Currently Mr. A’s cell phone is his business line. We have advertising in the Yellow Book and Yellow Pages, on his websites, business cards, Craigslist, four newspapers, all using the one phone number.
But Mr. A’s phone is over two years old now, and we think it’s not getting good reception as he seems to be missing a lot of calls. One of my previous cell phones was doing that. Our plan is through T-Mobile and I have been with them since 2000. We got in on a really spectacular deal: 3000 anytime minutes for $49.95 per month as long as we keep the calls within our regional area. Well, we only really need to call folks in Arizona, so that works great for us. We also aren’t up much past the evening minutes and we don’t talk a lot on the weekends. The plan is no longer available but we were grandfathered in several years ago. I can add as many lines to the plan as I want, and get the same deal, which is pretty neat.
So I started researching another phone for him. The service is in my name, so he couldn’t just run down to a T-Mobile store, and we haven’t been in the car a lot together lately, and he kept asking me when he could get a new phone. Frankly, I didn’t consider the option of him just going into a T-mobile store by himself to select a phone (he considered it, but never mentioned it to me).
Finally I decided to just look online and see what they had available. He needs a durable phone, it needs to be a flip phone and I thought he might enjoy one with music player options since he likes to listen to our pastor’s messages when he misses service. Currently he gets audio tapes, but the cassette players are crappily made and keep eating tapes, or breaking within a couple months of daily use.
I ordered the Motorola ACTV. Out of pocket cost after two year re-up on the contract (I’m not going anywhere with our good deal on minutes) and rebates, came to under $40.
I knew Mr. A would need a car charger, and the phone uses a cable to connect to the computer, and I also bought him a holster. All from eBay for much cheaper than through T-Mobile or Motorola. I spent around $25 on the additional bits. I almost ordered a microcard since it uses one of those, too. But I have one of those, so I thought that would work. Fortunately I hadn’t figured out it won’t work, or I would have ordered him one of those, too. My microcard is 4GB and the phone can only handle up to 2GB.
So the phone arrives, and I get it all charged, set up and put in the numbers he uses the most. Get the ringtones setup, and try to get it working just like his old one, to make it easy for him to upgrade to the new phone.
Only, unfortunately, the keypad looks nothing like it ends up being in real life. Mr. A works with his hands a lot, and doesn’t have a lot of feeling in his fingertips, apparently due to callouses. He tried out the phone and he can’t use it. It has a weird rubbery texture and no actual keypads, so it’s hard to determine where exactly to push. I was having trouble myself, so if Mr. A has limited feeling in his big fingers, I can understand why he wants me to send it back.
I felt really awful, and we bickered over it, because I felt like I did my best to choose a phone that would meet his needs, and I couldn’t have known about the keypad. We decided we are going to send it back and he’s going to go to a T-Mobile store on his own and see what phone he’d like to have and then let me know, so I can order.
Or maybe by that time I can just get his name added onto the account or something.
There is one other option: AJ has been interested in getting a new phone, so Mr. A might take my phone, and I might take AJ’s phone. AJ’s phone doesn’t have a camera, but I don’t really care about that, because I take my camera with me everywhere.
We’ll have to see what happens. Mr. A is somewhat of a Luddite and he just wants a plain phone with nothing extra but the ability to text, and take an occasional photo. Like my boss, she just wanted a plain phone, but you can’t even find one nowadays.
I sometimes feel I can’t win for losing. I feel really stupid now for ordering the components for the phone before I knew if Mr. A would like the phone. Actually, I didn’t think there would be any reason he wouldn’t, so I was trying to get the components as I knew he would need them.
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