Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cell phone trouble

Last night as I was shutting stuff down to head off to bed, I looked down and noticed that the screen on my blackberry was glowing an errie shade of gray.  What gives here?  I turned the phone off, and back on.  No change except that it goes out and comes back on.  Nothing brought back the logic on the screen that I was desperately looking for.

This was not good, but I just shut it down and headed off to bed.  In the morning, nothing had changed, the dreaded gray screen was still there!

I messed with the phone for a while and realized that only the screen was gone, the rest of the phone seemed to be operating normally.  But the screen was totally gone, and I had no idea why.  I needed a new phone!  I wasn't prepared to make such a decision, as I had several months left on my contract.

All morning was spent first of all deciding if I was staying with T Mobile or leaving for Verizon.  For months I had said I was going to Verizon, but that was much more expensive, and requires that I can tether a phone into my router, or the laptop and eliminate the air card in order to have those funds for the increased cost.  Verizon now has it setup so that it costs $20 above your data plan to get 2 Gigabytes for tethering.  Or else you have to Root the phone and install software that is not from Verizon.   And yes I know that you can run Apps that will allow tethering without rooting, but word is that Verizon is working on ways to find folks that are doing that.  This is nuts, because your $30 for the data plan pays for 5Gb, but if you don't view it on the phone, but rather view it on another device you are throttled back  two 2Gb and the cost in now $50.  What?

So it appears that I will be replacing my Verizon aircard with a 4G model sometime quite soon.  That will reduce the cost from $60 to $50 and keep my 5 Gb limit irrespective of the phone.  I did learn that you can now get 10 Gb for $80.  That would be good for someone that archives a lot of pictures, or has a really bad You Tube habit.

So after having made the decision that I needed a new aircard and would only casually be tethering the phone under certain circumstances, using  a non authorized app hoping not to get caught, then the decision to stay with my historically low priced T-Mobile plan was easy.  But now I need a new phone.

I decided on the HTC G2, which wasn't hard since it is the newest and fastest available from TMO.  But since my contract wasn't up, I was being charged a penalty by the web site for early contract renewal on the old phone.

This makes us two for two on our Blackberry's not making it the full two years.  We have lost them both.  One to the swimming pool toy bucket with a small amount of water left in it, and now the screen on the second phone.

I started studying the internet on blogs about the G2.  One young man gave out a customer service number on his blog and advised that I need to ask about contract resolution.  And then bring up the loyalty factor that I have been a customer for many years, and several contracts.  It worked!!

The phone was suddenly $50 cheaper, which eliminated the early termination fees that the website was charging me and also had the phone cheaper too.  The next thing I knew, I had value pays over the next four months like I was buying it on QVC or ShopNBC.  I only had to pay one payment and the sales tax and shipping today!  How could I beat using their money?

It will still take several days to ship and receive this new phone, and I can only answer calls with my old phone by pressing the green button and saying hello.  If I am very careful about pushing the little buttons, I can also make a call as well.  Holding down the speed dial letters will also still make those calls for me.  But Dang it is frustrating to have the email bell dinging away and not be able to look at the email.  And no Instant Messages, and no Facebook, and No............

The rest of the day didn't amount to much, after I got all that decided!

Retired Rod


  1. You can get your email on your laptop, but would rather use the phone? I am hopelessly lost when it comes to those hi-tech devices, and it's only been a year or so that I remember that it is "Blackberry". I used to say "Blueberry", which caused my kids to smirk a lot. Here I am thinking of going back to a land line!

  2. After reading your post I had to go lay down & give my head a rest.

  3. So many choices, makes me glad the only thing I use my phone for is a telephone call, no texts, no e-mails, no GPS, I"m like Al , it's hard enough just to make a call.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

  4. Don't you hate it when your phone is smarter than you. Somedays I love the damn thing and others I just want to go back to the time when a house if it was lucky, had a phone, and then only just one, and it had a cord and a dial. Sometimes I even miss the neighbours listening in on the party line too.

  5. Now there was a post that I didn't understand at all. Hope you don't get black and blue over your berries! :)

  6. Sounds like Verizon is hopelessly confusing things with their data/phone plans. Glad to see you got a great deal on your new phone. I'm going to be looking for a new phone when we get back home, so I'm going to have to go through the same choices you've had to make. Thanks for the primer!

  7. Maybe a thought for "next time": When I dropped my phone in the swimming pool and ruined it, a friend sent me two old "unsmart" phones. I went on the Verizon website and transfered my service from one phone to the other with no VZ intervention. NO CHANGE in plan, NO CHANGE in contract period - just swapped one (ruined) phone for another.

    I think the problem (being forced to switch to a new contract) comes when you try to buy a new phone from your provider. I was lucky to get a couple of phones (now I have a backup!) for free, but you could do the same thing buying a used phone off of EBay or Craigslist. It was very easy, and I retained my current contract.

  8. I have a smartphone from Straight Talk, a Nokia E71. For $45 a month I have unlimited talk, text and data. I can tether the phone to my laptop, so I have unlimited data for $45 a month. There is no contract, so there is no future problem with Early termination fees, so I think that this is a much better deal.


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