Tuesday, June 21, 2011


This is a long rant. I am sorry.

Our cell phone plan is up this week so T & I decided to take a look this past weekend and see what new-age fangled contraptions are out there now.  So we walk into the Verizon store in P’Burg, look around and wonder "where are all the phones"!  Seriously, the ONLY phones out were Droids and iPhones or basically the so-called smartphones.  That is it.  Somewhat jokingly I asked the person working there "so did you stop selling real phones?"  To which he responded to me in his arrogant tone and as he judgingly looked both T & I up and down said "those regular phones, we keep those in the back". Really, you had to hear how he said it….grrrrr.

Uh, OK?!

I asked if we could browse those phones to which I was told we should really look online and see what we want and then come back and they can pull them from the back room for us.

Uh, OK?!

I really wanted to tell him to pull ALL the phones and then I would tell him where he could put them.  But I controlled myself.

Both Terry and I decided we were in no mood to deal with the cocky attitude of the sales people at Verizon, have them try to talk us into phones we didn't want, or try to figure out what phones we wanted to look at without being able to look at phones.  We just wanted to browse their inventory, but apparently the out-dated inventory we were interested in was not good enough to be kept with the "cool" phones.  So of course we left.

It kind felt as we left that companies are now just pushing for these “fancy” phones and forgetting about the everyday person who A) may just want a regular phone or B) cannot afford the cool phones with the expensive monthly plans?!  And why are the dorky phones not allowed to hang out with the cool phones anymore?!  I feel like it is high school all over again. 

Honestly, that is how I have picked the last 3 or 4 cell phones I have had.  Just go in and physically SEE what I want.  I hold them, mess around with them and see which is best.  Now I have to go online and make a list of ones I want to see?! Yeah….I don’t really like that option.

T & I rather passionately talked about it on the way home, about where phones & the phone companies are today and how it is sorta ridiculous.  And this is by NO MEANS about people who buy these phones, (please please please as I get on a soapbox don’t think that).  It is about how these companies are forcing us to have these phones and changing the phones so quickly that we have no choice but to fall into getting these more advanced phones.  And of course once you have one, you never want to go back….that is how they get you!

YES, I will admit that having the internet on my phone would be cool.  And YES there are apps that are awesome and helpful to have.  And YES, if it didn't cost an arm and a leg and our first born to buy these phones then pay for all the add-ons and have to be forced to pay higher monthly costs to have features like internet that are required, we would get the “cool” phone.  But also, at the end of the day I know that if I have many of these features on my phone, I will just be on my phone…..constantly.  And I don't want to be on my phone all the time.  I sit in front of a computer with internet for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week at work.  I then have a computer at home with internet that I sit in front of.  But do I really want to be forced to PAY to be connected with the world all the time on my phone too?!

No, actually I don't.

And it sucks because T & I went back to a different Verizon store last night in hopes of a better outcome and it actually annoyed us more. 

Here are the facts:

They told us that if we got a smartphone we HAD to spend $29.95 a month on EACH phone for the unlimited data plan.  (P.S. I JUST read this morning that there are rumors that on July 7th they will drop the unlimited data plan.  “Droid-Life lists pricing, starting at 2 GB for $30/month and going up to 10 GB for $80/month. Adding tethering gives an additional $2 GB and an additional $20. So for example, 4 GB with tethering will cost $50/month. Additional data will cost $10/GB. Whereas currently you get unlimited for $30.”  Don’t know if this is true or if it affects only new customers.  Article HERE.) The unlimited data plan would include the internet and apparently something with downloading apps.  We also have to pay $10 each per phone on top of our standard phone pricing for unlimited texting in the network and 500 out of network.  So on top of the $79.99-$200.00 each we would have to pay to even GET a phone, we are now looking at another $40 per phone additional EACH MONTH so we can text and be online.  And let’s remember that even if we do not want to be online, we still have to PAY for that feature.

So just get a regular cell phone you say.  Well T & I are not at ALL opposed to doing that, infact we would love to do that.  However, the standard phones suck because they are making these standard phones less and less available to people and they seem very mediocre.  Even when I begrudgingly got online at home and looked at the phones available to me and asked to see some at the store, I thought they were not nearly as good as the ones that were out 2 years ago.  Like they just gave up with making better “plain” phones and are only enhancing the “cool” phones.  Granted, I may not want the most state of the art phone, but that doesn't mean I want something worse than I have now.  Verizon basically removed a huge section of their product line and it seems to us that your ONLY choices are:

1)      Keep your current phone although Verizon straight up told us that phone batteries are not designed to last more than two years and if a phone is more than two years old they stop selling the batteries.  So you can use it if you don’t mind recharging it every day;

2)      Buy a smartphone but be forced to pay ridiculous prices for not only the phone but the monthly plan; or

3)      Settle for a mediocre standard phone.

I feel we are all being forced to eventually jump on this bandwagon of smartphones, whether we want to or not.  And when we do, companies can take advantage of the consumer by upping the prices of our plans.  And of course the more we use these types of phones the more we rely on them and the less we want to give them up….therefore we will actually pay to keep the features we want.  And of course the companies know this and take full advantage of it.

