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Sunday 23 Jun 2024

New Phone Frenzy
Matt Seinberg

It is eighteen months since my daughters got their phones. Both wanted an Apple iPhone 7, with 128 gigs of storage. They could have gotten the 256 model for the same price, but decided they didn't want to wait a few days for them to arrive.

My deal with my daughters.

I pay for the service, my daughters pay for their phone. Those old phones were $27 a month, as a lease on the now defunct T-Mobile Jump plan. Now T-Mobile just does a lease-to-own, with monthly payments and no interest charges.

Michelle wanted to get her new phone this past Tuesday, but Melissa had school and didn't want to give us her phone; we decided to go Friday. Just as well, because Melissa ended up getting the new iPhone XR in black, with 128 gigs of memory. Michelle got the iPhone XR in red, with 64 gigs of memory. I would have gotten Melissa the same 64, if she had not come with us; it all worked out.

T-Mobile says there is no money down except for taxes, which on the full amount of $720 is around $63. Somehow, the sales consultant applied an upgrade to Michelle's phone and I still can't figure out how both phones cost the same. The arithmetic is very hard to follow; it is vague.

The other thing we had to do was get Michelle a new phone number, as she was getting more spam phone calls than real ones, which can be so annoying. The sales person waived the fee for that, which saved $10. We had to leave her old phone at the store while we did some errands so everything could transfer over.

I remember the first phone Michelle had. It was from Virgin Mobile. It was limited on minutes and texting; the internet was barely usable. For a teenage girl at the time, it was fine.

No phone after 9 pm.

Then I put her on my T-Mobile plan, with certain restrictions as far as use goes. She couldn't use it after 9 pm on school nights is the big one I remember. We actually typed out a list of things on how she could use the phone.

When it came time for Melissa to get a phone, she went right on my plan, but again with some restrictions, mostly related to schoolwork. She couldn't use her phone until she completed all her schoolwork and then we had to check it. Give them an inch, I say, they'll take a mile.

My wife always used hand me down phones. When her Samsung Galaxy S4 died last year, I found the same phone, as a replacement, on eBay. When it died, I got her a new one from T-Mobile.

The S4 is an inexpensive smart phone, but is perfect for my wife, as she doesn't know how to use advanced features. Mostly, my wife texts her friends, goes on Facebook and Messenger and plays some games. That's why I got her a $150 phone instead of a $700 phone.

One of my co-workers opened up a cell phone store last year. Although it seemed a good idea, it wasn't in a great location and business was slow. After roughly a year, he closed the store, as he wasn’t making any money.

As with buying a home, a busy relies on location, location, location. The T-Mobile store I used to use is about ten minutes from my house. When that store closed, a new one opened just two minutes from my house. That's where I got whenever I need anything now.

New technology headaches.

Thankfully, I don't have to go through phone buying for at least another eighteen months. Who would have thought getting a new cell phone could be such a pain? Every new piece of technology comes with its own headaches.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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