Cell Phone Poll

I’m starting to become a real regular on the Virgin Mobile help line.  We’re on a first name basis.  I call them each day asking them if they’ve ported my phone number over yet, and each day they respond, “You again?  No we got an error message yesterday but didn’t bother to tell you about it. You aren’t waiting around for your phone to start working or anything, are you? You should just get a new number.”

“No,” I respond.  “I don’t want a new number. You should just figure out how to port my number.”

Repeat, ad nauseam.

So now I’m open to suggestions, folks.  Vote in the poll below:

What should I do about my cell phone dilemma?
Abandon hope, admit defeat, and get a new phone number.
Keep bugging them indefinitely until they figure it out.
Return the phone, demand a refund, and choose another carrier.
Just continue writing passive-aggressive blog posts aimed at making Virgin Mobile look bad while really just making yourself look stupid.
Other (describe in comments)


And remember, if you’re tired of me blogging about cell phones, the best way to get me to quit is by giving me some great advice in the comments below!

There’s Always a Catch

So y’all know that I’ve been complaining about my cell phone situation for a while now, but I finally got around to doing something about it.

Enter Virigin Mobile
I’ve long suspected that prepaid service was the best option for me, but I never realized that you could use smartphones on a prepaid plan (call me stupid – go ahead. Really.).  So when I discovered that $25/month at Virgin Mobile would get you unlimited text and data, and 300 minutes of voice, well that seemed like an obvious choice for me.  Not to mention cheap.

So what’s the catch?  There’s always a catch right?  Well one of the drawbacks is that you can only select from about a half-dozen phones, and you pay full-price for it.  I selected the Samsung Intercept:

I received it in the mail last Friday, and have been using it around the house via wi-fi. It’s worked great, and it makes me feel smart to have a phone with a touchscreen.

But I’ve also discovered the other drawback: Virgin Mobile can’t figure out how to port my number over from T-Mobile. So despite having a brand new telephone in my hands, and despite having paid my $25 for the month, I’m still using my old beat up phone because Virgin can’t figure out how to transfer the number. It’s very frustrating.

But here’s the funny part: I’ve called the help desk numerous times over the past week, and they keep assuring me that they’ve “escalated the problem,” which is their lingo for saying they’ve bumped it up to a higher department.  Each time they say that I want to shout, “No, B$*#!, I’m about to Escalate this F*%@!#* Problem!” …but I don’t… because, well.. that wouldn’t accomplish anything, I guess.  But I do think it would be funny. Also, it’s funny that using their corporate lingo, the first step to solving a problem is to “escalate” it.  Someone from Customer Satisfaction Dept. should have caught that one – it just doesn’t sound right.

More Complaining about Cell Phones

So I’ve been complaining a lot about cell phones, right?  It’s not like I’m not out there looking for new plans, you know.  At least once a month for the past two years I get online and decide that it’s time to finally improve my phone situation.

So I go to all the cell phone websites, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon, and I start comparing plans.  And that’s when I start to realize that I have no idea what I’m shopping for.  The technology has passed me by, and now I just get cranky like an 80 year-old man that can’t figure out how to get the VCR to stop blinking 12:00.

“What the hell is a SmartPhone?”

“How the hell do I know how much data usage I’m going to need?”

“You mean I can buy unlimited data plans and still not be able to send a text message?  I can YouTube all night long without additional fees, but it costs $.20 to send a text?”

“Data Plan for Non-SmartPhone???  I thought that’s what a SmartPhone was!  What the hell kind of data are you downloading if you don’t have a SmartPhone?”

“Do I still need text messaging if I’m only texting other people with SmartPhones or can we all just chit-chat via IM or something? Or send two-word emails to each other all day? Am I the only guy around still texting or something?  Is there some new version of texting that people are doing that I don’t even know about?  Maybe people are just twittering each other all day?  That sounds like a euphemism…”

“Who can I ask to explain all this to me that won’t make fun of me?”

“Forget it.  Maybe I should just go pre-paid DumbPhone and call it good… There’s only about 1 hour a day when I’m not within arms reach of a computer anyway…”

And that’s where it ends for about a month, until the whole scene repeats itself.

Any other luddites like me out there?  And seriously, what’s with this text message thing? Why can you have unlimited data and still not be able to send a text? I don’t really get that…

Eating Leftovers = New Phone

Mel and I have struck a deal that I hope will be very advantageous for everyone.  And by “everyone”, I mean “me.”  Here’s the deal:

If I can go one full month without buying lunch at work, we get to buy new cell phones.

I’ve told y’all before about how my cell phone is totally broken, but that I’m too cheap to buy a new one, and too cheap to pay for a data plan.

Turns out, though, I’m spending TONS of money eating out for lunch every day.  I spend between $5 and $7 every day buying lunch for myself at some stupid place near my office that isn’t even very good.  Let’s do the math:

($6/day)*(5 days/week)*(4 weeks/month) = $120/month

So that’s quite a bit, huh?  So thus, if I can cut this cost out of our budget, then we can easily afford a couple of new phones and a data plan, right?  Or just about?

Of course, we’re forgetting that our grocery costs will probably increase since we’ll have to make enough leftovers for me to bring all the time.  And the fact that as soon as we buy the phones and are locked into a 2 year contract, I’m going to revert back to my old habits.

But except for those two things, this totally makes sense!!!  Awesome!

My Cell

I bought it in 2005 off craigslist.  It came pre-loaded with the previous owners R& B and Hip Hop songs and pictures of her 3-year-old daughters braids.  The previous owner also threw in a Bluetooth headset that I never got around to figuring out how to use.  I average about 150 minutes/month.  The majority of that is calling voice mail to learn that my mortgage lender has critical news for me and that I should “push 1 now” to hear it. I average 115 text messages per month – nearly all of which are mushy messages to my wife that  would make y’all barf if I repeated them publicly.

I’m so low-tech it hurts.

More on Cell Phones

I’ve posted about cell phones a few times now.  And I’ve established that the technology has passed me by.  I’ve gotten some good advice each time about how to find the best rates, and which phones I should buy.  I’ve searched and searched for the best rates & phones.

I still haven’t made any decisions, but I’m starting to realize that the reason it’s so hard for me to make a decision is because I simply don’t think I value mobile data accessibility enough to pay the going rate.  Even with the 19%  discount from Verizon my employer provides, I still can’t find any plans at a price point that make me feel really good about it.

I’m probably just expecting something unreasonable (like my wife, who pays Sprint only $30/month and gets unlimited everything – although her phone sucks too much to really take advantage of it…).

I’ve never had a cell phone with data access, so I’m sure I don’t know what I’m missing.  I guess I’m just a little skeptical right now that I would really benefit from a data plan, which is why I’m hesitant to pay for it.  I feel like I should value data access – everybody that’s anybody has a data plan these days, right?

anyway, I still hate the cell phone industry.