When meanagers raise your BP to dangerously high levels...

  1. OK, this morning, I opened up the cell phone bill. I just signed my dtr on 2 months ago. We have 800 minutes between us to use. I desperately need to use my phone at work, but don't b/c I am afraid my dtr will put me over the limit.

    Sure enough, I opened last months bill...$171!!!!

    I think the top of my head will be found somewhere about 100 miles from here in a few days. I used 15 minutes of the 800!! All the rest was my dtr mostly getting incoming calls, which I have told her 100 times, don't answer it in the house!!!! Duh! Look at the number, and call them back from the home phone.

    Clearly she didn't think that was necessary, despite repeated warnings, AND, she also surfed aol on that damn phone, which I have FORBIDDEN her to do, but it cannot be removed from the phone. I think voice stream wants kids to do this and rack up the bill.

    Now, she is grounded, she was already grounded for completely deleteing every e-mail I had and everything I had saved in my documents folder on the upstairs computer, but now it is for the remainder of the month. She wanted to go clothes shopping, but she will get NOTHING now!!

    The thing is, what do I do with the phone? They cannot alter the service. I can switch to pre-paid, but if she uses her minutes up, no service, and then I can't reach her, defeats the purpose.

    I wamted the phone for her safety and my convenience, but now I have no choice but to take it away. Not too much of a problem since she will NOT be leaving the house at all for the month of October.

    So, here I am screaming at the top of my lungs this morning, and my son gets ready to leave for school. Clearly, he is thrilled to have my wrath directed at his sister, b/c he is smiling like a cheshire cat, kissed me goodbye twice this am!!! A sure sign he's going to think about how he can cash in on this to his best advantage. (But, no matter the reason, it was nice to be acknowledged by him this am, instead of him by me as it usually is ).

    Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. I can't get any new service for 6 months at least, or I have to pay $250 per phone to d/c. I think I'm already in enough debt for this phone.

    Any ideas? Anyone else been through this? Anyone else have a child so selfish she would dump on her parents like this when she has been given the privalege of having a phone in the first place???

    My jaw is clenched so tight right now, I think I will need a muscle relaxant to loosen it up!
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Whoa! Let's take a moment to relax......

    When I first read the title of the thread, I though you had just misspelled "managers." :chuckle

    Since you can't alter the service or cancel it without heavy monetary penalties, I would hang on to it. BE FIRM AND CONSISTENT WITH HER GROUNDING FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH! At the end of the month, I would give her another chance. I think a good long month of heavy restriction would make her take notice. If it happens again, you can worry about taking it away for good then.

    Does she have a job? Do some baby sitting? She needs to reinburse you for her selfishness. If not completely, enough that will hit her where it hurts.

    Now, if you wanted to be cruel (which I just love), you could take her clothes shopping. As she stands there with all of her good finds in hand, have her add them up, just so you have a ballpark as to the total of the purchase. Then kindly tell her to put them all back, and that you'll deduct the amount you WOULD have spent on clothes from what she owes you.

    Now, in the meantime, could your son use a phone? Would he be responsible with it? There's another cruel lesson for her.....

    Heather
  4. by   hoolahan
    Heather, I like how you think!!!

    MY son has my old phone, which is attached to my husband's service. Hubby and I had the two phones with AT&T, he just renewed until January 2003, so in order to get Kris a phone, I got us two voice stream phones. I mean 800 minutes for crying out loud!!! The plan is when the at&t plan runs it's course, we switch all phones to the voice stream account, OR maybe we'll switch to at&t, since voice stream is too dangerous for her.

    My son has my old phone, and virtually never uses it. I call him at work on it so I can see what time he needs to be picked up, and that's about it! Maybe I can give him the voice stream phone, and give Kris (eventually) the at&t phone, which she can only use 250 minutes and NO aol possibilities on that older phone!!!! My son uses the phone the way it is intended to be used.

    She's only 13, so no jobs really. She gets rare babysitting jobs, so can't depend on that. I know! She can work it off!!! I will design a chart with fees, like mopping the floor $5, cleaning the BR...etc... She will have a lot of work to do before she can be debt free to the tune of $102, the actual overflow amount of charges! Then, she will have to continue working to earn her clothes money!

