Frustration and False Economy

shutterstock_193243Maybe it’s just me… but I tend to ascribe value to time spent on pretty much everything.

Say a man is on £20* an hour. If he spends 6 hours on the internet comparing the prices of flights to save £25, in my books that is a loss of £95.

note 3

Here we are in the Phablet Generation. Not so much cool as a necessity for old eyes. That is the un-coolest thing ever. Photo:

Let’s just say for the record that this same man, on £20* an hour, spends a further 10 hours (£200) researching a deal on “unlimited” data plans on 2 cellphones that cost £36 a month currently (£432/year each) and comes up with a deal for “unlimited” data for 2 new phones at £15 a month (£180/year each). That would be a potential savings of about £252 a year each. That savings of £504 sounds impressive until you subtract the time it took to sort it all out: Now our savings are down to £304 for the year, not inclusive of the 2 new handsets purchased to make it all happen. (Let’s not even talk about how much that cost…)

But we have cheap UNLIMITED DATA!


Name and shame: Unlimited is Limited. Photo:

Only trouble is, these are not actually “unlimited,” in that you cannot toggle from your phone without being censured by a network suspension of 30 minutes minimum on account of you should not (according to the gods of “unlimited” data) toggle your phone to a computer. Ever. Goodness, if one did this, people everywhere would toss their routers out the window and toggle to their phones for … EVERYTHING. The internet would crash. The world would end.

So let us just suppose our hypothetical hero has saved his wife a bit of money on her phone (not inclusive of expensive new handset!), yet she has had to endure about £1,000,000.000 worth of grief on account of the other “deal” he has spent 20 hours (£400) researching: A new broadband provider.


Hmm… define service. Image:

Since hero and wife live in a rural location (I cannot, obviously, reveal the exact details of WHO I am discussing on account of the Data Protection Act and all), their previous broadband was provided by the national carrier, and though they were never able to achieve the stellar lightening-fast speeds of the in-town dwellers, they could at least upload photos to their blog or open their Facebook page in under 3 minutes. 

So, whilst said NEW PROVIDER is charging £3 a month for the first year which will increase to £13 after the first 12 months (as opposed to the previous £15 a month with the national carrier, a savings of £144 for the first year and £24 for successive years), hero and wife are forced to endure internet speeds roughly on par with those of 1994. Otherwise known as “dial-up” speeds. 

Now, that is time and energy well spent.

Mother Hen

*Not his real salary… Now, that WOULD be telling, wouldn’t it?

feature photo: Shutterstock

© motherhendiaries 2014 all rights reserved

12 replies »

  1. My partner, Wild Thing, has a phone with internet access, which gives out a nifty whistle every time she receives a text and has coffee- and toast-making capabilities. However, since we live in the middle of nowhere, she can almost never get a signal. It took her the better part of a year to get whatever company she pays for the privilege of having it to reset it so that she can actually answer a call, because they were going straight through to voice mail. It needs to be charged up every time she walks to the store. (Okay, I exaggerate, but only slightly.) I haven’t asked how much the damned thing costs per month.

    I have a phone that’s just a phone. I pay per call. Most of the time, it works and holds a charge from New Year’s Day till Christmas.

    I do try not to gloat.


    • Ellen you make me laugh! 🙂 Poor Wild Thing… all that technology, so little signal. Actually, my lack of toggle capability would not have been a problem if our router had a decent speed. But, having had my hand unceremoniously slapped by Giffgaff for daring believe it was possible to send an email via toggle, I am pretty disenfranchised with all technology at the minute. My Phablet is gorgeous, though. I can’t complain about that. Especially with these old lady eyes of mine. I can ACTUALLY read texts now. 🙂


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