You know it is one thing to advance your products and those who want to have the option to advance their phones can, but it is totally another thing to push those people who are content where they are to have to make sacrifices (either by having to get better phones with higher monthly plans or being stuck with mediocre phones) because these phones don’t bring in as much money as what the “cool” phones do. 

It is truly frustrating.

Right now we really have NO idea what to do.  We are keeping our phones a little longer, maybe a lot longer if we can’t figure out what is the best and most cost effective for us.  However, both our phone batteries are dying so something has to be done before the end of the year.  And if that tiered pricing does come into play and smartphones are the best or only option for us, I would rather get into the program before that happens so we at least have unlimited instead of paying the same price for 2GB.  Or do we just settle for some basic phone, that is no better, maybe even slightly worse, than the phones we have now?!  AAAAHHHHH!  At this point maybe I should just get the Jitterbug and call it a day.

**Update – Terry dropped his phone in the toilet last night. *sigh* In all the years he has had a cell phone he has never done this. EVER.  The irony is NOT lost on us.  What sucks is now he at least needs to get another cell phone when just hours before we decided we would wait as we didn’t know what to do. Great.  And the first thing Terry said to me was “I didn’t do it on purpose, believe me I didn’t”.  I know he is annoyed.


  1. my iphone plan is actually CHEAPER than when i was paying for just the lowest minutes monthly plan on a regular phone. but that was before they introduced the new internet access system so i still get the old (better) price. regardless, yeah, they're totally out to screw you.

  2. Oh it's all just such a MESS isn't it? I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum. My work requires that I have a Blackberry so I can keep connected via email and calendar (which is highly annoying) but the kicker is that I have to pay for it - buy the phone and the data package. Well, I *DESPISE* my Blackberry. It's so crappy and I cannot type on it. I want to get a new phone really badly. But I can't without paying out the arse! I think it's a crock to have to wait 2 years to upgrade, considering all of the new technology that comes out in those two years! I think if I'm willing to pay for a new phone now that I shouldn't have to wait until my two years is up! Ugggg!

    My mom shops for her Verizon cell phones online - she's done that the past two times and has had success with it. But I understand if you want to go in and play with the phones before you use them.

    Oh and another thing! We're with Verizon too but they only put Mike's name on the account, so I cannot access ANYTHING on the account unless he is with me. When I was trying to upgrade my phone last time they gave me all sorts of attitude and acted like I was a criminal because I was trying to GIVE THEM MONEY for a new phone although I wasn't an "authorized account user" - whatever! I'm the one that signs the checks for our monthly bill!

    Scams! All of it.

    I hope you get the phone that you want!

  3. A & I are waiting until our contract runs out then we are going to switch over to one of the no-contract companies (Boost, Virgin Mobile, Revol). I know Virgin has a $25 all data and texting is unlimited and you get 300 minutes and for $40 you get 1200 minutes, way more than I use. I think the other companies have similar prices. I know Virgin uses Sprint's network and I believe they are owned by the same company. They don't have the top level phones as Sprint or Verizon but you can get a android based phone for something like $120 or a phone more like you are looking for for cheaper. Then if they raise the price we can leave for another company anytime we want or go back to Verizon. I have been talking to a few folk who have one of these other companies and they say for the most part everything is good. One said when she went to Chicago her texts weren't coming through but she doesn't go there that often so it didn't bother her.

    It is the only way I can think of "sticking it to" Verizon or the other scammers. If enough people do these things they will have to change but they trick people into upgrading before their contract is up and lock them down for two more years.

  4. Anonymous3:07 PM

    Sam's has verizon phones that are usually cheaper than the verizon store.

  5. I feel your pain. just a bit differently. I knew when I upgraded that I wanted a smart phone, so as you did, i went in to the store a week or so before my plan was up and wanted to look at phones to see what I like. I had done a little research but also, wanted to just touch the da** things before I made a decision. Enter snotty sales people who treat you like a monkey who knows nothing about technology and, well anything. (You work at Verizon, I run a Day Care Center, suck it, nerd) Anyway, I was stupid enough to comment that I really didn't like the touch screen phones at all when testing them and I think I was almost thrown out of the store. Anyway, after much searching and research online I eventually went back to the same store and bought my blackberry. I love my blackberry and can't live without it. (Though there are times my family want to take it from me and smash it. I was on it when in the hospital recently checking some emails from work and my mom almost hit me. true story.) Anyway, I am lucky enough to receive an allowance ($40) a month from the city for part of the expense and it is expensive. Worth it to me for my work, but expensive. And to add to it, when I was having a little problem downloading Verizon's Contact Backup onto my phone I went into the store to get assistance and the HORRIBLE salesperson basically told me he hates stupid blackberries and they are just dumb. BTW, I LOVE MY PHONE! I will not go back to that store EVER again and will tell everyone I know in the area (and that's a lot of people) never to go there as well. Hey, there are two more stores in town. By the time I've boycotted them too, there will be several new stores. Technology sucks!