Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cell Phones - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Everyone has a cell phone these days, don't they? The truth is, a lot of people don't. From first hand experience, I'll tell you why I am not in favor of traditional cell phone plans.

The Good - Cell phones are convenient and give a certain "peace of mind" when traveling. You can call anyone from virtually anywhere. You can get voice mail and text messaging and all of the "fun stuff." And talk about ring tones! My son has to have distinct ring tones on his phone. Blah!

The Bad - Traditional cell phone plans are expensive. No matter how you tweak your plan, you're going to pay through the teeth over time. I know a ton of people who've disconnected their landlines in favor of cell phones only. We almost did, but after talking to the adoption agency we work with, we decided to keep our home phone. You cannot be certified for adoption or foster care if you don't have a landline phone. If after a while you decide you want to get your landline phone back, you pay a steep reconnection fee.

The Ugly - Here's the real scoop. When you buy your nice new cell phone and they give you a rebate: look out! You're automatically put on a contract (ours was 2 years) and you can't get out of it without paying a huge penalty. We tried today to completely cancel our service and they told us that Josh's phone is still on contract until January. We would have to pay a whopping $100 per month penalty ($500) for the cancellation.

So.......We've gone with a different plan and they promised us no contract after January '09. It will cost us only $20 less than we were paying, but we couldn't get anything better. Now we can only have ONE my circle number to share between 2 phones. Who's going to get it? Won't be me. We also have a scant 700 anytime minutes to share (Josh uses the bulk of them so he'll have to cut it down - are you listening, Josh?) We will still be able to call people on weekends and after 9 p.m. for free.

Jeff washed his cell phone in his pants pocket a few weeks ago and it no longer works. I gave him mine and I no longer have one. The cell phone company did away with that number....don't call on 1132!

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