Whether you have a cell phone, cable TV, or a dish system, chances are your bill keeps going up.
So wouldn't it be nice if there were a simple way to compare prices and see if someone could offer you the same deal for less?
Bills getting out of control
Sheila Topmiller was among dozens of Tri-Staters complaining to WCPO when their first Spectrum bills arrived this year.
"It went from $152 to $180, so that's $28 in one month," she said. Her bill is almost $30 higher for the same service and channels she had under Time Warner Cable last year.
Topmiller would love a simple way find if another provider offered similar channels for less.
New service compares prices
That's where Michael Kaser and Tyler Menke come in.
These two entrepreneurs -- working out of the Cintrifuse business incubator in Over-the-Rhine -- earlier this year launched a cable price comparison service.
They are now expanding it to compare cell phone plans as well.
"We've all felt frustration with internet and cable companies, and we were like what the heck," Menke said.
So a few months ago they launched a website and company called BillBusters.
"We've been through the wringer with our bills, we've done this many times," Kaser said. "We can take that expertise and help people lower their bills."
The two men say their website can find you a much better deal, without all the frustration.
How the service works
You simply enter what type of TV package you have -- how many TVs, number of people at home and if you need sports or premium channels like HBO -- and the service automatically searches for cable, fiber, satellite and streaming deals.
You can now go into their cell phone portal, and do the same thing with your cell bill.
The guys behind BillBusters say they are finding ways to save people $40 or $50 a month on their bills, and "you still have all the same channels you always had."
"The best price I can get with Spectrum is $139.96," Menke said after punching in some numbers of the average customer.
In this hypothetical case, though, up popped a $79-a-month one-year promo from Cincinnati Bell.
"This would be if you switched," Menke said, explaining that you could save $60 a month in this case, at least for your first year. (That's over $700 in one year).
Armed with that info, you can call and ask for a better deal. Or you can ask them to call and negotiate for you, for a small extra fee.
They will help you negotiate your cell bill, if you find that Sprint is much less than Verizon, for instance, for the same service.
What's the cost?
The cost? You pay the service whatever you save on your first bill. "And all we ask for is what we save you in the first month," Kaser said.
With your cell bill, they will take 25% of your savings, still a good deal.
And if they don’t save you money, you don’t pay a cent.
Check out the site at www.billbusters.co (note that it is not yet a ".com," ) so you don’t waste your money.
“Don't Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”).