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DS2 (8) has run up a phone bill of £30 over the last 2 months

(24 Posts)
SoupDragon Tue 08-Sep-09 07:40:12

Do I make him pay it with his own money to make a point?

He's been phoning his school friend and then leaving it on speaker phone whilst they just play computer/DS Lite games and pretend that they are sitting in the same room hmm So, no active chatting IYSWIM. I suspect his friend's phone bill is equally high, if not higher.

I have banned him from phoning the friend during the week given that they've just spent X hours at school together!)

I thought this wasn't meant to start til they're teens!

I don't think I am going to make him pay BTW because the money isn't really an issue. It would be nice to just make him think about what things cost though.

Goblinchild Tue 08-Sep-09 07:44:53

Why has he got a phone?
You could give it to him when he needs it, and look after it the rest of the time.

SoupDragon Tue 08-Sep-09 07:46:17

He doesn't have a phone, it is the landline.

SoupDragon Tue 08-Sep-09 07:47:16

And I can't move the handset(s) as they have to sit on the base unit to charge.

LuluMaman Tue 08-Sep-09 07:50:27

I would ask him to make a contribution to the bill, whether it be out of his pocket money or by doing chores

he probably did not know how much the phone calls would cost, but am amazed this has been going on for 2 months and did not know he was using the 'phone for long periods of time

whether or not the money is an issue, he needs to understand that bills have to be paid and money is not unlimited.

understanding the value of things is really important and this is a good opportunity to teach him

ChopsTheDuck Tue 08-Sep-09 07:53:46

I'd make him do some extra chores.

Do you have free calls after 6? dd knows she has to ask to use my mobile (inclusive minutes) if it is peak hours, or free calls on the landline after 6 or at weekends.

SoupDragon Tue 08-Sep-09 07:54:34

I knew he was using the phone (not a problem) I didn't know it was for up to 80 minutes, a lot of which was just sitting in companionable silence!

I had been telling him that he couldn't just sit there not talking and that it costs money and that he couldn't/shouldn't do this that, blah blah, blah.

Am tempted to make him clear up new puppy's accidents for a fortnight to pay it back.

SoupDragon Tue 08-Sep-09 07:55:51

I've never bothered with any of the call plans because my phone usage charges are usually only £3 per month - most of my friends are on O2 and calls/texts to them are free from my O2 mobile.

LuluMaman Tue 08-Sep-09 07:56:47

i think asking him for money rather than doing the chores might be better to help him take on board about the whole issue of money.

SoupDragon Tue 08-Sep-09 08:00:16

I think my main issue is that he spent a lot of that time (and money) sitting saying nothing. If they were actually talking for that whole time, I'd be less annoyed. On one occasion, I caught him going for a toilet break in the middle of the call!

MmeLindt Tue 08-Sep-09 08:03:59

My cousin's DD used to do this with her first boyfriend when she was 16yo. They had a contract that phone calls were free, nationwide but they did not realise that after the first hour the calls were charged. They had a phone bill of over ?200 one month. Then they realised that their DD was sleeping with the phone next to her on the pillow so that she and her boyfriend could "hear" each other sleep.

I would ask him to help with chores but not cleaning up after the puppy.

NotPlayingAnyMore Tue 08-Sep-09 08:06:11

Clearing up those accidents for a fortnight will end up making him resent that new puppy.

Money will be the most effective way, but I'm also amazed that you didn't know that he was using it for 80 minutes at a time, so I think that you have to bear part of the responsibility and thus part of the cost.

Why don't they just go round each other's houses?

Tee2072 Tue 08-Sep-09 08:11:14

Well, the first thing I would do would be looking into changing my phone plan/service provider. I can speak to my mother in the States for as long as I like for what sounds like less than you are paying for him to do this!

Then I would make him pay at least part of it out of his pocket money.

belgo Tue 08-Sep-09 08:16:59

TBH I'd count yourself lucky that it's just 30 pounds - I've heard of children running up bills of a couple of thousand.

