Continuing in the fine tradition of tackling only the life issues which require very little thought and probably don’t need to be addressed right now, today I turned to my favorite activity to undertake every 730 days: Picking a new cell phone.
Today was even more fun, because Otto and I had such good luck coming to agreement on wedding ring selection, we decided to figure out our phones together. Thankfully there is no societal edict that our phones coordinate, so it was a slightly lower-pressure situation, at least. Also, if our new phones suck? We can get new ones in another two years without being worried about hurting anyone’s feelings. Much better.
So, there was actually a method to our madness, in re-upping our cell phones at the same time. At some point we’ll want a family cell plan, and it would be handy for our contracts to be on the same dates when that time comes around. Me, I’ve been eligible for a new phone for a while, and I’d been waiting for Otto’s contract to expire so that we could re-up on the same day.
[Digression: We looked into getting a family plan now, and… look, I haven’t had a family plan in years, so maybe things are different now, but isn’t the whole idea that it saves you some money? Gives you some benefit over two individual plans? What we looked at was pretty much the same cost but fewer minutes. Why? Why would you want that, just for the joy of having one bill instead of two? What am I missing?]
Anyway. We browsed through the available phones. As it happens, we currently have the exact same phone (fate! clearly we’re meant to be together!). But do we want the same phone again? Maybe not. I was thinking of upgrading to something I could use to retrieve email and such. Perhaps not all the way up to Crackberry, you understand, but more functionality than I have now.
Otto’s big concern was getting something Bluetooth enabled. Well, hey, I want that too. But since just about everything is Bluetooth capable now, that wasn’t going to be too hard.
But because I was looking at the fancier phones, he started looking, and then we discovered that our cellular provider… ummm… Vborg… leaves something to be desired when it comes to customer service.
First I got on an online customer chat to ask some questions about the phone I was looking at. Apparently, Vborg was willing to give me this $400 phone for $30. So that works with my computer, then? I asked. Oh, well, certainly, as long as I buy their “mobile office suite.” Oh really? Well how much is that? $40. I see. And how much more is mobile web service than what I currently pay? Well, that’s only $5/month, plus airtime. Okay. And how much for accessories? This was where I blacked out, so we’ll skip that part.
Meanwhile, poor Otto was trying to find out if that phone would work with a Mac. Unable to get answers online, he actually took a trip to his local Vborg store and THEY DIDN’T KNOW. As in, no one there knew, and when he asked if they could find out, THEY SAID NO. They “wouldn’t know who to ask.” Wow. He didn’t get the fancy phone. He got the free super-slim but slightly less fancy phone.
Me, I decided that this might be my chance to ditch the ancient handheld organizer I currently use (sometimes, when I take it out to jot something down in my calendar, a more advanced geek will peer at it and say something like, “Wow, I didn’t know those… still existed”) and give me a backup for accessing my mail even when my broadband craps out. Or when I don’t have a computer handy. Like, who knows, if I’m kidnapped and really really need to check my email. Whatever.
So I went ahead and upgraded my phone and crossed my fingers to hope for the best. Although Vborg would not allow me to check out without trying to force me to sign up for a million other things. Like Vcast! Which is… I don’t know. A music download service, I think, for people who are surgically attached to their phones. And then there’s their navigation service, which is another charge, but at some point I will probably cave and try it, because it will speak the directions for you. Really, short of chauffering me to my destination, that’s about THE most helpful thing they could offer. But the price, hmmm, we’ll see.
Anyway, I had to go through a million different steps just to check out and sign on the dotted line that YES, YES YOU MAY HAVE MY SOUL AND MY PAYCHECK FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS.
Then I went onto eBay to get my accessories, and then I was sucked into an alternate space-time dimension while shopping for a Bluetooth headset, but I seem to be back now. It should all be arriving here this week and I figure I’ll actually know how to use the thing, oh, in a year or so. Let’s just say that if I figure out how to check my email with it BEFORE the first time that I drop it on floor and swear, I’ll be very impressed.
I wouldn’t have the energy to do this more than every couple of years. I’m already worried that I won’t be able to get the headset and the phone to talk to each other. Also I’m a little worried that Vborg will sign me up for Vcast in my sleep.