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Re: Cellular Service Surcharges, Taxes, and Fees

Welcome to the club! I don't like this club, and I want my dues back. At this point, Cricket would be cheaper, but then data would be throttled to 8mbps :| . Honestly, that would probably be OK so long as ping rates don't also suffer. Oy, I thought the search was over. Once my wife comes on board, ...
by batpot
Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cellular Service Surcharges, Taxes, and Fees
Replies: 3
Views: 634

Cellular Service Surcharges, Taxes, and Fees

There've been a few threads on here discussing different companies, but specifically, I'd like to understand the fees that get tacked onto your bill. I switched from Straight Talk to Consumer Cellular, and I'm not happy with the additional ~$5 in fees getting tacked on to the same $45 monthly plan. ...
by batpot
Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cellular Service Surcharges, Taxes, and Fees
Replies: 3
Views: 634

Re: Ditch car and commute to work in 250cc scooter in Raleig

Interesting thread...I've been considering the same, except I'd be adding a bike to the garage.

I'm taking the basic rider course at the end of this month, and will decide after that point.
by batpot
Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ditch car and commute to work in 250cc scooter in Raleigh?
Replies: 79
Views: 6634

Re: Urban garden bed--ideas to deter dog owners

Chile Powder, or Hot Peppers will likely deter the dogs.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Dog-Poop-Deterrent/

Unless you've personally pissed somebody off, the owners aren't going to direct their dogs into your garden; the key is to make it so the dogs don't want to be there.
by batpot
Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Urban garden bed--ideas to deter dog owners
Replies: 44
Views: 4105

Re: I am looking to switch IP providers.

i have att dsl with 5mb download. i switched to comcast with 25mb download (i get 26-27). att plays netflix perfectly. comcast constantly buffers, streaming video is impossible to watch. i've tried everything so far except buying a new modem and getting rid of the rental. thats my next step. my adv...
by batpot
Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I am looking to switch IP providers.
Replies: 15
Views: 913

Re: Consumer Cellular with 4G-LTE android smartphone

That's too bad about their customer service, especially when the link I posted above worked exactly as it is described there.

But no, if it's an AT&T phone, you won't have to unlock it, so it will work.
by batpot
Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Cellular with 4G-LTE android smartphone
Replies: 25
Views: 3554

Re: What smartphone plan do you use?- off contract

I went to download the Vonage app and was shocked by the long list of permissions required, including identity, camera, etc. etc. What's all this about? I decided not to do it, since it looks like the NSA is offering it.... yeah...ain't nothing free. Groove IP is less bad, but it has ads unless you...
by batpot
Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What smartphone plan do you use?- off contract
Replies: 100
Views: 5569

Re: Avoiding Paypal/Ebay Scam

You can block certain bidders, but your options are quite limited; go to Account, Site Preferences, Buyer Requirements. Might want to back out and see if you can get it appraised first, which should protect you from a forgery claim. Sending is USPS Registered means they seal it at the USPS office, w...
by batpot
Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Avoiding Paypal/Ebay Scam
Replies: 30
Views: 2177

Re: 2013 RAV4 design flaws

As a rule: never buy a first production year vehicle, or in this case, after a major design overhall. I have a 2010, and they had 4 years to work out most of the bugs...the list of TSBs for the 06-08s is stupid long. There's a great community here, including all TSBs: http://rav4world.com/ Even thou...
by batpot
Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2013 RAV4 design flaws
Replies: 15
Views: 1657

Re: What smartphone plan do you use?- off contract

To overcome 100 min, I have tried 10+ free VOIP solutions and found Vonage mobile app gives Nexus4 the best call quality. How much do you pay for Vonage? I've found the new Groove IP works great, but you'd need to setup a new number w/ Ring.To (or port your number in). Really wish Google would get ...
by batpot
Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What smartphone plan do you use?- off contract
Replies: 100
Views: 5569

Re: Consumer Cellular with 4G-LTE android smartphone

Interesting, because I tried to put that APN info in, and it didn't work at all - no data; I had to call them and give them IMEI, per the instructions: https://www.consumercellular.com/Support/Knowledgebase/2/42/198 I was able to get 4G speeds by changing the APN to "att.mvno" however. Th...
by batpot
Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Cellular with 4G-LTE android smartphone
Replies: 25
Views: 3554

Re: What smartphone plan do you use?- off contract

I also paid taxes/fees w/ StraighTalk; the $45 plan was over $50 per month, and I always paid online. The main reason I dropped them, though, is their data was too slow. They route all data through TracFone servers in Tampa, FL, and as a result ping rates were extremely slow, causing everything to l...
by batpot
Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What smartphone plan do you use?- off contract
Replies: 100
Views: 5569

