So, now difficult child's phone and computer charges are up to $1,000

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    He thought he had unlimited phone time. Well, I gave him unlimited texting.
    Turns out he did not have unlimited talking time.
    This bill was something like $245. Add it to the rest of the bills and ... :sigh:
    :rollingpin:husband negotiated on the phone for 45 min with-a mgr (yaaay, husband!) and got the 1-866 charges removed, because this is the third mo we've called and told them to block those calls and they still keep getting through. (Some of these are leftover from Oct and I don't know why it took them so long to show up.) He also negotiated having the excess charges removed retroactively, by signing up for $10/mo for unlimited talking time. We need difficult child to communicate with-us and he does it better and more often by phone than in person.
    The other charges--45 cents apiece when friends text or call him every minute--cannot be removed. What a bunch of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) kids! The same # appears on the bill over and over again during one day. Then another one shows up.
    I asked difficult child what that was all about and he said that one was his friend, T, who continued to bug him when he ignored him. I told him that he HAD to accept the next text or call to tell T that this was costing money.
    I will also call T and his mom myself.
    I have to talk to difficult child's girlfriend mom, too, because the two of them hang on the ph all day and talk about absolutely nothing.
    Argh. These cell ph companies get you coming and going.

    husband told difficult child that if next mo's bill has ANY extra charges, even if they're not "his fault," (ie a friend texting or calling obsessively), the phone goes away. Forever. He left difficult child in tears. Good.

    Now, to work off the rest of the payments ...
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    When Onyxx had her phone... We had family unlimited texting and mobile-to-mobile calls. I paid extra for the parental controls and doled out minutes 60 at a time, since we only had 400 to share. She could call certain people that I put on her list any time, otherwise no calls or texts between 9 PM and 6 AM, and I could block whoever I wanted.

    For her phone and mine, with unlimited texting, the parental controls, etc. we paid $87/month.

    In Sept I cut off her phone forever, upgraded mine. I got unlimited texting & data and 500 min/month (of which on a talkative month I use 150, but that was the smallest amount I could get with a smart phone)... For $49.99/month.

    If you can set up any way to block numbers, I would. Though I like your husband's solution!!!
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you.
    I'm going to check with-Verizon, because he's the only one not on our family plan. Originally, his was the cheapest. Not any more.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The only way to control incoming texts is... block the number.... or better yet, block all texts EXCEPT certain numbers.
    Given the need for communication, and that this is "working" on some levels... parental controls is probably better than no phone.

    Check your text plan, too... we got one where all national texts are free, incoming or outgoing - so, anywhere in Canada. If we were texting with American cousins... we'd be paying extra.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    That would be the end of cell phones for any of my kids. That's all I can say.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    His charges are up to $1000....and he's still breathing???

    You are a saint!
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, he's still not "all there" when it comes to understanding things. He is very literal. We have explained to him that he is not allowed to use 1-900 #s but now we have to explain that 1-866 is the same thing. We told him that he cannot make ANY calls that require an area code. It never occurred to us to explain it to him boyfriend.
    In regard to his friends' constantly calling and/or texting, I have to decide whether to block the #s. I will talk to the moms first, and if that doesn't work, then I'll block the #s.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Boost (not everywhere I know) has 55/month unlimited talk, text, internet and every 60 days of before the end of the month payments, it goes down 5 dollars and can go down to 35 dollars a month. The "on time" payments do not need to be consecutive. They use sprint towers. I have Virgin 55$ a month same...unlimited everything. If you dont need parental controls for content, just for monitoring the amount of usage, then this works, if you need it for monitoring content, then you can buy protection (if the no contract phone does not have it available, I haven't checked) thru private companies that only do that.

    Just depends on your goals. My family all has switched to no contract except for one who is waiting till the end of their contract. And the one sister bought the tracking/monitoring package. I don tknow with no contract phones if you can block 1866 numbers or if they even go thru since you have to have money on account to get anything to go thru.... I would not attach any credit card, just pay each time, no auto pay for any of it. I haven't had to check that kind of thing, would be great to know.

    I am totally impressed you got some of those charges is the 1000 AFTER the reductions??? So very sorry. He sounds like he has no real clue how this adds up and impacts you. I bet he is learning now though.... too bad they need to learn this the hard way.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Terry, this situation has gone past nuts. The child has over a thousand dollars of calls/texts that he isn't supposed to have. I strongly fail to believe that he did not know that there is a toll for a 900 number OR an 866 number. They must BY LAW tell you the charges per minute each time you dial the number. He HAD to know, esp as he went to other people's homes to do this after you told him he couldn't do it any more.

