8/17/2005

Cell Phone Dilemma

Today Jim and I went to Verizon to check on our service contract. Actually I hoped we were going to cancel and move to another service.

It ain't that simple.

Why did we want to change phone service? Personal reasons and that seemed good enough for us. The rest of our family is on Cingular. We could talk together and not expend minutes. And, the two phones we have have seemingly burned out. Mine crackles and I cannot make out what the other party is saying. Jim's phone just cuts off.

But - we quickly learned that regardless of what we want to do Verizon has us on the dotted line until November 3. What's more we cannot upgrade our phones until September and if we do it then we commit to another two years with them.

The woman at the Customer Service was nice enough, very calm and patient. She just did not have a solution for us. Were we to keep these phones until November, paying the monthly commitment and yet not being able to talk?

At that point I moved over to a bench against the wall and sat down. " I am out of here," I announced. Jim glared at me and patiently continued to talk with the lady.
A young man near me, standing in a Technical Assistance line, laughed, "It does feel like one of those days." Then his phone rang and he told his story to the caller.

I chatted with another man on the bench, also sitting it out. He showed me his old faithful phone, an analog phone, that was now no good. "They stopped analog service last week." He could not decide which phone to get - or to pay for - because since he was not starting a new plan he would have to pay full price.

About that time Jim called me over, "Let's see your phone. Maybe a new battery will keep you talking until November." I handed over my familiar plain and simple phone.

The lady took one look - "That one is obsolete. We don't keep those batteries here any more. We have to order them from the warehouse."

At this Jim's cool veneer wore thin.

"Obsolete? She has not had that phone for two years yet."

The lady was nonplussed.

"They come out with new models every couple of months."

Verizon will mail me the battery. Jim and I will wait it out until November and then face the Verizon store again.

I love cell phones. I can't imagine not having one.

Isn't that the problem?

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