Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Have you bought a car lately? A house, perhaps? Nah, neither have I.

In fact, I don't buy cars--if we get a new car, Mr. Pug handles it because I have almost no patience for all the $&*# that goes on--the negotiations, the bargaining, the pleading, the getting up to walk out and leave, the begging, the re-figuring of the price, the dragging the manager out with all that faked drama, the loan process. Nope, I'll drive my cars right into the ground to avoid the whole thing.

Back in the Dark Ages, I was a realtor, and I while I loved helping folks find their dream house, I hated, hated, hated the bargaining part.

I'm one of those people my daughters would call "old school," who just want to see the sticker and make a decision:  Yes, I can afford it, or No, not right now. Simple as that.

So I've been dreading the day when my cellphone contract would expire because ... I knew I would have to swim into the shark-infested waters of Telecom.

That Day Has Come.

I still thought I could escape the whole thing. I sent Mr. Pug to his carrier to have him add my cellphone to his contract and to find a solution to our internet-at-home issue. (Our internet has been down since we kicked our Bellsouth landline to the curb, and I can live with using the computer at work. Mr. P. cannot, apparently, live without internet service, although to my knowledge, he hasn't touched a keyboard at home since 1982.)

I told him what I wanted.
  • add my cellphone to your coverage
  • get a mobile broadband card and contract so we can have internet on the laptop
  • get a plan that saves us money over our current plan.

He called to say, "it's totally settled--I've solved the problem--in fact, I'm your Knight in Shining Armor." "Meet me at T-Mobile," he said, "so we can pick out your new phone."

Could I trust him? I did.

Two-and-a-half hours later, we left, frazzled and disheveled, beaten up by the Telecom Gods.

Do we have internet at home? Yes, we do have a mobile broadband card. I installed it last night and it works, although I have to give up my Bellsouth account.

Do I have a new cellphone? No.

Do we have a new cellphone contract, family plan, etc.? No.

And here's why:

The Promise:
  • We here at T-Mobile want to make your life better. No more contracts.
  • No ugly commitments.
  • Menu-driven plan that will save you hundreds of dollars a month.
  • You get a really cool phone that will make you feel like you're 20 years younger.
  • Great plans for $50 a month
  • Love you, man!
The Reality:
  • Yeah, we have a $50 plan
  • Well, it's really $59.99
  • Oh, wait that's for talk only. Oh, you want to text too?
  • That's $99
  • Oh, wait that doesn't include internet
  • That's $139
  • Plus $50 for the mobile broadband card
  • Plus $200 for the phone
  • Oh, you want a phone for free?
  • That requires a contract
  • Then your plan is $169
  • But your cool phone is free
  • Oh, $30 more a month isn't free?
  • Oh, and the free phone really isn't the cool one--is that okay?
  • That one--the Super Phone-- does cost a little extra
  • And, of course, there's an extra charge for using the super-cool phone--yes, an extra charge every month
  • And, wait did we mention the $10 a month charge if you drive a Chrysler?
  • And the $5 a month if your hair is gray?
  • And the $6.50 a month if you want to call anyone outside Georgia?
  • And the fact that it takes up to a week to port your old number?
  • And the fact that Mr. Pug apparently can't be bothered to add all the numbers up? Maybe he needs a new cellphone with a calculator.
I could get a health insurance plan through the Senate before I could get a new cellphone plan.

Oh, crap. I'll just keep my old phone, I guess, until I have the patience to go in there--without Mr. Pug--and work it out for myself.


Anonymous said...

What a crock!!! You have to go yourself and check out several plans. Radio Shack (now "The Shack") is a good place to check out several plans and phones.

Is your "old phone" working???


Jane Prater said...

Amen to everything you said. And by the time you get all of this worked out, the TV will be blaring some other plan that just assures you that you, indeed, got screwed.

The Knifty Knitter said...

Get thee to Verizon. They don't have *the* super phone but I have one that's pretty darn close. I get my mobile broadband, unlimited texting, all my calls (long distance, in network, out of network, everything), all the works for under $150 a month. And if you sign a 2 year contract your phone is super cheap (or even free). And they have the best coverage. Seriously.

Sheri said...

That was so perfectly written you should send it to all the cellphone companies out there. I learned, with my last cellphone purchase, that if the sign under the name (ie; Verizon) says anything, like agent, dealer, etc, it's NOT owned by the company and they can charge whatever they want for anything they sell. I'm lucky, I found one that is company owned and operated and they can make deals. We have 3 complete phones, 2 are blackberries with full features and I'm under 250.00 a month, unlimited. Shop around. (oh, and I found my password)
Sheri in GA

Sue said...

You said it perfectly. We do have a new car. Rob did it, I won't go near the place. He needed a new cell phone so he went for the "free phone' deal, too. It wound up costing us more each month, he got a cool new phone that he can't figure out how to use, and I still have my old phone that just makes calls, no photos, no texting, just calls. Just the way I like it.