Re: What smartphone plan do you use?- off contract

To overcome 100 min, I have tried 10+ free VOIP solutions and found Vonage mobile app gives Nexus4 the best call quality. How much do you pay for Vonage? I've found the new Groove IP works great, but you'd need to setup a new number w/ Ring.To (or port your number in). Really wish Google would get ...
by batpot
Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What smartphone plan do you use?- off contract
Replies: 100
Views: 5569

Re: Amsterdam

We stayed here a few years ago and it was fantastic:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review ... vince.html

Right around the corner from the Ann Frank House, and within walking distance from about everything.
by batpot
Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amsterdam
Replies: 14
Views: 1156

Re: Forums like Bogleheads, for Life ?? (other aspects)

http://www.slickdeals.net
It's a HUGE community, so there's a lot of junk posts, trolls, newbs (heh), etc, but also a ton of good info.
by batpot
Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Forums like Bogleheads, for Life ?? (other aspects)
Replies: 56
Views: 4461

Re: Seattle Restaurants

What part of Seattle are you going to be in? There's great stuff all over the city. Steaks = Daniel's Broiler Burgers = Dicks (cheap, multiple locations), or gourmet: Red Mill Definitely 2nd the Tamarind Tree for Vietnamese There's a bunch small diners/brunch places around, or if you're in South Lak...
by batpot
Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seattle Restaurants
Replies: 17
Views: 1039

Re: Consumer Cellular with 4G-LTE android smartphone

Interesting, because I tried to put that APN info in, and it didn't work at all - no data; I had to call them and give them IMEI, per the instructions: https://www.consumercellular.com/Support/Knowledgebase/2/42/198 I was able to get 4G speeds by changing the APN to "att.mvno", however. Th...
by batpot
Tue May 13, 2014 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Cellular with 4G-LTE android smartphone
Replies: 25
Views: 3554

Re: Republic Wireless

I, personally, would be wary of any CMDA (e.g. Sprint, Verizon) MVNOs because the phones are typically not transferable to any other carrier. With GSM (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile), the phones can be used anywhere, provided the phone is "unlocked" (meaning you can put any SIM card into it). Pl...
by batpot
Thu May 08, 2014 6:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Republic Wireless
Replies: 49
Views: 11913

Re: Have to pay PMI even after dropping below 80 LTV?

The law is specific to two situations in which the loan servicer must cancel PMI. First, when the loan amortization schedule shows the borrower has reached 78% LTV based on the original value, as was the case in that other thread. Second, when the principal balance reaches 80% LTV of the original v...
by batpot
Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have to pay PMI even after dropping below 80 LTV?
Replies: 8
Views: 961

Re: Have to pay PMI even after dropping below 80 LTV?

The law is specific to two situations in which the loan servicer must cancel PMI. First, when the loan amortization schedule shows the borrower has reached 78% LTV based on the original value, as was the case in that other thread. Second, when the principal balance reaches 80% LTV of the original v...
by batpot
Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have to pay PMI even after dropping below 80 LTV?
Replies: 8
Views: 961

Re: best cash back credit card

The Discover card also offers some really good consumer protection features at no additional fee. If you buy something and it goes on sale, send them proof, and they'll send you a check for the difference. I've done this a couple times, and it was a very simple process. if you have a business, ink f...
by batpot
Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 35492

Re: Have to pay PMI even after dropping below 80 LTV?

eh...that didn't answer my question at all.

perhaps I wasn't clear enough...
If my house appraises for MORE than the original financed appraisal, are they required to drop the PMI payment at 78 ltv, relative to the new appraisal?
by batpot
Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have to pay PMI even after dropping below 80 LTV?
Replies: 8
Views: 961

Have to pay PMI even after dropping below 80 LTV?

My value has gone up, not down, and based on current market value, I should now be at the 80 LTV threshold, but of course if I'd have to get an appraisal to prove it, which would be worth it. However, when I inquired, my mortgage processor told me that in order to assess dropping PMI, they take the ...
by batpot
Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have to pay PMI even after dropping below 80 LTV?
Replies: 8
Views: 961

Re: Send text messages from PC to cellphone?

When I had Sprint, they had the option to do this via their website by logging in. It would make the text message look like it came from your Sprint phone number. I don't know if other carriers have this options or not; I expect they do.

