Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Better Week

Ahh, better.
So last week I mentioned that had pissed me off to high heaven.
What happened was, about 3, 4, maybe even more? years ago J had upgraded and got a Blackjack phone, like this:

At the time we got unlimited texting and didn't go on the web on our phones, so this was exactly what he needed.
But then, sometime after that, things changed. There were times we were away on a trip or somewhere and needed information and wished we'd had an internet connection, plus I got him addicted to Facebook, which he can't go to at the station, and his GPS info is outdated and costs like $100 to upgrade, where as if he had web on his phone he could use google maps. So, the next time he was up for upgrade, which was about 1.5 - 2 years ago, he got a smartphone and a data plan.

In the meantime, our youngest son was still using a Razor, with a numerical keypad. Like me, he's not a big talker, and will text instead. He never complained, but I knew what a PITA trying to text on a numerical keypad was. So after J upgraded we gave Kev the Blackjack so he could text more easily. (He texts like 1,000 times more than I do, so I was okay with keeping my old numerical keypad phone while he got the Blackjack.)

1.5 - 2 years later, decides the Blackjack is a Smartphone and despite the fact we/he never used the web on it, forced a $30 a month data plan on it.
I called and told them we didn't want/need the data plan, and was told all smartphones have to have a data plan, no choice, there was nothing they could do.
We didn't even really know it was a Smartphone - how the heck could you even see the web on that tiny little screen? - but it wasn't like we just bought or got the thing, we'd had it for at least four years without HAVING to have a data plan on, so I call bullshit. I could see if we had just gotten the phone, but we hadn't.

My choices came down to (1) having the web blocked, which would also block him from being able to send picture texts, even though we pay for unlimited text and picture messaging, (2) BUY a non-smartphone, or (3) PAY $36.00 to upgrade to get a free non-smartphone.
I didn't think it should cost us to have to get another phone, when we had one that worked perfectly well.

Our last option was to just pay the monthly data plan cost that he'd never use.
He only plays online RP games that he's not able to play on a cellphone, or even something like my Kindle. He doesn't have email, doesn't have a Facebook, doesn't Twitter, nothing like that. So paying even a cent for him to have web access is nothing but wasted money. Even so, I was going to just give in and take the $15 plan same as the rest of us have and hope I could convince him to somehow get our moneys worth out of it (although, I *do* go online on my phone sometimes, and even I don't get our money's worth out of it. I've never even used more than 8% of my monthly allowance, and that was a big month. Usually it's no more than 4%.)
Then the gal informed me that they "don't carry the old plans any longer" so the cheapest plan he could get would be $20 a month.

I was furious that they would treat me, a long time, loyal customer, like that, and I took it pretty badly. (I didn't know it until then but I was PMS'ing.)

I did go and check out every other cellphone carrier and plan I could find, and sadly, there is nothing better. The ONE other carrier with decent coverage in our area cost even more.

I was furious, distraught, upset, worried and beaten. But finally I told myself, chick, take a chill pill, this ain't the end of the world. It's not even the worst thing that could happen. You can figure something out.

I wished I hadn't been nice and helped a friend's son out by giving him my old phone when his got stolen a few months ago, but that gave me an idea...I bet someone else probably had upgraded and had an old phone stuck back in a drawer somewhere.
I decided to try posting on a Freecycle group I belong to, asking for a NON-smartphone.
Freecycle is an online group where you can post things you no longer want, but don't want to throw away. For instance if you buy a new couch, but your old one is still in decent condition, someone out there might could use it.  Or if you've gained/lost weight and your clothes no longer fit but are still in good condition, someone out there could probably really use them.
I mostly give stuff away since I started working on de-cluttering around here, but they aren't opposed to members posting if they are looking something that someone might have and just didn't think to post it, and sure enough, I got a reply from a lady saying she had one, but it needed a charger.

Chargers are easy enough to find on ebay, and I figured even if we couldn't find one for it, we wouldn't be any worse off than we already were, so I made arrangements to go pick it up.
I didn't even ask what kind it was or anything. Didn't matter, I just needed a NON-smartphone until I could figure something else out. I was really expecting one of those ancient, blue flip phones from 6 or 8 years ago. To our surprise, it turned out to be a Texting phone, a Neon II, pretty much exactly what I would have bought or upgraded to!

Even better, it turns out all of our chargers also work on this phone, so we were able to get it right up and going, and we can just share chargers and not even have to buy another one.

I called Monday and they removed ALL the data plan charges.
However, she was sure to inform me that they were putting it on a Pay-per-use plan, which costs $2.00 a MB, and that's ANY amount up to a MB, for a minimum of $2.00 (even if he justs hits the web button accidently and disconnects quickly).

Screw you, , I won.

I started on Monday, but even that wasn't as bad as it can be sometimes. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning with cramps, so I got up and took a couple of pain relievers and was back asleep in no time. When I got up at 6:30 to get Kev up for school, they were still working.

We finally got some much, much needed rain this week.
As much I love sunshine and warm, pretty weather, I also just love a rainy day every so often. Good days to just relax and curl up under a blankey with a book. I put some beef tips in the crock pot and they smelled sooo good cooking all day.

We also got some excellent progress made on the doorway between the carport and the back porch this week.  The door is in, and to the right, on the floor is the platform the boys built that we set our spare fridge on. It had been sitting on the back porch, taking up space, so now it's tucked neatly into that corner of the carport, opening up the space on the back porch for visitors and hanging out and such, but cold drinks still handy for when we're working or hanging out outside.

Also this week J's been able to get out in the evenings he's home and do some trout fishing. He enjoys fishing and it helps him unwind and relax, and I like stocking our freezer with free food, so it's a win-win!

Here's hoping for the goodness to continue on into next week, and good days for my Bloggy friends too!

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