    Thank you Heather, I am feeling much more relaxed now!
  5. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by hoolahan
    I know! She can work it off!!! I will design a chart with fees, like mopping the floor $5, cleaning the BR...etc... She will have a lot of work to do before she can be debt free to the tune of $102, the actual overflow amount of charges! Then, she will have to continue working to earn her clothes money!
    Great idea! And the phone switching thing is a good idea too. Why should she get the nicer phone when she's proven herself unresponsible?

    Not totally out of character for a 13 year old, but definately punishable!

    Heather
  6. by   Aussienurse2
    So you have to pay for incoming calls??? WOW!! My son would go broke!! He has a phone through Virgin that he pays twenty bucks every two months for, mostly it gets used by the chickys ringing him and only rarely uses it for anything but to call me to pick him up or to tell me where he's off to. Then again he's only ten, but still MY mobile bill is only fourty bucks a month....
  7. by   kaycee
    Just went through this with my daughter. She is older(18) and she never realized that you use up minutes with incoming as well as outgoing calls. I showed her the bill and she was very surprised. She doesn't have a steady job because she is in her first year of college but she has some money saved for events she wants to go to. I made her pay me anyway. This way she'll watch the minutes when she knows she'll be paying for them.
    Since your daughter is younger and has no money, I really like the work it off idea, and by all means give her the old phone!!
  8. by   Zee_RN
    I just got my three 13-year-old daughters a pre-paid cellphone (yes, they have to SHARE it). It is for emergencies only and thus far they've only used it about six times (since August). My $$$ are gonna expire on it soon.

    I'd be incredibly IRATE about $171!!! Is there someway you can check the status of the phone throughout the month rather than wait for the bill? A lot of cellular companies have a website where you can check your account online. Then you could keep tabs on it and if you saw her abusing the privilege you could nip it in the bud...once she's allowed to use the phone again, that is. I'm with Heather--you gotta be tough and consistent.
  9. by   hoolahan
    Yes, Zee, there is a way, but I trusted her. Sad to say, that trust has been shattered, at least for now. The phone has been confiscated until the bill is worked off, since she is grounded until then anyway!

    Thanks for saying you'd be IRATE too, b/c I was. I was serious about my head exploding!

    Kaycee...I'm moving to Australia!
  10. by   deespoohbear
    A co-worker of mine had a similar experience with a cell phone but her daughter racked up about $300 and this girl is 18. Her Mom made her pay for the bill. Not sure what to tell you about your daughter except stick to your guns!!!! Maybe you could do some researching the net and see if anything else is available to help limit her time. Best Wishes.
  11. by   Mkue
    That is a pain to run over on minutes !! My college son found that out one month last summer, I think it was upwards of 170$$ also.. .. he worked to pay that off.. now he checks on the minutes.
  12. by   aimeee
    Oh my! When I was a teenager my mom gave me a clothing allowance. She paid for one coat for each season and a couple pairs of shoes, the rest was up to me to buy from the clothing allowance. Taught me the value of a dollar fast! After she works this off maybe a system like that would work for you. Then if she went over in phone minutes it would be deducted from her clothing allowance.
  13. by   Whisper
    I can not belive you have to pay for incomming calls, I would never have any credit on my mobile, If I had to pay for that...mainly becasue I spend way to much time on the net.

    But here is my suggestion... when my sister abused her phone priviallages my mum hired a pay phone formt he phone company, where she could set the rate per minute, and I think my sister had to pay 50pence per minute instead of the usuall 10pence, until she had paid my mum back, and the cost of hiring the phone, and learnt not to abuse her phone priviallages.
  14. by   cargal
    How about the next time she is permitted to carry it- have her sign a contract first. I have read that contracts are very effective, and you have it in writing! I made up a contract for my daughter when she started driving- which included not ever getting in a car where there was drinking, or allowing anyone who is drinking in her car. She needed to ask permission when she was taking passengers. I have avoided letting her have a carful of kids which increase the distraction level. The contract included calling if your plans changed and you are going somewhere else, or you are leaving the original destination stated. It has worked very well so far. At the tender age of 13, this could be a valuable lesson that may be transferred to result in a greater level of responsibility.
    My daughter recently hydroplaned the car when she was coming back from swimming practice. She denied speeding, which I think she was. After the $1400 insurance payout and our $500 deductable, and she couldn't drive her baby (my baby in real life) for a month, I view this accident as (hopefully) a valuable lesson that may save her life in the future. If she learns from it.
    Maybe its time to renew that contract!
    Blessings,

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