Was reading about unauthorized charge to a phone bill and it got me back to my recurring annoyance about bill increases etc. I've been in a bit of a snit (well more than a bit) about the sheer number of ways that we've been getting increases to nearly everything lately.
I'm in Ontario Canada, we have a "new" tax that allows tax to be added to previously untaxed items. There is a online tool to calculate the estimated increase each year based on what you spend in your household. It works out to about $2600 per year for my family. This is also being applied to RENT, meaning most landlords are increasing rent to compensate for their increased tax.
We have had time of day meters installed here for hydro and gas and water. I don't pay water bills since I rent, but my landlord does and you can bet your boots landlords will also increase rent even further to compensate for their increase in fees. The cost for hydro and gas during daytime hours is 4-5 times the cost that it will cost at night. We also have a new monthly charge that is for us to pay off the debt the utility companies incurred by paying for and installing the time of day meters. My last gas bill was $48. Not so bad, but the thing is since it is not winter and my gas pays my heat in winter, the ONLY thing my gas is used for this time of year is my hot water tank. I wash clothes in cold water only. So this bill ONLY pays for hot water for showers and for washing dishes. When I look at the breakdown on the bill, only $9 was for my ACTUAL gas use. The rest was fees for this and that, plus the new tax etc. That is a 400% higher charge than my actual usage. What a racket!!
My hydro bill is through the roof. I've been trying to adjust my time of day usage, but I'm home all day. This was a record breaking hot summer and I've never used my A/C as much as this year. If I don't keep the house cool, my MS flares and I'm in agony and incapable of doing much more than lay around fighting the tears. So A/C it is. Well my bill was over $100 more compared to last year, per month. Just in actual usage fees. Then the "fees" they tack on drive it up further. I have more than $60 in "fees" per month. I find it disgusting to pay that high for "fees". It is worse when we have zero choice in who provides our utilities. Here it is a monopoly and if you mess up with this company, there is no other option.
Basically I am paying about $4-500 per month MORE in expenses than a year or two ago. Add in the increased cost of clothing, groceries etc and is it any wonder I want to just toss the bills in the trash unopened?
Have your bills gone up dramatically?