I'd probably just ban the phone use totally - especially to school friends - unless it's the holidays and he doesn't see his friends.

I'm sure I was never allowed to use the phone on my own until I was 11 or more, and then I always had to get permission first.

bruffin Tue 08-Sep-09 08:32:19

My DD 11 started doing something similar, but she was ringing her bf in the morning while she was getting ready for school and just wandering around with it, hardly talking to each other, they were going to see each other all day anyway. We have a plan where all calls are free upto 60mins, so we are not paying but it does tie up the landline so I put a stop to it.
My friends DD rang up bills of £600 with her first boyfriend, she didn't get any christmas presents.
Your ds would not have realised that phones cost money, at that age they don't really know that "invisible" things cost ie phones and electricity. I would make him pay a nominal amount towards just enough for him to notice ie 2 weeks pocket money.

JodieO Tue 08-Sep-09 08:37:36

If he's on the pc could he use skype or similar as it's free? Personally I'd get him to "earn" the money by doing extra chores so he can see how long it would take to get that £30.

bruffin Tue 08-Sep-09 11:08:49

My DD was a best friend not a boy friend by the way.

seeker Tue 08-Sep-09 11:15:37

Did he know it was costing money? I think they are so used to "free minutes" and things that they don't realize phones cost!

SoupDragon Tue 08-Sep-09 13:30:55

I think very few children really realise that Things Cost. Unless it's something where they actually hand over their own hard cash, it's all just there. I'm sure they think the 1001 kids TV channels are free too hmm.

I did tell him it cost money. I did repeatedly tell him to hang up (which he did) except he often disappeared with the phone, reappearing for his toilet breaks, making me think he'd hung up. I don't watch him every single second so it's actually very easy not to know he'd been on it so long, hardly "amazing". It's not like the old days where it's a box on the wall and you're restricted to the length of the cable. Well, it's not in our house anyway.

As for why they don't just go round each other houses, I have 2 other children and I can't load them all up into the car to deliver DS2 to a friend. A friend who lives 1.75 miles away (1.11 as the crow flies) down a very steep hill, across a very busy road. Life is not that simple. As for me nearing the financial cost, if you read the entire thread you'll see that I actually have no real intention of making him pay and that the money isn't really the issue

SoupDragon Tue 08-Sep-09 13:31:42

When I was young, we used to have to put money in the Phone Pig when we made a call

SoupDragon Tue 08-Sep-09 13:32:37

10p a time usually covered it <<those were the days>>

Oh, and Skype would block me from my computer where I have Important Work to do wink!

alypaly Tue 08-Sep-09 13:38:58

My DS2 ran up a phone bill of £150 in one month. His dad phoned me ( as we are seperated) to tell me he couldnt afford to pay DS2's phone and then he dropped the bombshell of how much. So guess who ended up paying. So I took him off his dads contract and put him on PAYG. Eventually i changed it to the £10 deal with virgin of 300 texts and 300mins. with an upper limit of £50 put on phone. It cuts out if it goes over that.
I made DS2 pay me back by giving me the £10 he gets for doing an elderly neighbours garden...and i took it off him until it was all paid. He now lives under the threat that i will remove his phone if he goes over £10. I can keep track of iot daily on the virgin website so i dont need to keep asking him to dial 789.

southeastastra Tue 08-Sep-09 13:39:26

sorry it's not funny for you but the thought of them sitting together on the phone in silence sounds really sweet.

SoupDragon Tue 08-Sep-09 13:46:34

Oh it is kind of funny. There'll be this silence then a sudden shout of something incomprehensible to do with Pokemon. Followed by me bellowing "Get off the phone if you're not actually TALKING". Then, when confronted about his toilet break and asked if he'd hung up he says "no, BabyDragon is talking to him." WTF? She's three

I'm pissed off with the fact that he didn't say anything when I told him how much his personal bill was. He looked a little wide eyed and shocked but that's it. Which is the only reason I've toyed with the idea of making him pay somehow.

There will be new rules in place now though - no phoning on a week day for one.

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