Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Life as a Luddite. Part Deux.

Okay, so if you're not insanely bored with my first saga, here's the rest of the story.

As I said, giving up my data plan was hard enough. I wasn't going to give up texting, and luckily (?) my bills wouldn't be reduced by making that particular sacrifice.

Scott suggested I find a pay-as-you-go/no contract phone. Because Verizon doesn't offer great trade-in value for phones and doesn't give credit for phones after your initial contract, I had to find something affordable.

The only requirement I had was that it have a QWERTY keyboard.

Um, yeah, apparently that was a tall order. The cheapest phone there that met my, apparently, difficult requirement? $80!!

I barely paid that for my Blackberry.

So I did what any resourceful girl would do...I went to eBay.

This was not any easier. I found so many great deals with a label attached later saying "Bad ESN" or "use for parts."

I had to Google everything. Apparently, a Bad ESN means someone (probably) stole it and Verizon has a stopgap where you can't use it.

I finally found one for $50 that said it was usable and also that I could return it in 7 days if need be.

My confidence in Verizon had waned by this point, so I was afraid need may be. And that fear turned out to be quite founded as I entered Verizon and had the guy look at me, puzzled. "Does anyone still use this phone?"

And I stood there, looking at him, feeling like a complete tool. As soon as I said I got the phone on ebay, he laughed. So I told him I was going to go out and buy a phone. He recommended against that. Apparently Verizon recently changed its policy and pay-as-you-go phones no longer work with people who have contracts.

My only phone option? $130. And I would still have to upgrade my contract.

So I left, feeling totally helpless and depressed.

Did I mention I went to a Verizon that was near other errands, so 30 minutes away from me?

I get home and pack up the cell phone to ship back the phone when I realize the guy at Verizon had kept one of the cords. Thank God for my friend Lola who lived nearby and brought it to me, for I was near a breaking point.

I take one last stab at contacting the seller, letting him know I was about to write some negative feedback. He was apologetic, assured me there was nothing wrong with the phone. After some discussion, he called Verizon and got it worked out. It had to do with not fully deactivating a phone number.

I went in Wednesday morning and VIOLA! New phone!

I miss my data plan so much. I miss it when I'm standing in line and want to comment on what somebody is wearing or saying. I miss the little "CHING CHING" when I get a new mention on Twitter. I miss the reassuring "DING" when I get e-mail.

But still? I know it was the right decision. I know I'll get used to it soon. As soon as I can speedily start texting again.


The Woven Moments said...

You need to give yourself a big pat on the back for putting your big girl pants on and doing the right thing.

Now start collecting cell phone #s so you can text bloggers instead of tweet them! :)

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that you followed through on reducing your bill in that way. You'll get used to it, and then you'll probably love the freedom of not always being plugged in. I was on the phone with AT&T for an hour the other day trying to do the same thing. Our phone plan was INSANE (I can't even say how much we were paying), but was able to reduce it by a third (I didn't give up my data plan, I just gave up almost all of my minutes). I just have to remember not to TALK on my phone. Imagine that? I can text, though. :) I love the post. Maybe you could make a link between the two posts (I hadn't read the first part, and had to go looking for it—just an idea).

Rach (DonutsMama) said...

Seriously, buying a cell phone and signing up for a data plan is beyond stressful. I feel like you are roped into so many things and the expense just keeps piling on. They don't make it easy in any way for you. I hate that. Let's start our own company where we won't be such butts to people who just want a decent phone!

Missy said...

Good for you. My most recent cell phone purchase was so stressful. It involved rebates they kept trying to weasel out of - it took many trips to the retailer. So. Painful.

Aleta said...

You had me wanting to cry from the stress of it all! I would have pulled my hair out and thrown the cell phone.... well, maybe not, but I would have wanted to! I'm glad it worked out in the long run. Sorry you had to go through all of that though, goodness!

Kat said...

I can only imagine the stress. When I was trying to transfer my number to my new phone last summer, I literally broke down on the customer service line and sobbed that there were people in rural Africa with cellphones so how could they not switch my number?

It was a low, low moment.

In all seriousness, if you need a snarky texting buddy, just shoot me an e-mail.

Charlotte said...

I have to say, I've been with Verizon for a very long time and find they are incredibly unhelpful when it comes to offering suggestions on how to reduce costs and whatnot. I also hate the scoff when you bring in a phone that isn't one of the latest models; I am one of three people in the world with a Palm Pre and the last time I brought it in the guy looked at me like it wasn't even from his store. Anyway, I'm glad you got everything squared away and that your friend was able to save you a return trip--I would have been so upset, too!