Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Old Cell Phone Bill

I happen to be very anal when it comes to record retention...I keep all my receipts, bank statements, etc. for 10 years, and I go through this annual ritual of shredding up all my records from 10 years ago shortly after filing my income tax return for the current year. So, after I filed my 2006 return last month I took out my box of 1997 records and proceeded to load them into the shredder. For some reason or another I decided to open up one of my old cell phone bills from that year; it was from Cellular One (remember them?). Anyway, I was absolutely amazed when I looked at the bill and saw that I had paid about $60 for a month of service that provided a whopping 30 minutes of local coverage per month! What's also amazing is that at the time this dollar amount seemed perfectly reasonable and not overpriced. In contrast to that, it's now 2007 and as I look at my latest T-Mobile bill I am lamenting over the fact that I spend nearly 90 bucks a month with them. This $90 includes 1000 anytime minutes anywhere within the US, unlimited data, Blackberry email and SMS, and unlimited T-Mobile HotSpot usage. It's not only amazing to see how far the technology has come along during this time and the corresponding drop in prices to the consumer, but also our attitudes and perception about these services and what we consider to be good value vs. not so good value for the dollar. Right now I think my monthly cell phone cost is way too high, but after seeing my 1997 bill in actuality it's quite the bargain.