    If you feel a cell phone is a must, get him a prepaid. Even if you have to pay out his contract or a termination fee, it can't be more expensive than what you are paying for his abuse of the phone. The MOST he needs is a prepaid phone. With a prepaid he will only get charged for the texts that he reads. His friends can send a thousand texts an hour and if he reads them then they cost him. If he does not read the texts he is out nothing. Prepaid phones will tell him how much he has left and hwo long each call is. We use net10 and mins are not more than 10 cents and can be cheaper. Rather than giving him unlimited, give him the $25 a month card - 750 mins. Those minds can be used as internet, text or talk. Internet and text is billed as minutes or half minutes. Half a min to read a text, etc... You can go through the phone to buy mins with a credit card - and you should NEVER do this with his phone. You can go to the store and buy a card with the pin number for the minutes on it instead. If you pay for more minutes through the phone then the card # will be there to use anytime after that. If you go and buy a card at the store (usually sold back by the phones) then there is NO WAY that difficult child can pay for these 900 tpe numbers or buy anything else over the phone because there is no acct to charge the purchases too.

    If you truly feel that he cannot learn to stay within a limit, you can get unlimited use for $50 per month. in my opinion that would be a real disservice to difficult child because it will mean that you don't think he is capable of learning this and he won't ever really learn about limits with phones. Given his atrocious abuse of phones, esp other people's phones, it seems important to make him learn those limits. prepaid will probably be the only way to get through to him. He likely could not care less about the Verizon charges because he is aware that your husband fights to get them removed. So it isn't REAL to him or if it is, it isn't a big deal because "no one" really has to pay for it. With prepaid minutes those limits are not debatable.

    With a prepaid, when he has used up his minutes he is just done. He cannot run up a bill because he cannot use it if he has spent all his minutes. They have a ten dollar phone that will not go online and isn't the easiest to text on. it isn't "cool" looking but it works and that is the most that he needs.

    I don't think that he will EVER care if he runs up big bills on the phone b//c he KNOWS that you are going to get the company to waive the charges so he can just pretend to not know they were going to charge him. I could see someone making that mistake ONE time, but not over and over. It just isn't believable. Esp to make that same mistake so often in such a short period of time. He will continue to do this until he either loses something he truly values, not just loses use of it while you lock it up, but actually has you sell it to pay the bill, AND until his access is taken away.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm sorry to tell you this, Terry, but I have to agreee with Susie here. I don't buy for a sec that he didn't know by this point what he was doing. You'd be surprised how some of these kids play us on the difficult child issues. I think sometimes it's even their unconscious way of getting back at us for the 'labell' they feel we gave them. No matter- you can bet he knew, if not the first time, then after that.

    And if you are certain the phone is necessary, texting is not. I don't think he's going to stop just because he has a few extra chores sometimes. I think he pushes you way too far on several issues- the computer, etc. I know you try to punish him then negotiate a way to let him have the privilege back but this approach doesn't seem to work with him. I almost foresee a situation where within a few weeks, he's running up a bill or otherwise abusing the phone privilege and instead of taking the phone away for good automatically, he gets it taken away for a few days then gets it back, only for the same thing to happen again. I think you are just setting yourself up for another constant battle.

    If it were me, the kid wouldn't have a phone at all. The most I'd consider would be a phone that could only call my phone # or 911. But I doubt I'd do that- actually, I didn't with my son. It's very easy for them to get to a phone to call should they have to reach me or 911 these days and as far as keeping up with his whereabouts- no way I trusted mine to tell me where he was- I wanted to see the friend's home phone number showing up on caller id. But then, mine seem to carry everything to extreme rule-breaking.
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    He may very well "know" but also be (1) unable to control the impulse and (2) be unable to generalize what he knows. Eeyore has the same literal mind and he would not get that 1-900 and 1-866 are the same and he wouldn't necessarily comprehend the message about the charges per minute (if he was hyper-focused, nothing else would get through).

    Terry -- I love Verizon. Eeyore's phone is restricted to just a couple hours/day that he can send/receive calls and texts. There is an "approved" list of numbers that work 24/7 (mine, DHs, etc). He is also limited to a certain amount of minutes per month and then he cannot make or receive any voice calls from anyone not in our 'free' circle. He has unlimited text. He is getting a smart phone for Christmas and he will have a limit on his data usage as well. When he hits his limit, the data part of the phone simply stops working until the next billing cycle.

