After months of craving, Mrs. Cutter finally got an iPhone. She had wanted one for some time now, but because we were nearing the end of our contract with Verizon, it made sense just to wait out our contract, rather than pay the early cancellation fee.
Since we were on a family talk plan, this meant that I would have to make a decision as to what to do with my own phone. I liked Verizon’s service. They seem to have the strongest coverage in the DC area, and they have the added bonus of being usable on the Metro which sometimes comes in handy. So it was tempting to just stay with them on an individual plan.
I also considered a non-contract phone plan, as I’m not that heavy of a phone user. However, the pay-as-you-go plans all seem to have a “Pay $1 for every day that you use your phone” policy. While I might not be the biggest phone talker, I will inevitably use it just about every day. And what I envisioned happening was a situation where after going through most of the day without using the phone, a friend would call me late at night. Knowing some of my friends, I could see them doing it on purpose. And if some of you think I don’t sound that happy talking on the phone now, I really don’t think you’d want to talk to me if your call just cost me an additional dollar.
After considering all the options, it made the most sense just to go on a family plan with Mrs. Cutter on AT&T. Between the free calls to each other, the shared minutes and the rollover, it made the most sense financially. Now that this key decision was made, I would need to find a phone that I liked.
The phone that I had been using was my first ever cell phone. Three years ago, to the frustration of my family and friends, I did not have a cell phone. People got annoyed because they found it near impossible to get a hold of me. Mrs. Cutter was especially annoyed, since people would inevitably call her looking for me.
Eventually I decided it was time for me to get myself a phone, so I went out and bought a simple LG flip phone. The phone served me well, and has held up fairly well over the years, although its performance has suffered a bit lately. Most phones tend to not work as well after time and this was no exception. It had been a slow decline until June when it got soaked in a rain storm, and the performance took a hit.
I learned there is quite the selection of phones out there. And while they have all of these new smart phones, I really don’t need anything that sophisticated. I use the phone to talk, text, and play the occassional game of black jack while on the Metro. I have a separate iPod which I bring to the gym, so I didn’t need a music player. And I don’t use it for work, so I didn’t need one that had business applications.
Basically, all I want is a simple flip phone that isn’t too small to type on, yet will fit comfortably in my pocket. After several minutes of searching at the AT&T store on Monday, I finally found one that seemed acceptable. Naturally, after the sales person looked in the back, he said that they didn’t have the phone in stock, and probably wouldn’t ever get any more. I asked the logical question of “If you don’t have the phone, why is it on display?” Instead of answering that question, he tried to find me a different phone. But I was tired from the gym and hungry because I hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so we just left the store. My advice: Don’t go to the AT&T in Rockville’s Mid-Pike Plaza.
Mrs. Cutter was not pleased, because it meant she had to wait even longer to get her iPhone. Last night, we decided to try our luck at the AT&T store in the Montgomery Mall. They had the same phone on display, but yet once again, they did not have it in stock. However, this time, our much more helpful salesperson said they would obtain one from a neighboring store and give me a temporary phone in the meantime. So that problem was solved.
Our salesman was helpful, and even got us an unadvertised rate plan which was much closer to our minutes usage than the other advertised plans. We debated whether or not Mrs. Cutter should get the 8 MB or 16 MB iPhone and if she should get the extended warranty. She ultimately opted for 16 MB as that gives her room for movies and applications, and to not get the warranty. I figure that if the iPhone is a lemon, it will break within the first year when it is already covered.
We left the store with our new phones (although mine was only temporary) and we thought all was well. But when dealing with cellular companies, that is never a wise assumption to make. Upon returning home, we found that we could make calls with our new phones, but incoming calls still went to our old phones. When this was still the case this morning, we called AT&T and learned that apparently there was some sort of password on Mrs. Cutter’s account. It took several calls to both AT&T and Verizon to get this settled, and finally, all of our calls were going to our new phone.
Verizon also tried to say that since we cancelled our account in the middle of a billing cycle, we would be responsible for paying the entire billing cycle and not just a prorated amount. I told them that I felt that policy was ridiculous, and if they actually try to enforce that, I will be cancelling my home service with them. We’ll see what happens with that.
Anyway, considering the cost and hassle of the iPhone, I’m hoping that Mrs. Cutter finds it to be worth it. Perhaps she will write a guest blog giving the device a full review. I would give you my impressions of my new phone, but since I won’t be obtaining it until the weekend, that will just have to wait.