Nowadays: google voice.
by batpot
Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Send text messages from PC to cellphone?
Replies: 6
Views: 462

Mortgage Lenders in Seattle Area

I've definitely learned a lesson here...or at least, I think I know which questions to ask next time we do this. I had plenty of time to get this stuff squared away, and I neglected to do so, and am now caught scrambling. We had an offer accepted on a house on Monday, and now need to secure financin...
by batpot
Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Lenders in Seattle Area
Replies: 4
Views: 560

Rolling over post-tax 401k dollars to a backdoor Roth IRA

This seems to be the most comprehensive article I can find on this topic: http://www.napa-net.org/news/technical-competence/case-of-the-week/case-of-the-week-converting-401k-plan-after-tax-accounts-to-roth-iras/ I believe everything listed there is true for our 401k plan; post-tax dollars are kept s...
by batpot
Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rolling over post-tax 401k dollars to a backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 473

Re: Help with rebalancing my 401k

I made the elections, but noticed something: everything available in the 401k are fund of funds, so the 0.05% ER (which seemed exceedingly low), is actually on top of whatever other funds they're purchasing. Here's the front of the summary of the S&P 500 Index available through my 401k: The Fund...
by batpot
Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with rebalancing my 401k
Replies: 3
Views: 302

Help with rebalancing my 401k

So I've moved everything into index funds, and I'm aiming for a 60/20/20 allocation with US Stocks/International Stocks/Bonds. Only one index fund is available for the International Stock and the Bond so those decisions are pretty easy. I'm not sure how to allocate the US stocks between the followin...
by batpot
Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with rebalancing my 401k
Replies: 3
Views: 302

Re: Annuities and VULs: Why must they be different funds?

its earnings are tax-free like a Roth, and the whole life insurance policy would provide a safety net for your heirs. uh ... you may want to check that, a VUL's "earnings" aren't like a Roth, and aren't tax free. Whole life is an inefficient way to accumulate assets for your heirs, if tha...
by batpot
Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities and VULs: Why must they be different funds?
Replies: 4
Views: 328

Annuities and VULs: Why must they be different funds?

We met with some advisers a few months ago who were pushing us unto a VUL. Long story short, when they said that excel couldn't show me how they got the values in their samples, we walked. It's obviously complex, and accordingly somewhat counter to the "boglehead philosophy", but I can see...
by batpot
Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities and VULs: Why must they be different funds?
Replies: 4
Views: 328

Re: Asset Allocation for a couple in their early 30s?

Tortoise wrote:
batpot wrote:The auto rebalance feature is nice, but I'm kind of fishing for recommendations on AA...


What's wrong with Mr. Bogle's advice of age in bonds?

So something like 50/20/30 Total US stock/Total Int'l stock/Total US Bond could be appropriate for you.


Seems like as good a measure as any.
by batpot
Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for a couple in their early 30s?
Replies: 7
Views: 956

Re: Asset Allocation for a couple in their early 30s?

Vanguard's Target Funds are excellent because they rebalance for you. Choose the one with the asset allocation you want instead of based on the year. The auto rebalance feature is nice, but I'm kind of fishing for recommendations on AA... As it happens, VASGX is actually exactly what we opened the ...
by batpot
Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for a couple in their early 30s?
Replies: 7
Views: 956

Asset Allocation for a couple in their early 30s?

I've been looking at a few of the "targeted" funds for 2040 and 2045 range, and they seem to have a current AA on the order of 90/10 stocks/bonds for a number of years, which seems very aggressive/risky. It seems most suggest not going more than 80/20, and many with the "lazy portfoli...
by batpot
Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for a couple in their early 30s?
Replies: 7
Views: 956

Re: FPL Capital Management?

it can't just be a coincidence that "bogleheads.com" redirects here:
http://am.fplcapital.com/vanguard-us-equity-folio/
by batpot
Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FPL Capital Management?
Replies: 8
Views: 1087

Re: What's in your wallet? (credit cards)

this topic also exists...and is very recent: :oops: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=120428 Some notable highlights: Citi Forward card: 5% back on restaurants, bookstores (including Amazon, apparently), music and video stores, and movie theaters. Chase Ink: 5% back on cell pho...
by batpot
Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's in your wallet? (credit cards)
Replies: 18
Views: 12518

What's in your wallet? (credit cards)

Currently, I carry and use regularly 3 credit cards (and charge everything I can): Capital One World MasterCard 1% cash back immediately, with a 50% bonus paid once a year, for a net of 1.5% cash-back on all purchase No foreign transaction fee (accordingly, the only card I take when I travel abroad,...
by batpot
Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's in your wallet? (credit cards)
Replies: 18
Views: 12518

Where to setup a backdoor Roth? And post-tax 401k rollovers

First question: What's the best place to setup a backdoor Roth? Where can I keep a traditional IRA with zero balance w/out an annual "low balance" fee? Or should I instead open, rollover, then close the traditional IRA once a year when I make my out of pocket contribution? Later this year,...
by batpot
Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to setup a backdoor Roth? And post-tax 401k rollovers
Replies: 1
Views: 320

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