether I use long distance or not.
The representative from Telus told me that a notification was sent out with my October bill. I, probably like most people, never even knew looked at this paper. I got 4 telephone calls from Telus trying to convince me to switch to Telus T.V. versus one small piece of non-descript junk mail to tell me I am being charged for something I don't even use.
I don't think there are many people that would argue that it is pretty crumby corporate behaviour to sneak in a monthly charge for a service that isn't being used. However, they may just be doing me a favour. The only way the charge can be eliminated is to block long distance access, which I have now done. Although I have mostly been using calling cards anyways, I did occasionally dial directly with Telus when I had no credit left on my cards. I figured that if my calling card to Austria costs 1 cent a minute, then Telus couldn't be more than 25 or 30 cents. Although it wouldn't be a frugal decision, I was sure that I could finance the 10 minute call. I wasn't very pleasantly surprised when I got my bill and saw that their rate to an Austrian land line is $1.45/minute. When I asked the billing department why I was paying 145 times the calling card rate I was told "we have a different business model than them". I couldn't help but agree. Telus' long distance business model must be to target the people who are too busy and rich to care about their money.....and the elderly who are just used to picking up their phone and dialing....because that used to be the only way to do it.