    What I think is so important on the parental controls, is Verizon allows you toblock all incoming and outgoing picture and video messages -- completely blocks the possibility that someone will send them an illegal photo or that they will send/forward one.

    Parental controls are just $4.95/month and it is only $10/month to add his line to your family plan.
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    That is really useful info for the future JJJ, tanks for sharing that! I would be in the same place... whether or not Q understands is rarely the issue. It is the thought at that moment, the impulse control and in our case anyway, he will always need to have me look ahead and prevent issues, it may seem like I am not letting him reach his potential that way, but he really needs errorless methods for learning... to learn in a situaiton where he can't make the mistake to begin with then little by little add the increased skils. Every child is different. I dont know his abilities, just sharing another perspective.
  13. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Terry, I just purchased a Boost mobile phone for kt ~ unlimited everything & the shrinking bill after 6 months. I can't ask for more.

    kt did the same thing (not to the level of your difficult child) & I shut her phone down immediately.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry...after what Cory did to my house phone, I am just now at age 25 giving him the chance with my cell phone account. He is well aware that if he so much as steps one teeny tiny toe over the line I am shutting his line off. I wouldnt give a phone to a kid who had the ability to ring up charges. That is the reason Keyana's phone is pre-paid and I put money on the account when I want to do so. I can see what she does with it. Not that I am worried about her calling 900 numbers or anything or going online at her age but still.
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Oh yeah? Well I got one better? I got his GIRLFRIEND to put HIM on HER account.....and I dusted my hands of the whole, entire, nasty, wasty, mess and I'm not playing devils advocate OR answering the phone for "Moooom I know I'm a butthead, and I haven't blah blah blah, But could you please put $15.00 on my phone and I'll GLADLY pay you back when I get my check."

    NOPE sunny jim - you pay HER back.....and SHE doesn't play. Apparently not a dunderhead like me.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL really are ticked!
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ohhh, I like the way you think, Star!!

    1) difficult child really did not know that 1-866 had anything to do with-1-900.
    2) He does know that he has gone way past his limit
    3) He has broken rules and he knows it
    4) TMobile is a #*##57$&&* company that gets you coming and going--they charge for things they remove.
    5) Had I signed up difficult child on my acct in the first place, he could have been added for only $9.99/mo and EVERYTHING would have been blocked. For free. I had no idea that TMobile charged to block and remove things. SCAM. Almost as bad as the game companies themselves.
    6) husband, in all his infinite wisdom, had most of the charges removed, (retroactively and currently) because he agreed to a 2-yr contract. Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggghhhhh!!!!
    I didn't understand the import of his deal until I went to Verizon in person yesterday. See, husband has laryngitis and I can't hear 90% of what he says.
    I am going to wait until the dust settles in Jan. and then go to TMobile in person, get a manager, and have him walk me through the contract until I can find a loophole.

    Although I may not have to, because by that time, we will have totally turned off difficult child's phone.

    In the meantime, things were so crazy today that we missed difficult child's therapy appointment. :( OMG, I could shoot myself. We had SO MUCH to talk about.

    I need more sleep, and more organizational skills.

    I went to his psychiatrist's ofc yesterday and wrote a long note explaining that difficult child needs medications for anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and depression and that we've put it off too long. We have an appointment in Jan and I don't want to waste the entire time arguing my point.

    by the way, I just went in to take away difficult child's phone because he's asleep and it was a good way to avoid a blowup. He was talking until 10:00 p.m. after I told him not to ... and he was awake and grabbed my arm.

    Tomorrow is not going to be a pretty sight.

  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    PhoneSheriff - Parental Control Software for Child Phones Restrict, Filter and Monitor SMS Text Messages, GPS and Calls.

    Get this software for your phone or get Tmobile to cancel his phone and put him on a Kajeet phone that you can lock down. Tmobile has the worst parental software out there. There is another one out if you have a smartphone but he could just cancel it I think but it may be password protected. It is something that starts with a MmManager I believe. Look under that in the android market place. Phone Sheriff I found online. If you go back to that other thread about cell phones I put some stuff about cell phones and protection.
  19. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Terry, something is BADLY WRONG...

    I have T-Mobile. Every time they removed something I got a CREDIT for it. They have the greatest customer service (where I am concerned) of any carrier I've ever been with. On my phone there is free blocking.

    Something stinks here...
  20. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I agree!!! I have had T-Mobile forever. Years and years. I have had problems with difficult child ringing up charges though some sort of texts that she had set up and they had them removed and didn't charge me anything. Something is not right here at all.